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US warship trains in Baltic Sea amid regional tension

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The USS Kearsarge is the first US navy amphibious assault ship in at least 20 years to be taking part in international exercises in the Baltic Sea.

“It’s a first off for us in recent memory and it’s been very exciting,” commander Captain Tom Foster told Associated Press journalists on board the ship.

The USS Kearsarge is the flagship of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Force, and is one of the US navy’s largest vessels.

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Its mission in the Baltic Sea is to promote safety and security in the Sea region.

The exercises have been taking place amid tensions in the area in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

With some other US navy ships, it has been training for months with the militaries of Sweden and Finland.

The Nordic countries started their path to accession to the NATO military alliance following Russia’s actions.

Moscow has repeatedly warned Helsinki and Stockholm against joining NATO and has warned of retaliatory measures if they do.

The USS Kearsarge allows for training flights by aircraft such as the AV-8B Harriers, UH-1 Y Venom helicopters and MV-22 Osprey planes.

During the exercises, the ship encountered and inter-acted with Russian forces several times.

“Throughout this deployment we had nothing but safe and professional interactions with them,” said the commander of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group.

Countries bordering the Baltic Sea include Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany and Denmark.

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