Jacksonville native participates in multinational exercise in Baltic Sea region

KIEL, Germany – Lt. Cecily Ripley, a native of Jacksonville, Florida, is participating in the Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) exercise with 18 other nations, the Navy Office of Community Outreach reports

BALTOPS 2019, scheduled for June 8-21, includes sea, air and land assets.

“It's a brand new experience for me to realize how interactive the forces really are,” Ripley said. “Sometimes when you hear about NATO in the news you think it's just about America. I'm looking forward to seeing how similar or dissimilar we are during this exercise.”

The multi-national exercise provides a unique training opportunity that fosters cooperative relationships critical to ensuring safety at sea and security on the world's interconnected oceans. According to U.S. Navy officials, it is designed to improve training value for participants, enhance flexibility and interoperability, and demonstrate resolve among allied and partner forces in defending the Baltic Sea region. 

Ripley is a supply officer aboard the USS Mount Whitney. They operate the MH-60S Seahawk and deploy with units of the Second, Fifth and Sixth Fleets. 

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