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Finnish Navy starts exercise Freezing Winds 23 with US and UK.

| 2023

According to information published by the Finnish MoD on November 20, 2023, Finland commenced its first major naval exercise as a NATO member with the Freezing Winds 23, set to continue until December 1, 2023.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Hamina-class missile boat FNS Hamina. (Picture source: Finnish MoD)

The exercise, led by the Finnish Navy, involves over 4000 personnel from the Finnish Army and Air Force, the Swedish Navy, and various NATO allies.

Featuring approximately 30 combat and support vessels, the exercise aims to enhance naval operations in the Baltic Sea, emphasizing joint operation skills and interoperability. Key participants include the US Marine Corps, Royal Navy, and several NATO maritime groups, with vessels from Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, and France.

The exercise includes significant air operations with 16 aircraft from allied nations. Participating vessels are currently docked in Turku and Helsinki, marking a crucial step in Finland's integration into NATO defense initiatives.

Exercise Freezing Winds

The most recent edition, Freezing Winds 22, took place in the Gulf of Finland and the Archipelago Sea in the northern parts of the Baltic Sea. It involved a total of 23 surface vessels, along with a considerable number of marine, aviation, and ground assets, engaging around 5,000 personnel.

The exercise featured notable international participation, including three vessels from the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) from the Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway, and three from the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One (SNMCMG1) from Germany and the Netherlands. Additionally, the US Navy, German Navy, French Navy, and Swedish Navy contributed vessels and units, including the US Marine Corps 2nd Marine Logistics Detachment and a P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft​​.

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