ROYAL NAVY Warships Head International Fleet In Show Of Force Against Russia
Commander Will Blackett, the Commanding Officer of HMS Lancaster is the British Royal Navy officer spearheading a huge international fleet of vessels in the Baltic Sea, in what is a massive show of naval force to Russia.
He said, “It is a real privilege to command the first task group of this type, and I have been impressed by the capabilities on display from our partner nations”, as his heavily-armed Type 23 frigate warship heads a flotilla including a similar Navy ship, HMS Westminster, along with war vessels from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
They are all involved in a joint exercise of UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force, which is a partnership of nine northern European nations, and they will practise war-fighting against nations threatening Europe.
Joining the Royal Navy ships are Latvian patrol vessel Jelgava, the Estonian minehunter Wambola, and Lithuania’s minehunter Jotvingis, and its patrol ship Selis.
Ben Wallace, the UK Defence Secretary, said today, Sunday 14, “Some of the UK’s closest and most steadfast Allies are found in the Baltics. This deployment is both the latest example of a long and proud history of defence co-operation, and a clear demonstration of the capability of the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF)“.
He continued, “As the first maritime patrol made up of exclusively JEF nations, we are ensuring our ships and people are ready to operate in challenging conditions alongside our Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian allies. My ship’s company are continuing to deliver success on operations against the hugely challenging backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic”.
In sub-zero temperatures in the Baltic Sea, the Lancaster’s Wildcat helicopter is flying patrols by day and night, search and rescue missions in appalling weather, even braving snow squalls, as reported by mirror.co.uk.
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