Finnish Minesweeper Joins NATO Readiness Force 2022

The Naval Forces will place the Katanpää-class minesweeper in the 2022 Standby Pool for Complementary Operations of NATO’s Rapid Reaction Force.

Participation in NATO’s Contingency Force, the NATO Response Force (NRF), develops the performance and international compatibility of Navy vessels and forces, as well as the readiness to deploy units in a maritime crisis management mission.

The year of readiness is planned to participate in NATO’s mine action activities, which will deepen compatibility and the Finnish troops’ own expertise. The NATO-led mine action exercise Dynamic Move 22 will take place at the beginning of the year. In the spring and summer, the Katanpää-class minesweeper will participate in the exercise activities of NATO’s Permanent Minesweeper Division, including the BALTOPS 22 exercise.

The Katanpää-class minesweeper of the Coastal Fleet and the squadron’s personnel will leave for the 2022 readiness period, well prepared. A similar stand-by period was implemented in 2020, which provided a lot of good experience.

Next year we will be able to utilize the lessons learned from 2020. We already know that we have the ability to operate in the international ship division and can focus on further developing our cooperation. The intention is not only to deepen the expertise in international staff work but also to network with other mining professionals, describes the commander of the 4th Mine Action Squadron, Commander Juhani Lehtimäki .

Despite the joint training, the Katanpää minesweeper will not automatically participate in a possible international crisis management operation during the stand-by year. The participation of a Finnish vessel in the operation always requires a separate political decision in accordance with the Crisis Management Act.

Participation in the contingency pool is part of the normal international co-operation of the Finnish Defense Forces, in which Finland has participated since 2012.

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