Tag: Defence Forces

Finnish Ruska 17 and Baana 17 exercises taking place in October

The Finnish Air Force (FINAF) will conduct the Ruska 17 air operations exercise between 9 and 13 October.

More than 60 aircraft and approximately 4,500 personnel will take part in it.

In addition to the Finnish Defence Forces’ troops, aircraft and personnel of the Swedish Air Force will also participate in the exercise both as part of the forces practising air defence tasks and in the role of opposing forces. In the week preceding Ruska 17, between 2 and 6 October, the Baana 17 live air exercise will take place at the road base situated in the North Savonian locality of Vieremä. The road base will be used in both of these exercises.

The Ruska air operations exercise is FINAF’S largest military exercise in 2017, in terms of number of troops involved in the training. The objective of the annual Ruska exercises is to train the Finnish Defence Forces’ personnel, conscripts and reservists for carrying out air defence tasks under emergency conditions, with consideration to all its aspects.

Ruska 17 will feature approximately 4,500 Defence Forces personnel, conscripts and reservists. FINAF will dispatch more than 30 Hornet multirole fighters and 14 Hawk jet trainers along with transport and liaison aircraft to take part in the exercise missions, to be joined by NH90 helicopters of the Finnish Army.

Finnish army NH-90

The Swedish Air Force will participate with eight Gripen multirole fighters along with an Argus airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft. The Swedish aircraft will be involved both as part of the troops practising air defence tasks and in the role of opposing forces.

Saab JAS 39 Gripen’s of the Swedish Air Force

2016 was the first year when the Finnish and Swedish Air Forces participated in each other’s air operations exercises. In that year, the two Air Forces took part in the Ruska 16 and Flygvapenövning (FVÖ) 16 exercises in the role of opponents of the Host Nation troops that were practising air defence tasks. Ruska 17 will see the first-ever involvement of Swedish Air Force troops as part of the Finnish Defence Forces’ strength practising air defence tasks. In this year’s September, FINAF Hornets participated in the Aurora 17 exercise of the Swedish Armed Forces in a corresponding role.

The Ruska exercise missions will be flown out of the FINAF bases at Rissala, Pirkkala, Tikkakoski and Rovaniemi, bases to be established for temporary deployments at the airports of Oulunsalo, Halli and Kokkola-Pietarsaari and the road base at Vieremä that will already be set up for the Baana 17 exercise taking place in the preceding week. Furthermore, Kallax Air Base in Sweden will also be used in the exercise by participating Swedish Air Force troops.

Area of operations and operating bases in Ruska 17 air operations exercise.

The operations in Ruska 17 will be conducted on a 24-hour basis, with the flight operations scheduled between 8 am and 11 pm on each exercise day. The flight missions will mainly be carried out in an area bordering on Pirkkala, Kuopio, Lieksa, Kuusamo, Rovaniemi, Sodankylä, Oulunsalo and Vaasa in Finland along with Kallax in Sweden. They will also take place in the airspace over the Gulf of Bothnia and in the Cross Border training areas shared by the Finnish and Swedish forces, located west of Rovaniemi. There will be troops moving on foot and in vehicles around the bases for the purpose of combat exercises. Additionally, participating ground based air defence units will operate in the training area at Lohtaja.

Baana 17 exercise at Vieremä between 2 and 6 October

Karelia Air Command will carry out the Baana 17 live air exercise between 2 and 6 October as a separate event associated with Ruska 17. The Vieremä road base located on main road no. 88 will be taken into use for the exercise and will continue to be used during the Ruska exercise until 13 October.

A Finnish Air Force BAE Hawk Mk 51

The objective of Baana 17 is to conduct both dual and solo operations based on flight training syllabi from military aerodromes under various weather conditions. Two to four FINAF Hornet multirole fighters and a number of Gripens from the Swedish Air Force will take part in it. The exercise missions will be flown from the Vieremä and Rissala bases on 4 and 5 October between 9 am and 11 pm and on 6 October between 9 am and 4.30 pm.


