Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 to visit Finland after exercising with Coastal Fleet
Two frigates deployed with Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) visit Helsinki from 13th to 16th April 2023. Before arrival they participated in an exercise organized by the Coastal Fleet. This was the first time for Finland and for Coastal Fleet to conduct an exercise and a visit as Finland being an Ally of NATO.
The visiting ships are German frigate FGS Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Portuguese frigate NRP Bartolomeu Dias. They will not be open to public during their stay. The visit is hosted by Captain (Navy) Patrik Lillqvist, Commander of the Coastal Fleet.
On their way to Helsinki both frigates exercised together with the Finnish Coastal Fleet’s vessels in the Gulf of Finland on Wednesday 12th April. The PASSEX (Passing exercise) developed interoperability between the participating vessels in producing situation picture and in navigation. Finnish participants in the exercise were FNS Purunpää, FNS Raahe and FNS Porvoo.
Wednesday’s PASSEX together with SNMG1 was the first time Coastal Fleet operated in a new role since Finland became full member of NATO.
- This was the first time we got the honour to conduct a PASSEX as between NATO Allies. Operating together now went fluently, because we have been strengthening our interoperability in exercises with NATO’s Standing Naval Forces’ groups for several times over the years, says Captain (Navy) Patrik Lillqvist, Commander of the Coastal Fleet.