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Sweden, Finland and Norway will host Arctic Challenge Exercise 2019


The Air Forces of Sweden, Finland and Norway will host multinational Arctic Challenge Exercise 2019 (ACE 19) from 22 May to 4 June 2019. More than one hundred aircraft from nine nations will participate in the air power exercise carried out in the airspace over the northern areas of the host countries.


Sweden Finland and Norway will host Arctic Challenge Exercise 2019

More than one hundred aircraft from nine nations will participate in the air power exercise carried out in the airspace over the northern areas of the host countries. (Picture source: Swedish Armed Forces)


Nordic cooperation is the core of the execution of ACE. This year's Arctic Challenge Exercise (ACE 19) is the fourth of its kind that Sweden, Finland and Norway organise together. The exercise has been conducted every second year since 2013 and is this time led by the Swedish Air Force. Meaning that Sweden is responsible for planning and direction of the training event.

We build security together. ACE 19 provides its participating units with the possibility to train with the best and against the best opponents in all possible aspects of multinational air operations. The exercise provides a cost-effective and high quality opportunity to all participating nations to develop national capabilities and interoperability.

Arctic Challenge exercises are part of Cross Border Training (CBT) which started in 2009 between Sweden, Finland and Norway. The Air Forces of these nations conduct on almost a weekly basis combined air combat training missions that are flown from their northern home bases. The cost-effective implementation pattern of combined exercises can also be applied to large-force air exercises.

Arctic Challenge Exercise 2019 is one of Europe's largest live air power exercises. It will gather more than one thousand personnel and over one hundred aircraft. In addition to multi-role fighters, transport and liaison aircraft, aerial refuelling tankers, airborne warning and control system aircraft, and transport and search and rescue helicopters can be seen in the exercise. Participating nations are Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and United States of America. These will be supported by NATO-operated airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft and also by ground crew and ground-based air defence units.

The ACE 19 host bases are located in Luleå-Kallax in Sweden, Rovaniemi in Finland and Bodø and Ørland in Norway. Flight operations are conducted from May 22 to June 4 (except Saturdays and Sundays) in two daily waves from 9 till 17 Swedish summer time. Flight missions are carried out in the areas extending over the three nations' northern regions (see Map of Area of Operation).

Also the training areas of Vidsel in Sweden, Rovajärvi in Finland and Setermoen in Norway are available.

Around one hundred aircraft at most may participate simultaneously in individual waves in ACE 19. Exercise sorties will involve flying at low altitudes and they may also include supersonic flight. Aircraft will deploy flare countermeasures that can be seen as bright spots of light in the sky.