Ten European countries are joining forces to better protect their vital infrastructure at sea. This was revealed at the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) ministerial meeting on 13 June at the Marine Etablissement Amsterdam.

In a joint statement, the ministers agreed to more actively share their intelligence and monitoring information on maritime threats. This will give the countries a better common picture. They will also better coordinate their maritime presence. Moreover, joint exercises will pay more attention to protecting critical infrastructure, both at sea and under water.

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Cables, pipelines and wind farms

Dutch Minister of Defence Kajsa Ollongren: ‘Our vital undersea infrastructure is increasingly becoming a target. We have seen many examples of this in recent months. Think of the Nord Stream sabotage. Or the Russian ships that mapped wind turbines in the North Sea. Nationally and internationally, together with industry and other armed forces, we need to step up our efforts. In order to better protect our cables, pipelines and wind farms. It is very important that we have made this agreement with the Northern European countries.’

A scenario was also used to practice how JEF countries should deal with possible incidents and threats. The scenario was structured from a peacetime incident to a crisis with a role for NATO.

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The JEF is a military alliance, set up to complement NATO. It can carry out various military activities. The JEF focuses primarily on Northern Europe. It covers the area from the North Atlantic region in the west to the High North and the Baltic Sea region in the east. The United Kingdom chairs it. Other countries participating are: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

Picture: The Joint Expeditionary Force in assembly.

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