RAMSTEIN, Germany – The Swedish Armed Forces conducts their annual air defence exercise Luftförsvarsövning (LFÖ 22) from May 16 to 25 integrating Finnish forces and supported by NATO air forces.
Amid the Swedish and Finnish application process for NATO membership, the annual Swedish national defence exercise LFÖ22 is taking place in southern and central Sweden. Participating fighter aircraft, helicopters, air defence systems and ground forces are practicing tactics, techniques and procedures to maintain Swedish territorial integrity.
The Swedish Air Force is developing our capabilities – towards a strong and tactically superior force
The Finnish armed forces have been traditionally a player in this exercise as they are integrated in the Swedish defence posture. For the first time, French Air Force Mirage-2000-5 fighters, currently stationed in Estonia, conducting NATO's Air Policing in the Baltic region, joined the Swedish Partner's exercise simulating opposing air forces during the scenario.
"This contribution of NATO forces in a Partner exercise underscores the close relationship between the Allies and Finland and Sweden over the last decades," said Brigadier General Christoph Pliet, Deputy Chief of Staff Operations at Allied Air Command that overseas NATO's air operations. "Particularly in the Baltic region, Allied Air Command has been working with the two regional Partners during countless exercises, training events and real-world situations in the domain of safeguarding our skies. This level of intensive cooperation underlines our collective commitment to the defence and security of the region," added General Pliet.
A Finnish Air Force F-18 Hornet conducts an overflight with Swedish Air Force JAS 39-C Gripens: Archive Photo Courtesy: Finnish Air Force
Finnish F-18 Hornets participating in the Swedish air defense exercise. Photo Courtesy: Finnish Air Force
French Air Force Mirage 2000-5 join the Swedish Partner's exercise for the first time: Photo Courtesy: Swedish Air Force
"The Swedish Air Force is developing our capabilities – towards a strong and tactically superior force. Together with the Army and Navy we create a military problem to an opponent, denying them from conducting offensive operations against Swedish territory. We do that together with our Finnish friends in the Finnish Air Force. Together, we strengthen the security and stabilize our region," said Major General Carl-Johan Edström, Commander of the Swedish Air Force. "The Swedish national exercise, Air Defense Exercise 2022, confirms our capabilities to conduct air operations. Together with integrated Swedish GBAD and Finnish squadron in air defense exercise, we send a credible signal that we have a strong cooperation," he added.
This is the second iteration of the Swedish national defence exercise LFÖ. It is a firm element of the Swedish Armed Forces' training cycle. Finland has been contributing assets to this exercise demonstrating the close relationship between both NATO Partners in territorial defence matters.