SIX warships will cruise into Liverpool on an extended weekend visit to the city.
The Nato task group will be under the leadership of Commander Piotr Sikora of the Polish Navy on the Polish Naval Command ship ORP Czernicki.
The six ships will all berth on Liverpool‚Äôs Cruise Terminal arriving at 9am on Friday and departing at around 10.30am next Tuesday.
The fleet is visiting Liverpool following an intensive two-week training period off Zeebrugge in Belgium before the group joins more than two dozen warships, 40 aircraft and troops from around the world for a major 11-day multi-national exercise ‚ÄòJoint Warrior‚Äô.
Skills such as counter piracy, narcotics and insurgency operations, mine countermeasures, electronic warfare training and tactical intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance are all included.
Angie Redhead, Liverpool Cruise Terminal manager, said: ‚ÄúWe are very much looking forward to welcoming this Nato Group to Liverpool, not only to this terminal but for the first time proving the versatility of this berth by double banking the vessels‚Äù.
Seven Nato navies contribute to Nato‚Äôs standing Response Force on a regular basis ‚Äì with Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway providing ships continuously.
On this visit ORP Czernicki from Poland is accompanied by HNLMS Urk from the Netherlands,
BNS Bellis from Belgium, ORP Czajka also from Poland, FGS Wilheim from Germany and HNOMS Hinnoey from Norway. Squadron Liaison Officer, Lieut-enant Comm-ander Paolo Pezzola of the Italian Navy said: ‚ÄúIt is really exciting for us and for some this will be the first time we visit England.
‚ÄúWe are really looking forward to visiting the heart of Liverpool, the home of The Beatles.
‚ÄúBecause we are preparing for the big exercise we are not able to invite the general public onboard but we will be pleased to welcome some organised tours on the Sunday including the Mersey Naval and Maritime Society and the World Ship Society‚Äù.