F-16 aircraft flying during Air Maritime Integration operations between the HMS Richmond and the Danish Navy
F-16 aircraft flying during Air Maritime Integration with HMS Richmond and the Danish Navy (Picture: HMS Richmond/Twitter).
Navy

HMS Richmond leaves NATO exercise for Baltic Sea

The Type 23 frigate is conducting Air Maritime Integration with the Danish navy.

F-16 aircraft flying during Air Maritime Integration operations between the HMS Richmond and the Danish Navy
F-16 aircraft flying during Air Maritime Integration with HMS Richmond and the Danish Navy (Picture: HMS Richmond/Twitter).

HMS Richmond has left a major NATO exercise to operate in the Baltic Sea with a Danish navy ship.

The Royal Navy frigate was expected to take part in Exercise Cold Response, which began in northern Norway on Monday and sees roughly 30,000 troops from more than 25 countries from Europe and North America work together.

NATO said Cold Response, which includes 200 aircraft and 50 vessels, was "not linked to Russia's unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine".

The drill in NATO member Norway, which shares a nearly 200km (124 miles) land border with Russia, will be held just a few hundred kilometres from the Russian border and was planned long before Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

After separating from the NATO exercise, HMS Richmond has instead been conducting Air Maritime Integration as part of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF), with F-16 aircraft and HDMS Niels Juel.

A Royal Navy spokesperson said: "HMS Richmond is exercising in the Baltic as part of the Joint Expeditionary Force. She is conducting pre-planned maritime activities in conjunction with our partners."

The primary goal of the UK-led JEF, made up of the UK, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway, is to maintain the security of Northern Europe.

It complements NATO and European security and, in February, the UK's Chief of the Defence Staff met with his JEF colleagues to discuss Ukraine.

The force's Exercise Joint Protector 2021 took place last year in Sweden, with another installment of the exercise expected later this year.

The core regions for JEF are the North Atlantic, High North and Baltic Sea Region and Prime Minister Boris Johnson will host a summit with the leaders of JEF nations later this week to discuss the war in Ukraine. 

It comes after HMS Richmond returned from the Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21) deployment last year – HMS Queen Elizabeth's maiden deployment.