Finnish Air Force to Launch Week-long Air Training Drills
Finnish Air Force to Launch Week-long Air Training Drills

Finnish Air Force to Launch Week-long Air Training Drills

During exercise Ruska 21 taking place across Finland from October 4 to 9, 2021, the Partner country’s air force will train together with the Swedish Air Force aiming at sustaining and developing Finland’s air defence. The name of the exercise refers to the “Ruska” season which is Finnish for “fall colours” or slightly adapted “Indian summer”. In total, Ruska 21 will involve around 3,300 personnel, including 1,500 reservists. The participating aircraft will be assigned to either perform air defence tasks or simulate an adversary’s air force.

“Ruska 21 is the Finnish Air Force’s main exercise in 2021, and an important opportunity for active-duty personnel, reservists and conscripts to train tactics, techniques and procedures in practice. The exercise is also part of the Finnish-Swedish defence cooperation. It maintains and enhances the Air Force’s readiness to monitor and secure Finnish airspace 24/7 throughout the year,” said Finnish Air Force Colonel Timo Herranen, Ruska 21 Exercise Director. ”

A Finnish F/A-18 fighter jet during landing on a highway in a previous exercise. Archive photo by Finnish Air Force.

“Exercises such as Ruska include all the elements of an air operation maintain and enhance the Air Force’s readiness to execute demanding flight operations by taking advantage of the large base network,” said Colonel Herranen.

As per the Air Force’s mobile operational concept, the aircraft will operate out of several air bases across the country including civilian airports and highway roads. In addition to the Finnish F/A-18s, participating aircraft include Hawk jet trainers, Air Force transport and liaison aircraft, an Army NH90 transport helicopter and a Border Guard Dornier Do 228 patrol aircraft. Ground-based air defence units will also join the exercise. The Swedish Air Force will deploy JAS 39C/D Gripen multi-role fighters and an S-100D airborne early warning and control aircraft to the exercise.