WASHINGTON — U.S. and Spanish marines on Wednesday conducted an amphibious landing drill on the Estonian coast as part of this year’s BALTOPS exercise, according to a Pentagon news release.

The location of the exercise is significant for NATO as it seeks to counter what it perceives as Russian aggression along the alliance’s eastern flank.

BALTOPS is an annual maritime-focused exercise in the Baltic region involving 18 allied and partner nations.

During the multinational exercise, U.S. Marines assigned to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit and their Spanish counterparts assigned to the 2nd Landing Battalion, Marine Infantry Brigade, landed on the shore using the amphibious dock landing ship Fort McHenry, the release said.

Last month, the United States and Estonia signed a defense cooperation agreement, joining the other Baltic states Lithuania and Latvia in reaching bilateral agreements with the Pentagon on future defense planning.

Cal Pringle is a general assignment editorial fellow supporting Defense News, C4ISRNET and Fifth Domain. He is attending the University of Richmond.

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