HMS Defender. a Type 45 Destroyer, is leading the Joint Expeditionary Force task group in the Baltic.
The #JEF task group in the Baltic strengthens our friendship with Norway🇳🇴 Latvia🇱🇻 finland🇫🇮 Lithuania🇱🇹 & Estonia🇪🇪 and demonstrates how allies can deploy, exercise and operate seamlessly as one#JEFTogether pic.twitter.com/FxEhKWWCJd
— HMS Defender (@HMSDefender) June 2, 2022
The task force includes vessels from Norway, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
Major General Jim Morris DSO, the Commander of the UK Standing Joint Force HQ (SJFHQ) which leads the JEF, said:
“Activities such as these in the Baltic Sea are routine business for us and our JEF partners, in one of our principal areas of geographical interest. Given the current level of aggression being displayed by Russia, there has never been a more important time to ensure that freedom of navigation is maintained in the Baltic Sea.”
The UK Government say that the region is of vital strategic importance “as we seek to ensure stability and freedom of navigation in the Baltic Sea”.
According to the Ministry of Defence:
“The JEF is a UK-led force, comprising 10 nations working together to deliver forces at high readiness, across a range of roles, complementing NATO and European security. The coalition focuses on security in the Baltic Sea region, the High North and the North Atlantic, where its members are located.
In March, the Prime Minister hosted JEF leaders in London for the first ever leader-level summit. At the leaders’ summit, JEF members committed to supporting Ukraine with defensive military aid and ensuring that JEF continued to play a credible role in contributing to defence and deterrence in the region. The meeting followed meetings of Defence Ministers and Chiefs of Defence in February.
The coalition is complementary to NATO’s wider strategic posture which originated from the 2014 NATO summit in Wales. Led by the UK as framework nation, it is agile and responsive, acting flexibly either in smaller groupings or as ten nations communicating with one voice.”