Finnish and Allied Fighter Jets Join Forces in Baltic Skies for Training Exercises


Finnish fighter jets and Allied aircraft recently participated in a NATO training exercise over the Baltic skies, marking a crucial step towards increasing interoperability between the Finnish Air Force and NATO member states. The exercise involved Finnish F/A-18s and up to 20 Allied fighter jets, including French Rafales, US F-15s, Dutch F-35s, Estonian L-39s, and Eurofighters from the joint British and German detachment.

The exercise focused on practising air-to-air refuelling capabilities, tactics, and procedures, which are critical for air operations that require extended air time. The German air-to-air refuellers supported the aircraft, providing a safe and efficient means of extending the range of the fighter jets.

With Finland preparing to become a full member of NATO, exercises like this help familiarise the country's air force with Allied tactics and techniques. The Finnish Air Force has regularly participated in NATO exercises across the Alliance, demonstrating its commitment to working alongside NATO member states.

The training exercise allows both Allied aircraft and Finnish aircraft to operate effectively together in the air domain. This increased cooperation and interoperability will help to strengthen the security of the Baltic region, which has seen increased military activity since the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014.

The exercise took place on March 29, 2023, and was a success in enhancing the ability of Allied and Finnish aircraft to work together in the air domain. The footage of the exercise shows Finnish F/A-18s flying alongside a German air-to-air refueller Airbus A400M Atlas, and includes soundbites from Wing Commander Scott Maccoll, Commanding Officer of the UK Royal Air Force 140th Expeditionary Air Wing.

Overall, this exercise highlights the importance of cooperation and interoperability between Allied and partner air forces, particularly in the context of the evolving security situation in the Baltic region. With Finland set to become a full member of NATO, it is crucial to continue building trust and cooperation with the country's air force.

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