The US and NATO recently wrapped up massive military exercises in Europe that included US Air Force fighter jets training to launch missiles in the Baltic Sea, where Russia’s Kaliningrad military base is located.
The exercises, which were led by US Air Forces in Europe, included multiple branches of the US military and the militaries of the UK, the Netherlands, and Poland. The drills were a test of the Combined, Joint All-Domain Command and Control (CJADC2). The CJADC2 is a new US military concept that combines military branches and different aspects of warfighting, like artificial intelligence and space technologies.
The Baltic Sea missile training was carried out by US F-15 fighter jets in cooperation with the UK Royal Air Force. The US Air Forces in Europe said the F-15s conducted a “targeting scenario using Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) employment tactics over the Baltic Sea.” The JASSM was described as “a long-range, conventional, air-to-ground, precision standoff missile designed to destroy high-value, well-defended targets.”
While the JASSM training was not a live-fire test, the drill is still a provocative show of force near a Russian military base and another escalation of tensions in the region by US and NATO forces.
Russia’s Kaliningrad base is surrounded by NATO member-states, being wedged between Poland and Lithuania. Last year, the US established a permanent military presence in Poland. The US is prioritizing cooperation with allies in the Baltic and other areas where Russia has military bases, like the Black Sea and the Arctic.