Thousands of troops prepare for war games in Finland’s Arctic

Air defense radar. (iStock)
Air defense radar. (iStock)
Nearly 5,000 troops will descend on Finnish Lapland from Tuesday for a two-week series of military exercises – the largest annual set of manoeuvres in Finland. The drills will involve thousands of conscripts as well as Defence Force staff and close to 1,000 military vehicles.

The troops will begin deploying in Rovajärvi in Lapland from Tuesday and Wednesday ahead of the formal start of the exercises on Thursday. Meanwhile military vehicles will move between Ranua and Rovaniemi as well as between Tervola and Rovaniemi. The war games are due to wrap up on June 5.

Apart from conscripts and senior officers the war games will involve tanks, artillery and anti-tank weapons. The participating troops hail from the artillery brigade, the tank brigade, the communications unit and brigades from Kainuu, Karelia, Pori, Uti and Uusimaa as well as Army Academy and the specialist arctic unit, the Jaeger Brigade.

The Rovajärvi firing range is the largest war and firearms training area in Western Europe.

Related stories from around the Arctic:

Canada: Military exercises underway in Arctic Canada, CBC News

Finland: Finnish defence minister demands extra cash for military, Yle News

Sweden: Finland and Sweden tighten defence co-operation, Yle News

Russia:  Russia’s Putin rattles military sabre over Canada’s claim to North Pole, The Canadian Press

United States:  U.S. Military panel: Climate change policy impacts national security, Alaska Dispatch

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