US Marines Demonstrate Artillery on Swedish Island: Targets Across Baltic Sea Within Reach

Written by Camilla Jessen

Jun.12 - 2024 2:31 PM CET

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
US Marines showcase cutting-edge rocket artillery on Swedish soil during a major naval exercise.

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In the annual Baltops naval exercise, led by the US Sixth Fleet, the US Marine Corps demonstrated its ability to conduct advanced rocket artillery exercises from the Swedish island of Utö.

Nearly 10,000 participants and about 50 naval vessels are involved in the exercise, aimed at addressing potential threats and ensuring freedom of movement in the Baltic Sea, reports SVT Nyheter.

Lieutenant Colonel Per Gottfridsson, Sweden's representative in the Baltops exercise management, outlines the exercise's objective:

"We are preparing for potential adversaries seeking to influence NATO's operations in the Baltic Sea. Our goal is to counter this threat by training alongside these 19 countries."

On Tuesday, a demonstration of the HIMARS system was carried out, during which the US Marine Corps fired two shots at a naval target, showcasing the system's capacity to reach targets over large parts of the Baltic Sea region.

These operations were conducted in collaboration with personnel from the Swedish Amphibious Corps, Amf 1.

Patrik Gardesten, deputy head of the navy, added that the HIMARS system, with its ability to reach targets within a radius of 500 kilometers, could theoretically be used to defend Gotland:

"Defending an area does not by definition mean being in that area. This is extremely, extremely potent. At very, very long ranges, we can target the enemy where he is."