Finland hosting over 40 vessels for exercise Northern Coasts

Finland will be hosting a total of 4,000 personnel and over 40 vessels for this year’s edition of the Baltic Sea drill Northern Coasts 2018 (NOCO).

This will be the third time Finland is hosting the German Navy-led international exercise.

According to the Finnish defense ministry, NOCO18 will involve surface vessels and aircraft from Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the United States and Germany.

Drills will mostly be conducted in the Archipelago Sea, the Northern Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland.

Taking place between October 25 and November 8, Northern Coasts will overlap with another major international exercise, the NATO-led Trident Juncture which will be hosted by Norway.

A Finnish Navy spokesperson has confirmed that the NOCO18 and Trident Juncture will be completely separate exercises with command structures of their own.

The Finnish Navy contribution to Trident Juncture will be an amphibious task unit from the Uusimaa Brigade, the spokesperson added.

Northern Coasts is a recurring exercise which has been taking place in the Baltic Sea since 2007. It is aimed at developing skills in maritime surveillance, anti-surface, anti-air, anti-submarine and mine counter-measures. the 2017 edition was hosted by Sweden and saw the participation of over 50 vessels and 20 aircraft.

Navy ships taking part in the drill are scheduled to arrive in Turku on October 25 and will be open to visitors over the weekend before maneuvers start on Monday, October 29.

Photo: Finnish Navy photo of ships sailing in formation during Northern Coasts 2014