HELSINKI – Adm. Stuart B. Munsch, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) and Allied Joint Forces Command (JFC) Naples, visited Helsinki, Jan. 24-26, 2024.
The go to was hosted by Lt. Gen. Vesa Virtanen, Chief of Protection Command Finland, to debate Finland’s navy integration into NATO and the function they play in assembly at the moment’s dynamic safety surroundings.
“Finland becoming a member of NATO advances the Alliance’s skill to fulfill at the moment’s international safety issues and promotes stability all through Europe,” mentioned Munsch. “Collectively, alongside NATO, we’re comitted to collective protection that helps peace and safety within the area. Our energy lies in our unity, which has by no means been better than it’s at the moment.”
Finland integration into the collective protection technique follows Finland formally turning into the thirty first member of NATO in April 2023, marking a significant shift within the safety panorama in northeastern Europe and on NATO’s japanese flank by almost doubling its current border.
“The Alliance’s 360-degree strategy allows assembly and getting ready for a mess of threats,” mentioned Virtanen. “Adm. Munsch’s evaluation of the safety scenario additional confirmed for us the significance of cooperation and information-sharing in advancing and sustaining safety and stability.”
The go to additionally included a chance to fulfill with the Finnish Navy’s coastal brigade to showcase their capabilities in Arctic circumstances.
“This time of yr gives us a wonderful alternative to showcase the versatile capabilities of the Finnish Navy in Arctic circumstances for our American guests,” mentioned Rear Adm. Toumas Tiilikainen, Finnish Commander of the Naval Forces.
Moreover, Munsch met with Esa Pulkkinen, Finnish Ministry of Protection Everlasting Secretary and Gen. Timo Kivinen, Finnish Chief of Protection, to debate Finland’s interoperability amongst associate nations within the Baltic Sea.
Furthering their integration with associate nations, Finland is scheduled to take part in BALTOPS 24 later this yr after not too long ago finishing Train Freezing Winds in November 2023, marking the primary main naval train with Finland as a part of NATO.
As a NATO operational headquarters for Southern Europe, JFC Naples leads multinational battlegroups in Romania and Bulgaria, missions in Iraq with the NATO Mission Iraq, and in Kosovo with the Kosovo Drive.
For greater than 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has cast strategic relationships with our Allies and companions, leveraging a basis of shared values to protect safety and stability.
Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces within the U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command areas of duty. U.S. sixth Fleet is completely assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF and employs maritime forces by means of the complete spectrum of joint and naval operations.