Royal Marines have honed their operational skills along the complex island network leading to Stockholm, Sweden, as part of NATO’s show of collective strength in the Baltic Sea, according to a press release.

Following Finland and Sweden’s recent accession to NATO, nearly the entirety of the Baltic’s 5,000-mile coastline is now under NATO protection.

This new dynamic has heightened the importance of collaboration among allied forces to understand local terrains and enhance tactical coordination.

Royal Marines from 45 Commando, based in Arbroath, and a boat group from Plymouth’s 4 Assault Squadron conducted intensive training with the Swedish Coastal Rangers (Kustjägarna) of the 1st Marine Regiment.

This training took place on the islands of Utö and Musko in the Stockholm Archipelago, a sprawling network of 30,000 islands, rocks, and skerries extending 50 miles into the Baltic Sea from the Swedish capital.

The Commandos launched operations from Berga Naval Base, the primary base of the Swedish Navy on the eastern coast, to practise raiding tactics alongside their Swedish counterparts.

Major Luke Norkett, Officer in Command of 45 Commando’s X-Ray Company, noted the strategic value of this integration, stating, “This provided a valuable opportunity to integrate with NATO partners in a region of strategic importance. For us, this focused specifically on establishing a relationship with the Swedish Kustjägarna Coy, who have similar operational roles to our own.”

These activities were part of the broader NATO operations in the Baltic Sea, known as Baltops, an annual exercise involving more than 50 ships, dozens of aircraft, and 9,000 personnel from 20 nations. This year marked Sweden’s first participation as a full NATO member.

Lt. Tobias Irebro, liaison officer with the Swedish Navy, spoke of Sweden’s commitment to regional security since joining NATO. “Since we joined NATO three months ago, it’s important for Sweden to show that we, as a nation, contribute to the security and stability in the Baltic Sea region as it is our home turf as well. It also lets us show that we are a willing contributor as a newly-joined ally.”

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_827751)
8 days ago

The LCVP replacement program is underway. I’m impatient to see it in service, whatever they end up with.
Interesting that boats from 4 Sqn RM rather than 539 Raiding Sqn were involved.

Tel Russell
Tel Russell (@guest_827775)
7 days ago

As an ex member of the 4th assault from the Falklands in 1982, its great to see that they’re still operational.