On Monday, it is one of Northern Europe’s largest military aircraft exercises, the Arctic Challenge Exercise 2017. Over 1000 participants, 100 military aircraft and 11 nations participate in the exercise.
The exercise is a collaboration between Norway, Sweden and Finland, which has been ongoing every other year since 2013.
“We cooperate with Finland and Sweden. It’s a collaboration that started almost 10 years ago, as we have developed further and learned from each other, “says Major Vegard Bøthun.
This year the exercise is led by the Finnish Air Force, which has the main responsibility for planning, and that the exercise plays out over the northern parts of the host countries.
“We have invited other Allied nations and the interest is very big,” says Bøtun.
Increased flight activity
There are 500 guests to Bodø in connection with the exercise. The Major says that the exercise has nothing to do with the tense situation between Russia and the West.
“There will be more flight activity than usual. We have 30 flights from Bodø that will fly twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon. They fly high up and far away and disappear into Sweden eventually, but it will probably be noticed.
New of the year is that an American B-52H bomber will be included in the exercise. The plane will not land on any of the bases, but will participate in an air mission at the end of the exercise.