Suomen Ilmavoimat


Aurora 17 – Joint training is a necessity

The aim of the Finnish troops participating the Exercise Aurora 17 held in Sweden has been to enhance defensive readiness, capability and interoperability of the troops.

The main body of the Finnish troops participating the exercise in Gotland will return to Finland during the weekend.

The exercises like Aurora 17, which are increasing international interoperability and cooperation, are suitable for fulfilling the obligates of the Finnish Defence Force’s (FDF) new third statutory task.

For the Finnish Army, the increasing bilateral defence cooperation with Sweden aims to enhance combined training activities in order to arrange combined exercises more often in the near future, even carrying out the exercise drill at the battalion level.

Lieutenant Colonel Tapio Huhtamella from Pori Brigade, who has been in charge of the Finnish troops in the Gotland part of the Exercise Aurora 17, assesses that Finnish troops have reached their training objectives.

– Our conscripts have shown excellent field proficiency and capability in the exercise, he states.

The exercise has accumulated experience for example manoeuvring troops, combined command and different procedures. Especially the demanding conditions and terrain challenged the troops.

– This exercise has shown that the training and capability of the Swedish and Finnish troops are on good level. We applied the basic battle procedures in the challenging conditions.

– Only in couple of days we were able to train a combined battle group that was capable of conducting combined operations, Huhtamella points.

Huhtamella sees that international exercises have an important role in enhancing the interoperability.

– Provision and reception of international assistance is nowadays one of Finnish Defence Forces’ statutory tasks. Training with international troops both abroad and in Finland is an effecting way to develop and maintain this ability.

The Finnish contribution is appreciated

The Aurora 17 is an international exercise led by Swedish Armed Forces. In addition to Finns, there have been several other nations participating the exercise.

– From our national perspective, this is extremely large military exercise. The Finnish contribution has been important and we will do our best to ensure that cooperation will increase in the future, the Swedish Deputy Commander of the Gotland part of the Exercise Aurora 17, Colonel Thomas Karlsson said.

Colonel Thomas Karlsson being interviewed by Swedish television



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Baltic Post.


Estonian military to accept invitation of Belarus to attend Zapad

Chief of General Staff of the Estonian Defence Forces Riho Terras

Estonia will accept the invitation by Belarus to send observers to the Zapad military drill to be jointly held by Russian and Belarusian armed forces this September, the Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces has stated.

Estonian public broadcaster ERR reports that the Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces General Riho Terras has said this week in an interview with Eesti Päevaleht newspaper that Zapad exercises have taken place for decades already, also during the Soviet times.

Terras noted that this summer, Belarus and Russia have already conducted preparatory joint exercises testing communications in July and currently a demonstrative drill is taking place in Pskov, not far from Estonia and Latvia.

«It is important that we know what is going on. (..) That we know in detail what is going on, that we keep track of it and be prepared. But we must also be prepared when exercises aren’t being conducted. I don’t think that anything will occur in the framework of field exercises which could spill over to our side or which we will tangibly be able to see,» ERR cited Terras as evaluating in the interview.


Commander of the Finnish Defence Forces and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence to visit the United States

General Jarmo Lindberg, Commander of the Finnish Defence Forces.


The Commander of the Finnish Defence Forces, General Jarmo Lindberg, and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, Jukka Juusti, will be paying a working visit to the USA from 5 – 9 June 2017. The joint working visit will be hosted by the Finnish Office of the Defence in Washington, D.C.

During their visit, General Lindberg and Permanent Secretary Juusti will meet the Finnish Ambassador to the United States, representatives of the US defence administration and military leadership of the armed forces. During their visit they will also be familiarised with topical issues at the UN Headquarters in New York, where they will meet official leadership of the Headquarters and Permanent Representative of Finland to the UN, Kai Sauer. As part of their visit, General Lindberg and Permanent Secretary Juusti will also attend a reception arranged on the occasion of the Flag Day of the Finnish Defence Forces in Washington, D.C.

In addition to staff from the Finnish Office of the Defence, also the Chief of Staff of Navy Command Finland, Commodore Timo Hirvonen and ADC to the Commander of the Finnish Defence Forces, Major Timo Ronkainen will take part in the visit.