Royal Navy leading international task force on Baltic mission

Catherine Wylie, PA
·1-min read

The Royal Navy is leading an international task group of warships on a security patrol of the Baltic.

The ships – frigates HMS Lancaster and Westminster, and tanker RFA Tiderace – have been joined by vessels from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said some of the UK’s closest and most steadfast allies are found in the Baltic region.

The HMS Lancaster on exercises
The HMS Lancaster on exercises (LPhot Dan Rosenbaum/MoD Crown Copyright)

He said this deployment is “both the latest example of a long and proud history of defence co-operation and a clear demonstration of the capability of the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force.”

The British ships underwent a week of “full-throttle” individual and combined training in the North Sea on their way to join their Baltic allies.

The Royal Navy said the workout has covered firefighting, medical training, damage control, ships sailing in close formation, refuelling at sea, gunnery, air defence, and intensive training with helicopters – plus adjusting to sub-zero temperatures and snowstorms as the ships pushed deeper into the Baltic.

The Joint Expeditionary Force is a framework that provides a high-readiness intervention capability of more than 10,000 personnel.