The Royal Navy Type 23 frigate HMS Kent has joined 19 NATO ally nations with around 3,000 personnel to take part on the US-led Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) exercise that started in the Baltic Sea.

During the 49th exercise, which will run until 16 June, HMS Kent and minehunter HMS Ramsey will sail alongside 26 other vessels and 29 aircraft.

The personnel will strengthen their combined maritime capabilities while demonstrating their collective resolve to safeguard security in the Baltic Sea Region.

As part of the five-week deployment, HMS Ramsey will join the exercise with the Nato Standing Mine Countermeasures Group 1.

The Nato force focuses on eliminating the threat of historic mines in northern Europe’s waters.

Furthermore, it will practise dealing with modern mines while promoting the alliance and freedom of the seas.

During the BALTOPS exercise, allies will conduct combined training exercises that will include air defence, anti-submarine warfare, and mine-hunting.

It will provide support to deter sea, sky and land threats and maintain the region’s security.

The exercise is being commanded ashore by Naval Striking and Support Forces Nato (STRIKFORNATO) from its headquarters in Lisbon, Portugal.

Currently, more than 800 British Army personnel are deployed in Estonia as part of Nato’s enhanced Forward Presence.

UK HMS Kent commanding officer Commander Matt Sykes said: “My ship’s company are eager to take part in the exercise and up for the challenge, focussing on our ability to operate seamlessly with our Nato and partner nations.

“In these turbulent times, it is also vitally important that we demonstrate our commitment to the region and to upholding the principles of freedom of access to the Baltic Sea.”