Finnish Air Force Joins Nordic Air Meet 2012 over Northern Sweden
The Swedish Air Force hosts a combined live exercise dubbed Nordic Air Meet 2012 in the airspace of Northern Sweden on 27 August to 7 September. The Finnish Air Force’s contribution to the event will be eight Hornet multi-role fighters. Tanker aircraft of the United States Air Force will also be involved, operating out of the Rovaniemi airfield.
Nordic Air Meet (NOAM) is a combined live air exercise, arranged on an annual basis. This year’s event will see the participation of sixty-five aircraft from the air services of six nations. In addition to the Swedish and Finnish air forces, Denmark, United Kingdom, Switzerland, and the United States will send a contingent to the event. Exercise flying will take place in Swedish airspace between 9.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. daily.
NOAM 2012 also serves the Over Border Training scheme established between the Swedish and Finnish air forces. Under the umbrella of this arrangement, units from the two services mount regular live training events in the airspace of one of the partner nations while flying out of airfields within the own nation’s territory. The scheme is an element in a wider cooperation arrangement between the Nordic countries known by the acronym NORDEFCO.
Finnish Hornets earmarked for the exercise will be based in Rovaniemi and Halli near the town of Jämsä in Central Finland. The air force contingent will number around eighty service members, of which sixty are active duty airmen with the remainder twenty being conscripts doing their military service. The latter will be assigned a range of duties in support of flight operations, air control, and aircraft maintenance.
Foreign exercise detachments will base their fighters in Kallax and Vidsel in Northern Sweden while tanker aircraft belonging to the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) will operate from Rovaniemi. The tankers will enable pilots to maintain their air-to-air refueling qualifications and practise air-to-air refueling as a contributor to operational missions. A maximum of two tankers will be involved in the exercise.
More information on the exercise is available at the event’s home pages.