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The third biennial Arctic Challenge Exercise

For the third time Finland, Norway and Sweden co-host the military exercise "Artic Challenge Exercise". The exercise is one of the largest in Europe, and more than 100 aircraft from twelve nations are participating.

​From 22 May to 2 June 2017, the Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish Air Forces will arrange a large multinational exercise called "Artic Challenge Exercise 2017" (ACE). The exercise will play out in the high north of the host nations' airspaces. 

This is the third time that the three nations work together in order to arrange the exercise, and it has existed since 2013. This time it is Finland's turn to take the lead.

ACE provides the participants a great opportunity to plan and engage in a big scenario exercise close to the reality. The exercise includes huge variations of aircraft and forces on the ground, which is close to a possible scenario of modern air operations. 

This year's exercise is one of the largest in Europe. More than 1,000 personnel will partake in the exercise. In addition to fighter planes, there will also be transport aircraft, tanker aircraft and AWACS. For the first time Search and Rescue Helicopters (SAR) and Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD) will participate during this year's exercise. 

This year, the participating nations are Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland and the United States. 

These nations will be working from the bases located at Bodø in Norway, Luleå in Sweden and Rovaniemi in Finland. The exercise will be located in the most northern parts of Sweden and Norway, and will last from Monday 22 May till Friday 2 June, daily from 08:00–17:00 (changes might occur). 

Close to 90 aircraft will be able to gather in the air at the same time. The aircraft will be practicing low-level flying and they will use flares (visible as sharp lights) in order to be visible in the air.

In addition to the mentioned capacities, the Norwegian Navy will also participate. Their area of operations will be in and around Lofoten.

The three nations started working together in 2009 with smaller exercises known as Cross Border Training (CBT). ACE has grown through these smaller exercises, which is conducted on almost a weekly basis between the northern countries. The concept will continue to develop during the ACE exercise and will contain different nations and ground forces.

For more information:

​​​​Finnish Air Force Public Affairs Section

​Joni Malkamäki, Chief Public Affairs Officer, tel. +358 (0)299 29 1130

Ville Tuokko, Public Affairs Officer tel. +358 (0)299 29 1135, e-mail: ilmavoimat@mil.fi

​​The Royal Norwegian Air Force 

Sigurd Tonning-Olsen Press and information advisor, tel. +47 488 65 018, e-mail: stonningolsen@mil.no

Press accreditation

For registration for press accreditation, send the following to Press and Information Advisor, Sigurd Tonning-Olsen:

  • ​​​First and surname.
  • Which media you are writing and/or taking pictures for.
  • "Letter from the Editor" stating your assignment.  
  • The content stated above needs to be in the hands of Sigurd Tonning-Olsen by 7 April 2017
  • There will be no opportunities for air-to-air photos during this exercise. 
Published 07 March 2017 16:17..