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Soaring High Together: Finnish Air Force Joins UK’s Elite Cobra Warrior Exercise

The Finnish Air Force will deploy six F/A-18 Hornet multi-role combat aircraft to the Cobra Warrior 23-1 exercise in the United Kingdom from 6 to 24 March 2023. Cobra Warrior is the Royal Air Force’s international tactical training event, occurring twice a year. The Finnish Air Force will partake in the exercise for the first time in March 2023. The exercise will transpire between the 2nd and 24th of March, with 70 aircraft participating and RAF Waddington personnel directing the event.

“We will participate in the Cobra Warrior exercise because the Royal Air Force is a significant partner for us bilaterally, within the context of the Joint Expeditionary Force collaboration, and as a prospective NATO ally. From the standpoint of the Finnish Air Force, cultivating interoperability with the United Kingdom and other JEF nations also bolsters cooperation within NATO,” states Chief of Staff, Air Force Command Finland, Brigadier General Timo Herranen.

For the Finnish Air Force, the objective of the Cobra Warrior 23-1 exercise is to train in unison with the Royal Air Force, to augment interoperability with future NATO partners, and to advance the integration of 4th and 5th generation fighter aircraft. In total, approximately 70 aircraft will participate in the exercise.

The Finnish F/A-18s will operate from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire. In addition to the F/A-18 detachment, the exercise will engage Finnish fighter controllers at the Control and Reporting Centre at RAF Boulmer.

The Finnish Air Force’s involvement in Cobra Warrior 23-1 will be a component of the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) collaboration. Finland joined the JEF in 2017. The UK Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) is a United Kingdom-led expeditionary force comprising Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Norway. Eight of the countries are also NATO members, while Finland and Sweden remain outside the alliance as their applications await ratification.

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