HMS Westminster is approaching the half-way point of a six-month mission to keep the Baltic secure with NATO.
The Royal Navy say in a release that the frigate is spending the bulk of the spring and summer as part of a task group charged with ‘keeping the waters safe and being ready at the drop of a hat to respond to any major incident – anything from disaster relief through to conflict’.
“Westminster is part of a seven-strong NATO force led by flagship American destroyer USS Gravely with Spanish frigate EPS Almirante Juan de Borbón, Turkish frigate TCG Gokova and her sister ship ORP Generał Kazimierz Pułaski (both are former US Perry-class warships), Denmark’s support/command/amphibious ship HDMS Absalon, and German tanker FGS Rhön keeping the fuel tanks of all topped up.
Group 1 is one of four task forces directed from NATO’s naval headquarters in Northwood, northwest London, where the Royal Navy’s Vice Admiral Keith Blount took over from Vice Admiral Sir Clive Johnstone just this week.”
The ship met up with the force in time for the first Joint Warrior exercise of 2019. Since then, say NATO, the group has focused the bulk of its time in the Baltic, linking up with that sea’s numerous navies.