Nordic nations to hone air combat skills over Finnish Lapland

Finnish Air Force F/A-18 Hornet fighters, such as this one pictured here in 2015 in Rovaniemi, will take part in a joint exercise with Norwegian and Swedish fighters in late June. (Kaisa Siren/Lehtikuva/Reuters)
The last week of June will be noisy along Europe’s eastern border to Russia with exercises both in Finland and in the Baltic.

In the north, Rovaniemi Air Base will host Arctic Fighter Meet 2018, an exercise involving Finland, Norway and Sweden. Four F-16 from Bodø Air Base will enter Finnish airspace. So will four Gripen from Luleå Air Base. Finland participates with four F/A-18 Hornet and two Hawk training jets.

The exercise, aimed at facilitate for young combat pilots to fly air-to-air combat missions with international participation takes place from June 25 to 29, the Finnish Air Force informs.

Arctic Fighter Meet has been organized regularly since 2003 and is part of the Nordic defense cooperation and helps the pilots readiness to perform cross-border air-to-air operations.

Another exercise in Southern Finland

Combat flight trainings the same week will also involve another set of Norwegian and Swedish fighter jets over Finnish air space. NATO’s Ramstein Alloy 2018 exercise kicks off on June 26 and will last for three days in the airspace over southern Finland and the Baltic area. Additional to the Nordic fighter jets, participating aircraft come from from Estonia, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Poland, Lithuania, Spain and Portugal.

This is the second Ramstein Alloy exercise this year. The first one took place in April drilling NATO and partners capability and interoperability in Baltic airspace.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canada extends air defence monitoring zone to entire Canadian Arctic, Radio Canada International

Denmark: Denmark’s new defence agreement renews focus on protecting the Baltic, Radio Canada International

Finland: As Finnish Air Force seeks new fighters, expert weighs options, Yle News

Norway: Hundreds of U.S. Marines to train in Northern Norway, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russian troops undertake exploration of large Arctic island, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden issues first brochure on war and crisis preparedness since Cold War, Radio Sweden

United States: American fighter jets intercept Russian bombers outside Alaska, Alaska Public Media

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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