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NATO Naval Force supports eFP in the Baltic Sea

Civilian vessel,  Hartland Point,  carried military equipment for Norwegian troops from Norway to Lithuania. - NATO Photo by NATO Maritime Command Public Affairs Office

BALTIC SEA – For the first time NATO Maritime Forces have contributed to the deployment of enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) assets, as Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) accompanied a civilian vessel carrying military equipment in the Baltic Sea this week.

From May 23 to 24, SNMG1 escorted the MV Hartland Point to Lithuania with a cargo of military equipment for Norwegian troops about to deploy to the region. 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.

"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.

As part of NATO's strengthened deterrence and defence posture, Allies agreed at the 2016 Summit in Warsaw to enhance NATO's military presence in the eastern part of the Alliance. The eFP battlegroups located in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Poland are highly capable, flexible and interoperable land formations that can respond immediately to a range of threats. NATO's enhanced forward presence is defensive, proportionate, and in line with international commitments. It represents a significant commitment by Allies and is a tangible reminder that an attack on one is an attack on all.

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.

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

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