Estonia: International naval operation Expone is taking place on southern part of the Baltic Sea

NordenBladet — The UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force is conducting a joint naval operation Expone on southern part of the Baltic Sea from March 10 to 14. Additionally to the Royal Navy, Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian navies as well as the Swedish Air Force take part of this exercise.

The joint force practices guarding waterways and escorting transport vessels by countering different air, submarine and ship attacks, also conducting mine countermeasures operations and naval surface fire training.

Units participating the operation are UK frigates HMS Lancaster, HMS Westminster, auxiliary ship RFA Tiderace together with helicopters from UK frigates, patrol vessel Jelgava from Latvia, minehunter Selis and auxiliary ship Jotvingis from Lithuania and auxiliary ship Wambola from Estonia.

“Security and defense of the waterways are our priorities during times of crises,” says Maj. Gen. Indrek Sirel, Deputy Chief of Defense of the Estonian Defense Forces. “The majority of our allies’ military equipment and other goods is transported by the sea. This exercise strengthens deterrence at sea in the same way as NATO Enhanced Forward Presence strengthens deterrence on the land.”

The UK-led naval operation Expone is part of Joint Expeditionary Force´s activities. The coalition of British, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and Netherlands forces was formed on 2014.

JEF is determined to maintain the security and to react rapidly to crises in the northern Europe, Baltic States, northern Atlantic or anywhere in the world. JEF complements its member states’ and NATO´s deterrence posture in the region – planning, training and operating together enables member nations to react rapidly to any hostile activities and to prevent early the escalation of possible crises.


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