#geopolitical fridays: Arctic Challenge 2015


Norwegian Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon

Somewhat related to a recent
, a joint fighter aircraft training exercise of both NATO and
non-NATO countries is currently being held from 25 May to 5 June. It is hosted
by Norway (lead nation), Finland and Sweden and taking place around
Bodø in Norway, Rovaniemi in Finland and Kallax in Sweden involving 100 fighter jets (list below) and about 4000 personnel. More
information here.

Simultaneously, the Russians are holding their
own drill
in the Central Military District (Yekaterinburg) involving 12.000 personnel and 250 aircraft. In contrast to Arctic Challenge or NATO maneuvers in general, the Russian snap drill was not announced prior.

Brigadier General Jan Ove Rygg, head of Norway’s National Air
Operations Center (NAOC), and ACE 2015 exercise director on Arctic challenge:

“The aim is to exercise and train
units in the orchestration and conduct of complex air operations, in
close relations to NATO partners. The unique cross border air space
makes ACE 2015 a one of a kind training ground for increasing
interoperability and skills in all parts of the chain.”


Here is what the Russian side communicates on their exercise aims:

“to assess capabilities of the Air
Force and air defense forces of the Central Military District to
fulfill tasks to destroy air enemy in interaction with attached
strength and reinforcements.“

Go here for an insightful report by
Baev on Russian Military Reform
published May 2015 by the 
Institut français des relations internationales (Ifri)
assessing the prospects of Russia’s attempts to modernise its armed

Johanna M

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