May 26, 2020 (Google Translation) – The Navy will participate in the Baltops 20 naval exercise from 5 to 16 June 2020 at the Purunpää, which operates with NATO’s Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1.
Baltops (from the words Baltic Operations) is an annual conscription-based naval exercise in the Baltic Sea, designed by NATO’s Naval Striking and Support Force and led by the U.S. European Navy Component. The aim is to train NATO and Partner forces in a maritime crisis management situation.
The minesweeper Purunpää participates in the exercise with NATO’s minesweeper division. The collaboration will support the Coastal Fleet’s 4th Mine Action Squadron in maintaining the fleet’s NRF readiness. The Navy has prepared the minesweepers Purunpää and Vahterpää, representing the Katanpää class of the squadron, for the readiness of the NATO Response Force (NRF). Both vessels will be training with NATO’s Mine Action Vessel Division throughout the year. Due to the corona pandemic, the training sessions will be carried out in an adapted manner, taking into account the constraints, as will the entire Baltops 20 exercise now ahead.
The objectives of the exercise include the development of interoperability between partner countries not only in mine action and seafaring skills, but also between sea and air components.
According to the original plan, more than 4,000 seafarers from 14 different countries will participate in the Baltops 20 exercise. In addition to Finland, vessels from Canada, Denmark, Spain, France, Germany, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, England and the United States participate.
Finland has participated in Baltops exercises since 1993 within the framework of NATO’s Partnership for Peace program. Baltops 20 has been approved by the Ministry of Defense as the Defense Forces’ 2020 international exercise.