Military maintained presence in Baltic region after over 20 years

MARINE CORPS BASE CAME LEJUNE, N.C. (WITN) – Sailors and Marines in the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) returned home after finishing a seven-month deployment with the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (ARG).

The deployment marked the first time an ARG and MEU maintained a six-month presence in the Baltic region in over 20 years.

“Our time in the Baltics and the High North was particularly valuable,” said Col. Paul C. Merida, commanding officer, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit. “I think all of us in the 22nd MEU came away extremely impressed with the level of military professionalism that our friends in the region possess and the level of enthusiasm for real, integrated defense cooperation was profound wherever we visited. I believe future east coast MEUs will find the High North and the Baltics not only a challenging training environment but a region full of very capable friends and allies.”

More than 4,000 Marines and Sailors assisted in 15 countries with a wide range of training and exercises promoting stability, increasing interoperability, sustaining combat readiness, and crisis response capabilities while strengthening relationships with both NATO Allies and partners.

At the end of the operations in the Baltic region, the ARG-MEU successfully completed a cumulative 29 port visits across the ARG visiting 14 NATO Allied and partner countries

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