ua en ru

Large-scale NATO naval exercises commenced in Finland

Large-scale NATO naval exercises commenced in Finland Finland leads NATO naval exercises for the first time as an Allied member (Photo: facebook Standing NATO)

For the first time as a member of NATO, Finland commanded the Freezing Winds 23 naval exercise from November 20 to December 1 in the Gulf of Finland and the Archipelago Sea, according to Navy Recognition.

Around 30 warships and auxiliary ships are participating in an exercise aiming to reinforce naval operations in the Baltic Sea, with a focus on honing joint operations skills.

The main participants consist of the U.S. Marine Corps, the British Royal Navy, and various NATO maritime groups, utilizing ships from Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, and France. The total number of involved military personnel exceeds 4,000.

Freezing Winds 23 encompasses air operations involving 16 aircraft from allied countries as well. The ships are presently docked in the ports of Turku and Helsinki, marking a significant stride in Finland's inclusion in NATO's defense initiatives.

Finland in NATO

Finland joined the North Atlantic Alliance in April of this year.

Finnish officials assessed the possibility of NATO troops being stationed on their territory before joining.

In May, Helsinki was in talks with Washington to permit the U.S. military to remain in the country. Subsequently, reports indicated that Finland may allow the United States to utilize various military bases.