KIEL, Germany –Midshipman Dalton Harrelson, of Smiths Station, Alabama, is participating in the Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) exercise. The Smiths Station native is attached to the U.S. Naval Academy. “Serving in the Navy means a lot. I call it a blessing having the ability to serve our nation,” said Harrelson. “I enjoy being able to take freedom and democracy around the world and keeping the people safe in any way I can.”
According to U.S. Navy officials, the Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) exercise includes sea, air and land assets. It also provides a unique training opportunity that fosters cooperative relationships critical to ensuring safety at sea and security on the world’s interconnected oceans. Navy officials say the exercise 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.
Harrelson credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Smiths Station. “Growing up I played baseball and both my parents were in the military,” said Harrelson. “It taught me teamwork and how to be a leader. I decided to go to the Naval Academy because of the discipline that it instills in your life.”
BALTOPS 2019, scheduled for June 8-21. Eighteen nations are participating in the exercise.