In a true display of multinational military cooperation, ships from NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 1 escorted a Ro-Ro sealift ship sailing for the UK’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary carrying Norwegian military equipment to Lithuania.
The operation, which took place from May 23 to 24, is part of NATO’s enhanced forward presence aimed at displaying the alliance’s strengthened deterrence and defense posture in a period of deteriorating relations with Russia.
The ships met in the western Baltic on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 and sailed together until the civilian vessel reached the port of Klaipeda the next morning.
During the transit the ships of SNMG1, composed of Flagship HNoMS Roald Amundsen and HNLMS Evertsen, conducted several standardised procedures and drills, NATO said.
“The shipment of eFP equipment to Lithuania provides SNMG1 with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate NATO naval presence in the Baltic Sea, while training concepts, procedures and tactics,” said Commander SNMG1, Commodore Ole Morten Sandquist.
At the 2016 Summit in Warsaw, allies agreed a to enhance NATO’s military presence in the eastern part of the alliance. The eFP battlegroups are located in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Poland.
Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 also took the opportunity to complete a passing exercise with the Swedish Navy before escorting the MV Hartland Point to Lithuania.