Finnish and Estonian navies begin joint exercise Baltic Shield 2018

3 October 2018 (Last Updated October 3rd, 2018 12:23)

The Finnish Navy and Estonian Navy have started the joint naval exercise Baltic Shield 2018.

Finnish and Estonian navies begin joint exercise Baltic Shield 2018
Estonian Sandown-class minehunter ENS Ugandi. Credit: The Finnish Defence Forces.

The Finnish Navy and Estonian Navy have started the joint naval exercise Baltic Shield 2018.

Being carried out in the Archipelago Sea and the Gulf of Finland, the naval drill will continue until 11 October.

Baltic Shield is a mine counter-measures and firing exercise, which involves the participation of vessel units of the navies of Finland and Estonia.

The navy vessels from Finland participating in the exercise include Katanpää-class Mine Hunters, Coastal MHC Purunpää and MHC Vahterpää, and Pansio-class Mine Layer Inshore MLI Porkkala, while the Estonian Navy assets are ENS Wambola and ENS Ugandi.

It will involve the participation of more than 150 military personnel, with around 90 members from the Finnish Navy and nearly 70 from the Estonian Navy.

“The goal of Baltic Shield is to develop the air defence interoperability of naval artillery and vessel operations while maintaining and ensuring international cooperation in mine warfare.”

This year’s exercise has been designed to be conducted in two different phases. The first will be carried out in Finland and the second phase will be organised in the Estonian sea.

The drill’s first phase in Finland is being led by the Finnish Navy 4th Mine Counter-Measures Squadron, Coastal Fleet commander Mika Raunu.

The national goal of the exercise is to enhance the ability of the two navies to operate as a part of a multinational mine warfare naval force and to develop the ability of troops when serving in demanding international crisis management operations.

At the international level, the goal of Baltic Shield is to develop the air defence interoperability of naval artillery and vessel operations, while maintaining and ensuring international cooperation in mine warfare.

Last year, Baltic Shield 2017 was conducted by the two countries from 2-6 October in the Archipelago Sea.