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USS Kearsarge docks in Helsinki: More than 2.5 football fields long

The 257-metre amphibious assault ship ties up in Helsinki's Hernesaari harbour until Monday.

The USS Kearsarge will dock in Helsinki until Monday. Image: Susanna Pesonen / Yle

The US Navy's amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge has arrived for its port visit in the Hernesaari harbour in southern Helsinki.

The visit coincides the same week as the US Senate's ratification of Finland's bid to join Nato.

There are no public visits or presentations arranged for the ship, according to a press release from the Finnish Navy. However, for those curious, it can be viewed from Hernesaari island.

The USS Kearsarge is a 257-metre Wasp-class amphibious assault ship. It is larger in size than the typical cruise ships and ferries that frequently dock in Helsinki. The MS Silja Symphony, which cruises between Helsinki and Stockholm, is 203 metres long. The recently christened MS Viking Glory is 223 metres long.

In addition to the crew of the USS Kearsarge, an additional 2,000 US sailors and Marines. As part of the ship's role in amphibious assault operations, it carries onboard V-22 Osprey aircraft, helicopters and smaller landing crafts.

Yhdysvaltain laivaston maihinnousutukialus USS Kearsarge Helsingin Hernesaaressa. Image: Susanna Pesonen / Yle

The enormous 257-metre warship will moor in Helsinki until Monday. After that, it will move to the Hanko area to train with the Finnish Navy. The USS Arlington, USS Gunston Hall, and several units from the United States Marine Corps will also join the USS Kearsarge in the Batlic Sea exercises with Finland.

According to the Finnish Navy's press release, the aim of the exercises is to develop the cooperation and compatibility between the navies and marines of the US and Finland. Finland is also aiming to bolster its ability to provide host country support.