The Coastal Fleet’s mine countermeasures vessel Vahterpaa will attend Exercise Sandy Coast in the North Sea from 18 August to 1 September 2023.

Sandy Coast is an international, annual mine countermeasures exercise led by the Netherlands in which, in addition to the Belgian and Dutch navies, the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1) as well as troops from other NATO countries will also take part. The objective of the exercise is to get practice in maritime mine countermeasures tactics and procedures and to support interoperability between the troops.

In the Exercise Sandy Coast Vahterpaa will be training along with the SNMCMG1.

Finnish mine countermeasures vessels have been training several times with the same task group, and their interoperability has developed to a high level, says the Chief of Staff of the Coastal Fleet, Commander Jan-Erik Aitos.

It was in 2020 that a Finnish mine countermeasures vessel participated in Exercise Sandy Coast for the first time. Then as well, the Finnish vessel trained with the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1.

On the way to and from the exercise Vahterpaa trains with the Swedish Navy.

The exercise is included in the Action Plans. Participating in the exercise has been approved by the Ministry of Defense by a reference document as part of the Defense Forces 2023 exercise activities.