13:44 GMT +322 September 2019
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    A swiss F/A-18 Hornet takes off from Kallax Airport outside Lulea, northern Sweden, May 26, 2015, during the Arctic Challenge Exercise (ACE 2015)

    US Arctic Challenge 2017 Air Drills Begin With 11 Nations, 100 Aircraft

    © REUTERS / TT News Agency/Susanne Lindholm
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    The US has deployed a fighter squadron and supporting personnel to Finland and Sweden for the Arctic Challenge 2017 training exercise that involves 100 aircraft from 11 nations, the US Air Force said in a press release on Friday.

    WASHINGTON, May 26 (Sputnik) — Participants will conduct joint live-flying events focused on offensive and defensive air combat operations.

    "Twelve F-15C Eagles and about 200 personnel from the 493rd Fighter Squadron at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, and two KC-135 Stratotankers and over 30 personnel from the 351st Air Refueling Squadron at RAF Mildenhall, England, deployed to bases in Finland and Sweden for exercise Arctic Challenge 2017," the release stated.

    Lt. Col. Jason Zumwalt, commander of the 493rd Fighter Squadron, said the exercise will allow US pilots and maintainers to work alongside allies to plan, execute and debrief complex missions.

    "That allows us to see how we can better work together in the future," he added.

    In addition to the United States, the exercise includes participants from Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Arctic Challenge 2017 concludes on June 2.

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    Tags:
    military drills, Sweden, Finland, Arctic, United States
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