The Royal Navy will lead its largest task group in more than 15 years into the Baltic Sea.
The Royal Navy say that HMS Albion will lead a two-month-long Baltic Protector mission, involving 20 ships, nearly 2,000 British personnel from all three Services.
According to a release:
“The deployment is the first large-scale run out of the new UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force, set up four years ago with eight like-minded nations – Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden – to forge a force of more than 10,000 military personnel in the air, at sea and on land if required to respond to world events.
The aim is to demonstrate the ability of participants to mobilise forces at short notice, deploy them and fight side-by-side to protect Europe at a time of increased threat.”
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said that deploying a task group on such a scale demonstrated Britain’s “unwavering commitment to European security and stability” as the country prepared to leave the European Union:
“Deploying our world-class sailors and Royal Marines to the Baltic, alongside our international allies, firmly underlines Britain’s leading role in Europe,” he added.