The Royal Navy has sent two ships to a US-led NATO maritime exercise in the Baltic Sea region.
Type 23 frigate HMS Kent and minehunter HMS Ramsey are joining 26 other vessels from 19 countries for the Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) exercise.
Over the coming week, 17 NATO nations and two NATO partner nations will take part in the exercise, which involves 3,000 personnel and 29 aircraft.
BALTOPS sees allies train in areas such as air defence, anti-submarine warfare, and mine hunting.
HMS Kent’s Commanding Officer, Commander Matt Sykes, said: "My ship's company are eager to take part in the exercise and up for the challenge, focussing on our ability to operate seamlessly with our NATO and partner nations.
"In these turbulent times, it is also vitally important that we demonstrate our commitment to the region and to upholding the principles of freedom of access to the Baltic Sea."
HMS Kent’s participation in the exercise signals a return to the region after she took part in the Joint Expeditionary Force deployment, Baltic Protector, last year.
HMS Ramsey joins the exercise as part of her five-week deployment with NATO Standing Mine Countermeasures Group 1 - a NATO force focused on removing historic mines from northern European waters of, dealing with more modern mines and ensuring freedom of the seas.
Elsewhere in the region, the British Army has 800 personnel deployed in Estonia as part of NATO’s Forward Presence, and the RAF has Typhoon jets stationed in Lithuania this summer for NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission.
Cover image: Sailors on board HMS Kent (Picture: MOD).