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Combat Exercise Northern Forest 23 will end on Friday

ArmyArmy AcademyJaeger BrigadeKainuu Brigade
Publication date 1.6.2023 12.28
Press release

The combat phase of the exercise Northern Forest 23 will end on Thursday and the troops will head back to their respective garrisons.

Exercises Lightning Strike 23 and Northern Forest 23 – the two exercises conducted back-to-back in Rovajärvi – have enhanced the personnel’s capability to execute a multinational exercise, and the exercise troops’ ability to receive international assistance. 

The set, broader objectives were achieved as expected in both of the exercises but a few concrete cases to develop were also found in the interoperability.

- We Finns are able to use fires effectively on the tactical level, and it is something to be proud of and worth demonstrating for our allies and partners. We have a very good capability for supporting engaged units with fires within minutes of a request. The exercise conducted now showed that we have acquired materiel and developed our procedures to be interoperable with our allied forces, Director of the exercise, Colonel Janne Mäkitalo says. 

- The exercise troops should familiarize one another to the secrets of their combat techniques before the exercise, so that predicting each other’s actions becomes easier in the combat phase. It’s great that we get to further develop our interoperability in the up-coming exercises while strengthening the stability and safety in the Nordics and Europe, Mäkitalo continues.

In peak time, approximately 4300 conscripts and 1800 reservists participated in the exercises Lightning Strike 23 and Northern Forest 23. Exercise Northern Forest 23 was also the closing battle for the conscripts participating in the exercise before they muster out on 15 June.

The exercise troops’ exit from Rovajärvi will be done in phases mainly during 1 and 2 June. That is when the Finnish Defence Forces’ vehicles will be visible in traffic especially on the road Kantatie 82 and on the roads leading towards Sodankylä and Kajaani from Rovajärvi. The soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division will continue their way from Rovajärvi to Kajaani where they will participate in the Northern Belt 23 exercise.