Air defense and command frigate HNLMS Tromp and minehunter HNLMS Vlaardingen participated in Freezing Winds for the past 2 weeks. This NATO exercise, organized by Finland, took place in the Gulf of Finland and the Finnish archipelago. Both ships are part of a NATO fleet.

With around 30 ships, 16 aircraft and 4,000 soldiers, the 8 participating countries practiced, among other things, how they can strengthen their military cooperation. In addition to the Netherlands, these were Germany, Finland, France, Great Britain, Poland, the United States and Sweden. The latter country is still in the process of joining NATO, but has been a loyal partner for years. The units trained under arctic conditions, which required their adaptability.

Vlaardingen is currently part of the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1). The ship was conducting a mine hunt in the Finnish archipelago. In doing so, it opened up a number of routes for other military units. In addition, the crew was able to practice locating, classifying and identifying a variety of training mines. The underwater conditions, weather conditions and the many islands close together made for a challenging training.

Tromp was part of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) with the NH90 maritime attack helicopter. The ship trained with fighter aircraft, among other things. The Fire Support Team practiced shooting at drones .

During Freezing Winds the ship said goodbye to SNMG1 after three months. Tromp returned to Den Helder December 1st.

Finland organized Freezing Winds this year for the first time since joining NATO. The exercise contributed to the further integration of the Finnish Armed Forces within NATO and to international cooperation.

Last year the exercise was also hosted by Finland, but the country was still in the process of joining. The Royal Navy also participated in this annual exercise last year.

Freezing Winds started on November 20 in the port of Turku in Finland.