The Arrow Exercises are led by the Finnish Army and are part of training of Finnish forces based in large part on their mobilization capabilities.
For example, the Finnish Army provided this comment with regard to Arrow 17:
Arrow 17 is the final manoeuvre for many conscripts. There are also conscripts from Norway taking part in the exercise.
Tank trained Private Samu Kinnunen serves as a tank driver and drives a Leopard 2 A6 battle tank. Before Arrow 17, he wanted to train in new type of terrain. He also wanted to cooperate with international troops.
– All this action made me a little bit nervous, he tells.
There is one thing, that in particular sticks in Kinnunen’s mind: Leopard 2 A6 battle tanks.
– It was fun to drive a new Leopard 2 A6. I could really feel the force.
– It was an amazing experience to fire off a projectile. I had an opportunity to fire in spite of I am a driver. That was really nice, he says.
Cooperation is unbelievable
Samu Kinnunen finds that the cooperation between nationalities and branches has gone nicely.
– I think that we have all learned a lot. I have picked up on a lot from cooperating with Norwegian soldiers. I have also learned to piggyback terrains even better.
– Arrow 17 has been the culmination point of my time as a conscript. I will never regret this decision. I will never forget this exercise, he crystallizes.
For this year’s Arrow Exercise, the USMC participated for the first time.
According to Martin Egnash in an article published May 21, 2018 in Stars and Stripes:
U.S. Marines withdrew tanks and weapons from storage caves in secret locations in Norway to fire tank guns and other weaponry alongside more than 3,000 Finnish servicemembers.
This was the first time Marines from the 4th Tank Battalion brought tanks out of the underground, rock-hewn lairs to be used in Finland, though they have been used in other exercises around Scandinavia. Exercise Arrow is an annual training event that began May 7 and wrapped up on May 18.
“All of our major equipment was drawn from the caves in Norway,” said tank commander Capt. Matthew Anderson, who participated in the exercise. “This exercise would not have happened without the caves. The equipment, forward-staged, allows us to conduct these exercises. Without it, it’s a whole lot less likely that we would have been as successful as we were.”
The Marine Corps Pre-Positioning Caves in Norway program began during the Cold War. The caves contain Marine vehicles, artillery, and enough food and ammunition for a brigade of 4,600 Marines to last in several weeks of combat.
Arrow is a Finnish-led event in which partner nations conduct live-fire war games to certify that Finnish servicemembers – most of whom are conscripted – are capable of fighting…..
The photos in the slideshow are credited to Sgt. Averi Coppa, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Europe and Africa, May 15, 2018.