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Army to train nearly 20,000 soldiers this spring

Publication date 16.4.2024 9.00
Press release
sotilaita liikumassa kuvaajasta poispäin metsässä

Army training and exercise activity will be conducted across Finland between the end of April and the beginning of June. The Army will be training in extensive force entities and developing the capacity for bilateral and multilateral joint operations with the Allies.

This spring, the exercises will be participated on an exercise-by-exercise basis by conscripts, reservists, and service personnel from the Army brigade-level units, other services, and from the Finnish Border Guard. Additionally, a significant number of soldiers from the nations of the Alliance will participate in training the defence of Finland. The number of international participants and equipment to a specific exercise will vary during April-June depending on the exercises’ training themes.

International training and exercise activity will start by the Armoured Brigade -led mechanised exercise Arrow 24 at the Pohjankangas firing range and training area in Niinisalo during 26.4.-14.5. The majority of the c. 2,600 participants will be conscripts. Alongside the Armoured Brigade, the exercise will be participated by troops from the Karelia Brigade, Utti Jaeger Regiment, Jaeger Brigade, Pori Brigade, Army Academy, Finnish Defence Forces’ C5 Agency, and 2. Logistics Regiment. Altogether up to 300 of the participants will be Allies from the UK, Latvia, and Estonia. Apart from developing the Alliance’s mechanised troops’ operating, the exercise will also enhance joint operating by means of close air support as the AH-64E attack helicopters from the UK introduce a new air element to the annual exercise at Pohjankangas.

Inspector of Air Defence -led air defence exercise Adex 1/24 will be held at Lohtaja during 14.-23.5. The exercise will be participated by c. 1,700 soldiers from the Air Force Academy, Karelia Brigade, Armoured Brigade, Jaeger Brigade, Utti Jaeger Regiment, Army Academy, Defence Command subordinated establishments, and from the Border Guard. Approximately 50 per cent of the participants will be conscripts. Of the Allied nations, Germany will participate in the exercise by the strength of c. 250 soldiers and equipment. 

The Guard Jaeger Regiment -led Sapeli 1/24 (Scimitar 24) will be held in Uusimaa during 27.-31.5. The exercise of c. 4,800 personnel will also be participated by troops from the Armoured Brigade, Pori Brigade, and Utti Jaeger Regiment. During the exercise, helicopter flight activity will be conducted in Uusimaa.

The Karelia Brigade -led Repo 24 will be held in Kymenlaakso during 27.5.-31.5.2024. The exercise will be participated by c. 2,100 personnel, some of whom will be from the Army Academy and Border Guard.

The regional artillery exercise ALTAH Pohjoinen 24 (LIST) will be held at Rovajärvi during 13.-25.5. Led by the Kainuu Brigade -led, the c. 1,500-personnel-strong exercise will also be participated by troops from the Jaeger Brigade, Pori Brigade, Armoured Brigade, the Navy and the US Armed Forces. The US will control artillery fires in the exercise.

This spring, international training and exercise activity will culminate in Northern Forest 24 at the area of Rovajärvi during 26.-31.5. The most substantial national exercise of the Defence Forces in the early summer will be participated by around 4,500 Finnish, 2,000 U.S. and 400 Norwegian soldiers. The U.S. forces are participating in the exercise as part of the Immediate Response 24 exercise, which is a part of USAREUR-AF’s Defender and NATO’s Steadfast Defender exercise series. From the Finnish Defence Forces, the exercise will be participated by the Kainuu Brigade that leads the exercise, and Jaeger Brigade, Utti Jaeger Regiment, Defence Command subordinated establishments, and Border Guard.

During the spring, the Army will participate on a small scale in the exercise Brave Beduin held in Denmark on 21.- 25.4.2024.

International helicopter flight activity in Army exercises

During 24 April – 7 June 2024, helicopters from the UK and the USA will participate in Army training and exercise activity. Helicopter flight activity will be conducted in southern and northern Finland with its main focus on the Finnish Defence Forces’ training areas.
Helicopter flight activity will be attached to Army comprehensive combined training in the exercises led by the Kainuu Brigade, Karelia Brigade, Armoured Brigade, Guard Jaeger Regiment, and Utti Jaeger Regiment.

The training detachment of the UK will include altogether nine AH-64E Apache helicopters in total. During their stay in Finland, the helicopters will rely on the Utti Jaeger Regiment in Utti, Kouvola, and on the Satakunta Air Wing in Pirkkala. Additionally, Army training and exercise activity will also be participated by CH-47 Chinook and AW159 Wildcat helicopters from the UK that will rely on Estonia.

The US training detachment will include five UH-60 Blackhawk, three CH-47 Chinook, and three HH-60 helicopters that will rely on the Rovaniemi base.

The Finns will operate NH90 and MD500 helicopter fleet equipment in the exercises. 

- Defence capability nationally and for the purposes of the Alliance’s joint needs will be set up by joint planning and training, and by regular joint operating. Finland’s defence system is based on competent and committed liability for military service. Through joining the Alliance, competences of the well-trained reserve will continue to be developed and deepened by multinational exercises, says Army ACOS Readiness, Colonel Kari Kaakinen.

The arrival of international training audience troops and equipment in Finland will be phased. The brigade-level units will publish releases on the given exercises that they lead in more detail before the set start.