Arctic Challenge Exercise 2021: Finland, Sweden, Norway, US Start Joint Air Force Drills

Air forces of Finland, Sweden, Norway, and the US begin the Arctic Challenge Exercise 2021 (ACE) on Monday, according to the Finnish army.

The Arctic Challenge Exercise (ACE), organized by Finland, Sweden, and Norway, is scheduled to be held from June 7-18, 2021 on the Rovaniemi airbase in Finland, Norway’s Bodo base, and Swedish base Lulea.

F A-18 Hornet Usmc United States - Free photo on Pixabay
F A-18 Hornet United States

This year’s edition of the drills is headed by the Finnish forces with a limited number of participants due to the coronavirus pandemic. Held every two years, ACE is one of Europe’s largest tactical air exercises.

The US Marine Corps detachment consisting of 250 marines includes ten F/A-18 Hornet multirole combat jets, from the 115th Marine Fighter Strike Squadron, and 1-2 KC-130 tankers and transport aircraft of the Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 452.

The squadron’s visit is part of bilateral defense cooperation between Finland and the United States.

Arctic Challenge Exercise 2021

As earlier reported by the EurAsian Times, Finland, Norway and Sweden were to host Arctic Challenge Exercise 2021 from 7 to 18 June 2021. The Arctic Challenge 21 drills were foreshortened due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Arctic Challenge Exercise 2021 (ACE 21) is the fifth of its kind that Finland, Norway and Sweden have organized collectively. The drills held every second year since 2013 is this time is driven by the Norwegian Air Force that is accountable for the planning of drills.

The objective of the drills is to train participating forces to conduct different jets combat in large composite air operations (COMAO) safely and efficiently. The drills strive to promote air combat methods and tactics between divergent aircraft.