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Sep 17 2020

NATO forces visit, train with Finland

TURKU, Finland – Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) visited Turku, Finland from 10-14 September 2020, as part of its routine deployment in the Baltic Sea region. After departure, a complex set of training exercises was executed with several assets from the Finnish Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force.

Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) visits Turku, Finland from 10-14 September, in the Baltic Sea. Photo: Portuguese Navy

Training between NATO and Finnish forces on 14 September focused on multiple warfare areas, including asymmetric warfare, greatly enhancing SNMG1 skills in this area. During the following days, the remaining exercises focused largely on above-water warfare. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the port visit programme was scaled down, to ensure the safety of crews and personnel on both sides.

Finland is a key partner for NATO, and operating along with Finnish units is a strong message of NATO’s commitment and resolve in the Baltic Sea region

During these two days, SNMG1 Portuguese flagship Corte-Real and HMCS Toronto had the chance to work side by side with three surface ships from the Finnish Navy, FNS Raahe, FNS Porvoo and FNS Pansio, one Super Puma helicopter, one Learjet from Finnish Air Force and one fast craft from Finnish Coast Guard.

“Exercising with partner units is of utmost importance for Standing Naval Forces, not only to strengthen the bonds with our navies and maintain the highest level of readiness possible, but also to improve interoperability between our units. Finland is a key partner for NATO, and operating along with Finnish units is a strong message of NATO’s commitment and resolve in the Baltic Sea region”, said Commodore José Mirones, Commander of SNMG1.

Finland is one of NATO’s most active partners and an important priority is to develop interoperable capabilities, maintaining the ability of the Finnish armed forces to work with those of NATO and other partner countries in multinational peace-support operations.

Port visits and passing exercises are highly valuable opportunities to work with Allies and partners, exchanging best practices and working together to build interoperability. The presence of SNMG1 in the Baltic Sea is a regular occurrence contributing to security and stability in the region.

Story by Public Affairs Officer of SNMG1

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