The multinational naval exercise ‘Northern Coasts 21’ (NOCO21) has commenced in the southern Baltic Sea.

The exercise, hosted by Sweden, includes 28 ships, 2,000 naval personnel, and ten aircraft and helicopters from 15 countries. It also includes the participation of land units comprising vehicles and equipment.

NOCO21 started on 13 September and will run until 23 September.

The exercise is aimed at increasing the ability of naval units to integrate national assets to effectively conduct joint operations.

It will help maintain stability and security in and around the surroundings of Sweden.

Being conducted along the Swedish coast of Blekinge and Skåne in the south of the Baltic sea, the exercise allows participating nations to practise in shallow water operations.

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Northern Coasts 21 exercise leader Jonas Källestedt said: “We must constantly develop and improve our capabilities in order to solve our tasks in the best way.

“Practising in different areas and with different participants strengthens us.

“Despite the pandemic’s restrictions, we have been able to prepare well. I have high expectations for this year’s Northern Coasts.”

As a host, Sweden is responsible for conducting many activities, with the right units involved in the exercise.

Naval combat, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and mine clearance capabilities will be trained by the participating units in NOCO21.