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May 17 2024

German PATRIOT unit integrates in Finnish annual defence exercise

LOHTAJA, Finland – A German PATRIOT firing unit deployed to Finland to integrate with a Finnish brigade during exercise Mallet Strike 24-1 and train tactics, techniques and procedures and Command and Control structures. 

Collaboration of Finnish and German GBAD demonstrates NATO’s cohesion and capabilities and underscores of Allied forces are integrated by design
“We successfully conducted a combined sea and road move from Germany to Finland deploying 50 vehicles and 40 trailers over 1500 kilometres to an assembly area in the Lohtaja Military Training Area,” said Lieutenant Colonel Christoph Schmaler, Commander of the German PATRIOT detachment. “We are running system and connectivity tests with our equipment to make sure we can communicate with our Finnish colleagues. Over the weekend we will move to the firing positions where we will start to operate under Finnish Command - we are looking forward to be the first NATO Ally to participate in this Finnish exercise – that has been conducted since 1952,” he added.

The German PATRIOT Firing Unit arriving in the assembly area ready to move to its forward position during Finnish-led exercise Mallet Strike. Photo courtesy Bundeswehr.

The launcher of the German PATRIOT unit during preparation for combined integrated operation with Finnish Ground-Based Air Defence forces. Photo courtesy Bundeswehr.

A Finish NH-90 helicopter over Lohtaja Military Training Area; the Finnish Armed Forces conduct exercise series Mallet Strike Ipsum twice a year. Photo courtesy Finnish Air Force.

A Finnish air defence unit during live firing in support of exercise Mallet Strike which is s standing training event for Finnish Ground-Based Air Defence from the armed forces. Photo courtesy Finnish Air Force.
“We conduct this exercise twice a year in the spring and the fall in a mix of live firing and live flying drills,” said the Finnish Inspector of the Ground Base Air Defence Forces Colonel Mano-Mikael Nokelainen. “Our participants from all services – and now for the first time from our Ally Germany - will collaborate to repel simulated enemy air attacks including in an electronic warfare environment,” he added underlining that the exercise prepares all GBAD operators across the whole chain of command for their wartime mission of defending.

The German 120-strong PATRIOT unit will be fully integrated into exercise Mallet Strike working with up to 1700 participants from the Finnish Defence Forces. Embedded in the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System via the Finnish Control and Reporting Centre, the German unit will contribute to the Recognised Air Picture, practice engagement operations against drones and aircraft acting inside joint combined Missile Engagement Zone.

The collaboration of Finnish and German GBAD demonstrates NATO’s cohesion and capabilities and underscores of Allied forces are integrated by design. Conducting combined exercises hones cooperation and interoperability among Allies which are essential for meaningful deterrence and defence.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office based on information provided by the Finnish Air Force

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