Royal Navy leads Joint Expeditionary Force task group in the Baltic Sea
HMS Lancaster, HMS Westminster and RFA Tiderace are in the Baltic Sea, leading a task group of warships from the international Joint Expeditionary Force.
The deployment is another test of the UK-led JEF, a partnership of nine northern European nations. HMS Lancaster is the flagship of the group that includes Estonian, Latvian and Lithuania vessels, plus aircraft from the Swedish Air Force. The deployment is focussed on maritime security and freedom of navigation in the Baltic and is primarily a deterrent signal to Russia that seeks to dominate the region.
The JEF is a framework that provides a high-readiness intervention capability of over 10,000 personnel. Designed to be flexible and has utility across the full spectrum of military activities, from combat operations to humanitarian assistance and Defence Engagement. It was established following the signing of a Comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding in June 2018 by the UK and eight partner nations: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.