The last time Royal Navy vessels engaged in operations of a comparable scale in the Baltic Sea was during 'Operation Red Trek' in 1918-1919, when the UK attempted to eliminate the nascent Soviet republic as part of a wider Allied military intervention against Moscow during the Russian Civil War.
British Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt has called the British-led Joint Expeditionary Force's latest Baltic drills "the largest Royal Navy deployment in the Baltic for more than a hundred years."
Speaking to reporters aboard the HMS Albion in Klaipeda, Lithuania, less than 50 km from the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad on Friday, Mordaunt boasted that this year's Operation Baltic Protector drills involve close to 4,000 troops and 44 ships from nine countries, and send a "clear" message to Moscow that the NATO alliance is "aligned and ready" to deal with a "more assertive" Russia.
"Russia is becoming more assertive, we see her deploying more forces and new weapons, and we can imagine scenarios that may play out in the future," the defence secretary said. "So it is important and right that we stand together with our allies."
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