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March 28, 2022

Six JEF nations conduct FONOP patrols in Baltic Sea region

The JEF partners resupplied military vehicles and equipment to the UK-led Nato Battlegroup in Estonia.

The UK Royal Navy along with its Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) partners have conducted freedom of navigation (FONOP) patrols in the Baltic Sea region.

Ships, aircraft and personnel from the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania took part in the mission.

The UK Royal Navy’s HMS Northumberland and HMS Richmond joined Danish frigate HDMS Niels Juel and vessels of the other remaining countries to conduct maritime patrols.

The assets also participated in a series of joint exercises to showcase and strengthen their interoperability capabilities.

The UK Royal Air Force’s new Poseidon P8A and submarine hunter aircraft rehearsed with the ships to spot enemy vessels.

In addition, Swedish Gripen fighter jets and Danish F-16s practised different air defence tactics with the ships.

UK Standing Joint Force Headquarters (SJFHQ) commander major general Jim Morris said: “Activities such as these in the Baltic Sea are routine business for us and our JEF partners, in one of our principal areas of geographical interest.

“Given the current level of aggression being displayed by Russia, there has never been a more important time to ensure that freedom of navigation is maintained in the Baltic Sea.”

Furthermore, the JEF naval vessels and aircraft delivered vital supplies to the UK-led Nato Battlegroup in Estonia.

The deployment aims to enhance security and stability in the Baltic Sea region, amid the Ukraine crisis.

According to the UK Government, the number of troops deployed to Estonia and Poland have also been doubled, to strengthen Nato deployment in the eastern defences amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Royal Danish Navy chief rear admiral Torben Mikkelson said: “The current situation calls for increased focus on the security of the Baltic Sea and stability of our region. The Danish Navy will, with our partners in the JEF alliance, do our utmost to contribute to that.”

Launched in 2015, the JEF coalition is made up of ten nations and focuses on enhancing security in the Baltic Sea region, the High North and the North Atlantic.

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