On their first port visit to Finland since the country became the thirty-first member of the Alliance, ships from Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) received a warm welcome as they arrived in the capital Helsinki.

German Navy flagship FGS Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and the NRP Bartolomeu Dias of the Portuguese Navy, visited Helsinki after first exercising at sea with the Finnish Navy.

SNMG1 conducted a PASSEX with the Finland Navy’s MHC Purunpää, demonstrating solidarity and collaboration between allies and their continuing commitment to collective defense at sea. This was the first joint maritime exercise with NATO’s newest member, Finland.

“Every exercise, like training with Finnish Navy, sends a strong signal in terms of multinational cooperation,” said Rear Admiral Marx, Commander Task Group SNMG1. “It is also a gathering of friends and allies, demonstrating cohesion and good seamanship both internally and externally. Together we show that NATO is ready and standing as one and we are as ready for tomorrow as we are for today!

“It is an honor for me to be here in Helsinki,” he continued, “for many years, troops from Finland and NATO countries have worked side-by-side as partners. Now we stand together as Allies to demonstrate that our common security will remain ironclad.”

As part of reassurance and vigilance measures, SNMG1 regularly patrols the Baltic Sea including the Gulf of Finland, to maintain Maritime Situational Awareness in order to reassure and deter.