Arctic Challenge Exercise Wraps Up

The first-ever Arctic Challenge exercise is scheduled to conclude on Thursday at Ørland, Norway. The event, which started there on Sept. 16, brought together more than 60 combat aircraft from the United States, Britain, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and NATO for combined air combat training drills, according to a release from RAF Mildenhall, Britain. Several of Mildenhall’s KC-135s participated as did more than 30 F-15Cs and F-15Es from RAF Lakenheath, states the release. British Typhoons, Finnish F/A-18s, Norwegian F-16s, Swedish JAS-39s, and NATO AWACS were also a part of the exercise. The various aircraft took turns as aggressors during the live-fly activities. “During this exercise, we will face almost every scenario that could be seen in any war or conflict,” said Maj. Rich Stringer, Lakenheath’s 494th Fighter Squadron assistant director of operations. “The Finns, Swedes, British, and Norwegians are all very skilled aviators and have very competent forces,” he said. (Ørland report by 1st Lt. Christopher Mesnard)