US sailors and marines aboard the San Antonio-class amphibious assault ship USS Arlington (LPD 24) arrived in Sweden amid a “Russian threat”.
The US Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed a resolution approving Finland and Sweden’s requests to join NATO, a victory for the West and a blow for Vladimir Putin.
Russian news agencies quoted Putin as saying he would not rule out the possibility that tensions would arise in Moscow’s relations with Helsinki and Stockholm when they join NATO.
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The US warship organized a visit to the port of Stockholm to show its commitment to the interests of allies and partners amid Russia’s warnings.
The USS Arlington (LPD 24), part of the Kearsarge Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG), arrived in Stockholm, Sweden for a scheduled port visit, August 5, 2022.
Arlington, with members of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), is operating in the Baltic Sea to strengthen relationships with NATO allies and partners and to conduct operations in the Baltic Sea. combined training and security-theatrical cooperation. This marks the first time Arlington has operated in the Baltic Sea since departing for deployment earlier this year, as well as the first time ARG-MEU has fully assembled in the Baltic.
“We look forward to regrouping as a three-ship ARG-MEU while operating in the Baltics,” said Captain Eric Kellum, commanding officer for Arlington. “The Sailors and Marines are especially excited to visit Sweden on our first port visit in the Baltics, as we are committed to our NATO allies and partners in the region.”
Arlington entered the Baltic Sea after months of operations across European and African waters, including one bilateral exercise and three multinational exercises, as well as four scheduled port calls in Greece, Turkey, Tunisia and Croatia. These exercises include Alexander the Great with Greece, EFES with Turkey and African Lion on the north coast of Africa. The ship completed mid-trip repairs in July at Rijeka, Croatia.
“This is the first opportunity that the Marines aboard the Arlington have visited the Baltic,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Myette, MEU 22’s operating officer aboard the Arlington. “We look forward to enjoying the same hospitality that our Marines aboard other ships have enjoyed before when deployed. Sweden is an important partner and this is a great opportunity for the Marines to experience some of its rich cultures before we continue training with our allies and partners in the region. area. “
While in Sweden, Arlington Sailors and Marines will explore the historically and culturally significant city of Stockholm, learning about its culture through tours of the Stockholm Old Town Walk and Stockholm’s Must Sees. The troupe will also be able to tour Stockholm Craft Beer and Swedish Pop Wonders.
The 22nd Kearsarge ARG and MEU were commissioned under the command and control of Task Force 61/2. In addition to Arlington, the ARG includes the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) and the Whidbey Island-class amphibious assault ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44).
When Arlington docked in Stockholm, Kearsarge was on a visit to Helsinki, Finland, and Gunston Hall visited Tallinn, Estonia. These port visits demonstrate the United States’ commitment to working with key NATO allies and partners to maintain security and stability in the Baltic Sea region.
Commands starting with Kearsarge ARG include SIX Amphibious Squadron, MEU 22, 2nd Fleet Surgical Squadron, 4th Fleet Surgical Squadron, 22 Tactical Air Control Squadron, Marine Helicopter Squadron 22, 28 Sea Helicopter Squadron, 2nd Assault Unit, 4th Assault Unit, 2nd Naval Beach Group, and 2nd Beach Captain’s Unit.
Amphibious readiness groups and larger amphibious task forces provide military commanders with a wide range of flexibility including maritime security operations, expeditionary power projection, and strike operations. forward naval presence, crisis response, sea control, deterrence, counterterrorism, information operations, security cooperation and counter-proliferation, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief disaster.
For more than 80 years, US Naval Forces Europe-US Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has built strategic relationships with our Allies and Partners, leveraging the shared values to maintain security and stability.