06/15/2015: The Arctic challenge exercise is now completed as of June 5 2015.
According to the SCAN Post:
Arctic Challenge Exercise 2015 (ACE 2015), one of Europe’s largest fighter jet exercises in the Nordic countries with more than 4000 persons participating started on May 25.
Lead nation this time is Norway as nearly a hundred fighter jets from nine nations gather for a joint training exercise until June 5.
ACE has evolved from a Swedish exercise, Nordic Air Meet, and cross border training between the Nordic neighbors Sweden and Finland, back in 2009.
The training exercise will take place in the High North, with the activity being divided between Bodø in Norway, Rovaniemi in Finland, and Kallax in Sweden.
“This is the second time the multinational training exercise is carried out, the first being in 2013.
The plan forward is to continue every other year. Even though Norway, Sweden and Finland are the host nations, all of the participating countries contribute to the planning, which helps build our national and allied capability to lead air operations,” says Brigadier General Jan Ove Rygg, head of RNoAF’s National Air Operations Center (NAOC), and ACE 2015 exercise director.
He continues, “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.”
In addition to the well-known F-16, Nordic air space will be filled with F-18, Hawk T1, Tornado GR4, Mirage 2000, Eurofighter Typhoon, and Jas 39 Gripen, among others.
Furthermore, a number of NATO AWACS jets, transportation jets and tankers, and DA-20 Jet Falcons will all have supporting roles.
The exercise consists of a wide range of scenario drills and cooperation between the three host bases, with large operational areas available both in Norway and surrounding the other main bases.
The video below provides an overview from the USAF perspective and was provided by the 31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs (June 4, 2015) provides a wrap up on the exercise.