Three NATO warships to visit Helsinki
A multinational Task Group of tree NATO warships will arrive in Helsinki 27th of May. The visit is a part of the group’s planned activities in the Baltic Sea area, where a strong maritime NATO presence is important for the security of the Alliance.
The role of this Task Group – known as Standing NATO Mine Countermeasure Group 1 (SNMCMG1) - includes close monitoring of ship traffic, providing the Alliance with maritime situational awareness at sea and in ports across NATO’s area of interest.
As its name suggests, the ships are also specially equipped to clear the seas of mines and other types of ammunition and explosives from previous conflicts. This reduces the risk to other seafarers including merchant shipping, as well as contributing to the wider environmental clean-up.
In addition, many states retain the capacity to deploy sea mines as an effective way to close ports, canals and vital sea routes. This Task Group represents an important part of the NATO toolbox to keep sea routes open in time of war.
The three ships making this scheduled port visit to Helsinki are Norwegian flagship HNoMS Nordkapp, FGS Rottweil (Germany) and FS Pegase (France). The Finnish Minehunter Katanpää joins SNMCMG1 ships during the port visit to prepare for the large international exercise BALTOPS 23, in which Katanpää will operate together with SNMCMG1.