United Kingdom

The UK is tightening ties with Finland and the US during high-alert exercises

Location follows UK joint security declaration signed with Finland in May.

More than 750 troops from the UK, the US and Finland gathered in Niinisalo in western Finland this week to take part in a four-day high-level training exercise. Partner countries practiced air and ground force interoperability prior to Finland’s accession to NATO. This type of international training is critical to preparing allies to operate alongside each other should NATO deploy in the future.

Defense Minister James Hippie’s MP said.

Exercise Vigilant Fox demonstrated the strength and interoperability of our Armed Forces with our allies in the US and Finland and reaffirms our commitment to the defense and security of the Baltic Sea region.

British troops based in Estonia as part of Unified position of the project Royal Air Force Chinook helicopters flew to Finland. Troops from C Company, 2 Rifles Battlegroup moved into Niinisalo to join highly trained Finnish forces from the Jaegar, Karelian and Pori brigades. Soldiers, armored vehicles and helicopters of the US 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team (The Iron Brigade) also took part in the exercise.

Units from all three countries undertook a series of demanding training activities, conducting offensive and defensive operations, including helicopter attacks, stealth landings and short-notice attacks using US Black Hawks, Finnish NH-90s and UK Chinooks.

Such training improves integration between air and ground forces, as well as interoperability between partner nations, and is critical to ensuring that NATO forces can operate effectively in operations and in war.

As well as air-ground integration, the exercise focused on developing command and control procedures and tactical exercises using a combination of live and blank fire exercises and urban operations.

Colonel Jukka Nurmi, Deputy Chief of Training of the Finnish Defense Command, said:

Training events like Vigilant Fox are a great opportunity to learn from each other, and Finland is very grateful for the participation of international partners. For Finland, the exercise is an effective way to demonstrate the competence of our conscripts and to test and develop the international compatibility of our troops. Training and exercise activities with close partners, such as the United Kingdom, are a continuation of long-term close cooperation.

Steven Boyle, Defense Attaché of the British Embassy in Finland, said:

Our soldiers, sailors and airmen have received a warm welcome in Finland over the past few months. Exercise Vigilant Fox is the latest in a series of ongoing events at the ranges. As Finland moves towards full NATO membership, we will continue to look for such opportunities to show solidarity with Finland, learn from each other and improve our ability to act together.

This exercise comes just two weeks later RAF fighters were deployed to Finland and Sweden for joint training.

The UK is tightening ties with Finland and the US during high-alert exercises

SourceThe UK is tightening ties with Finland and the US during high-alert exercises

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