HMS Albion is leading the Joint Expeditionary Force as part of Baltic Protector (Picture: MOD).
Navy

UK-Led Force Begins Milestone Naval Exercises

A total of 3,000 personnel and 17 vessels will join the force over the coming weeks.

HMS Albion is leading the Joint Expeditionary Force as part of Baltic Protector (Picture: MOD).

HMS Albion is leading the Joint Expeditionary Force as part of Baltic Protector (Picture: MOD).

Thousands of troops from a UK-led naval force have begun a milestone training exercise.

Baltic Protector - the first major maritime training deployment of the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) - got underway with exercises on Friday across Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea.

Baltic Protector, which is led by the Royal Navy's HMS Albion, is in support of "European security", according to Minister for the Armed Forces, Mark Lancaster. 

Mr Lancaster also said the force demonstrates "that we are stronger together".

HMS Albion left Devonport for Baltic Protector earlier this week (Picture: Royal Navy).
HMS Albion left Devonport for Baltic Protector earlier this week (Picture: Royal Navy).

Captain Peter Laughton, the Commanding Officer of HMS Albion, said earlier this week: "This represents the largest UK-led operational deployment of a military force in Europe for decades and demonstrates our ability to react quickly and decisively to any crisis in the world."

The exercises, which mark the first phase of the deployment, saw HMS Albion join forces with vessels and personnel from eight nations.

The task group will go on to work alongside NATO allies on Exercise Baltops before linking up with land forces, including a UK-led battlegroup, in the eastern Baltic.

A total of 3,000 personnel and 17 vessels will join the force over the coming weeks.