NATO Ships to Visit Finland, Exercise with Finnish Navy

Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1) is scheduled to stop in Turku, Finland, for a port visit on April 25.

The visit provides the crew an opportunity to collaborate with the Finnish Navy, re-supply and experience the culture and hospitality of NATO’s partner nation, Finland.

Led by Estonian Navy Commander Ott Laanemets, SNMCMG1 comprises flagship Latvian Navy LNVS Virsaitis (A53), Estonian Navy ENS Sakala (M314), and Royal Netherlands Navy NHLMS Schiedam (M860).

Following the visit, SNMCMG1 is scheduled to participate in an exercise led by Finland’s Coastal Fleet in the Archipelago Sea in addition to a passing exercise (PASSEX), with a focus on mine countermeasures and seamanship.

The PASSEX is designed to train participants in operating in a multinational framework. Finnish Coastal Fleet Katanpää-class Mine Hunters Purunpää and Vahterpää, and 4th Mine Countermeasures Squadron Staff will participate.

“This a valuable opportunity for SNMCMG1 to work with our Finnish partners,” Laanemets said. “We look forward to exchanging best practices and enhancing interoperability both ashore and at sea.”

SNMCMG1 operates under NATO’s Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM). MARCOM serves as the hub of maritime security information sharing for the Alliance. Allied nations’ forces specifically support this operation in various ways through active, standby, or associated support.

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