Norway-led Arctic Challenge Exercise 2015 Starts

A NATO aircraft participating in Arctic Challenge Exercise 2015.
A NATO aircraft participating in Arctic Challenge Exercise 2015.

The Arctic Challenge Exercise 2015 is now underway. Led by Norway, the exercise is aimed at conducting fighter aircraft drills from 24 May and 5 June.

The training exercise will take place in the High North, with the activity being divided between Bodø in Norway, Rovaniemi in Finland, and Kallax in Sweden.

“The aim is to exercise and train units in the orchestration and conduct of complex air operations, in close relations to NATO partners. The unique cross border air space makes ACE 2015 a one of a kind training ground for increasing interoperability and skills in all parts of the chain,” exercise director Brig. Gen. Jan Ove Rygg said, as quoted by the official website of Norwegian Armed Forces.

Norwegian F-16 taking part in the Arctic Challenge Exercise 2015
Norwegian F-16 taking part in the Arctic Challenge Exercise 2015

Nearly 100 aircraft will take part in the Arctic Challenge Exercise 2015. The second edition of the exercise comes two years after the creation of the drills in 2013.

Two flight periods will be conducted on a daily basis. The first one will focus on training units from the same airbase in the surrounding airspace. The second will partake in Swedish airspace and will involve all participating aircraft for composite air operations.

The following information are courtesy of the Norwegian Armed Forces website.

Participating Flying Forces
Force A/C Type

No

Base
Finnish Air Force F-18F-18

12

4

Rovaniemi
Swedish Air Force JAS-39 CJAS-39 CASC-890C-130 AARNH-90/SuperPuma

12

6

1

1

1

KallaxRovaniemiKallaxKallaxKallax
Royal Norwegian Air Force F-16 MLUDA-20?

12

1

BodøBodø
Royal Air Force Tornado GR-4HawkDA-20 (Cobham)Voyager AAR

8

4

2

1

BodøKallaxKallaxBrize Norton
German Air Force EurofighterMRTT AARPC-9 (GfD)Learjet (GfD)

12

1

1

2

BodøBodøKallaxBodø
US Air Force F-16 CG 12 Kallax
French Air Force Mirage 2000 8 Rovaniemi
Swiss Air Force F/A-18 8 Kallax
NATO AWACS E-3 2 FOL Ørland
Royal Netherlands Air Force KDC-10 1 Ørland

Although most of the countries are NATO allies, three countries who are not are taking part in the Arctic Challenge Exercise 2015 — Finland, Sweden and Switzerland.

Other participating forces:
Force Type No Location
Finland JDLOCCRCJTAC   Bodø/Jokkmokk
Sweden JDLOCCRCJTAC

2

Jokkmokk
Norway NAOCNAOC repJDLOCCRCArmyJTAC   ReitanKallax/Rovaniemi   Bodø/Setermoen
Great Britain JTACCRC Personnel

2

4

Jokkmokk
Germany JTACGLO NAOCCRC personnel

2

1

3

Bodø/JokkmokkReitanRovaniemi
The Netherlands CRC PersonnelL-16 Management Cell

6

1

RovaniemiRovaniemi

Last April, the defense ministers of Sweden, Finland, Norway and Danemark, along with the foreign minister of Iceland, published a joint declaration claiming a closer cooperation of their northern military to counter “Russian aggression.”

The Arctic Challenge Exercise 2015 will prove very useful to improve the units’ interoperability with non-NATO members.

 

 

 

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Jonathan Wade, CD

Jonathan Wade is the director of the ‘The Sentinel Analytical Group’ and a decorated veteran of the Canadian Forces. Specialized in tactical, strategic, intelligence and geopolitics analysis, Jonathan has a fondness for technical details. His military experience brought him valuable insight on the realities of conflicts and war. A combat veteran of Afghanistan, Jonathan brings in in-theatre experience. Jonathan writes about Russia, Canada and Arctic.