The United States military will be bringing 6-8 F-15C fighter jets to Finland for education and training with Finland’s Karelian Air Command. This will be the first time any US military aircraft will be a part of any joint exercises in Finland.
The Oregon Air National Guard will be providing the F-15C fighter jets for these overseas exercises. They have previously been called to duty during the Iraq and Afghanistan initiatives. OR ANG is a state militia that is not in the United States Air Force chain of command. They are under the jurisdiction of the Governor of Oregon stemming from its establishment in the 1940’s.
The involvement with the United States is receiving many mixed reactions. Finland has normally stood by their non-alignment policy throughout their inception in the European Union in 1995. The non-aligned policy states that Finland shall remain neutral in regards to European’s Union’s foreign, security and defense polices.
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Timo Soini ensures that Finland has not initiated any of these joint exercises that the United States has been at the helm of these exercises. Mika Varvikko, another representative of Finland’s Ministry of Defense stated plans are still underway and may potentially include the participation of Sweden and Norway.
This should bring an ease to the people advocating against these training exercises.
The rumor that Sweden and Norway will be participating in the exercises is a ploy to put pressure on Sweden and Finland to join NATO. Finland’s Chief of Defense Jarmo Lindeberg made an announcement to the country to step up their defense efforts due to the increasing pressure of Russian threats. Lindeberg had some reserves towards NATO’s combat readiness, claiming “their decision making mechanisms is doing badly”.
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