Why did the US destroyer come to Finland to ‘preserve security’ in the Baltic region?

Commander of the destroyer USS Gravely (DDG-107) Hunter Washburn said: “Every crew member on board understands the importance and privilege of visiting Finland during this historic moment. The United States will continue to work with our partners and allies, just as we have for 70 years now, and we look forward to building more partnerships now and in the future.”

Why did the US destroyer come to Finland to 'preserve security' in the Baltic region?  - first

US Navy ships to Finland to “preserve security” in the Baltic region. (Illustration)

The US Navy’s statement said that two US warships that have just been deployed to Finland, including the USS Gravely and the amphibious ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD-44), conducted “widespread operations with allies and partners in the Baltic Sea”especially with the Finnish and Swedish navies.

Mr. Washburn affirmed: “It is a pleasure for us to work alongside so many NATO allies and partners in the Baltic Sea. Every time we get on board with like-minded countries, we have the opportunity to enhance interoperability and stability in the region.”

Follow National Interestas the conflict in Ukraine strongly affects Europe, the US navy’s show of power certainly caught the attention of Russia and its NATO allies.

The USS Gunston Hall also took part in the Estonian exercise Siil 2022, known in English as Hedgehog. These drills “exercise battalion-level maneuvers and control amphibious operations to enhance allied interoperability in the Baltic region, with a focus on defensive maneuvers.”according to reports.

During Siil 2022, U.S. sailors and marines aboard the Gunston Hall participated in various training events with the Estonian Defense Forces, including shore operations and evacuation drills. mass casualties and rescues, as well as an amphibious assault on the island of Saaremaa, Estonia.

The US Navy’s visit to the Baltic Sea was made at a more “appropriate” time. When Ukraine was still in military conflict with Russia, both Sweden and Finland decided to apply to join the NATO alliance. This historic decision reverses the policy of the Swedish and Finnish governments nearly 80 years ago, and reflects the war between Russia and Ukraine that has completely reshaped the security landscape on the old continent.

The US Navy statement also said that the country was pleased about the strengthening of US-Finland relations and, through that, relations with Sweden. Both countries are said to bring important assets to the NATO alliance, including well-trained, well-equipped military forces and, in the case of Finland, the Russian experience.

“I look forward to Sweden and Finland joining NATO and see that we will really increase our maritime activities in the Baltic Sea.”US Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro told the defense subcommittee of the House of Representatives last month.

While it seems likely that both Sweden and Finland will join NATO, it will take a little push to get all NATO allies to agree to the move. Currently, Turkey has objected to Sweden’s membership because Stockholm supports the Kurdish PKK group, which Turkey considers a terrorist organization.

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