Finnish Exercise Ruska 21 Concludes
Ruska 21, one of the most important Finnish Air Force exercises, came to an end last week. The exercise had a participation of around 3,300 personnel, including 1,500 reservists. Swedish Air Force Gripen fighters were among the 50 aircraft that were involved.
This year, the event aimed to train active-duty personnel, conscripts of Karelia and Satakunta Air Commands, and training reservists for tasks during emergency scenarios. As a part of this exercise, flight missions at low altitudes, supersonic flying at 10-kilometre altitude above the mainland, and countermeasures dispensing were conducted.
The participating aircraft did not just undertake various defence tasks, but also acted as an adversary. As adversaries, the troops operated from the bases in Rovaniemi and Oulu and Luleå in Sweden. Though the training scenarios were pre-planned, they kept evolving as the exercise progressed.
According to Air Force Operations Commander Colonel Timo Herranen, the exercise was one of the best kind of team activities.
Rissala and Pirkkala were the main bases for force training air defence tasks at Ruska 21.
Besides Gripen, other participating aircraft included Hornet fighters, Hawk jets, Finnish and Swedish Air Force transport and liaison planes.
Here is a video of the SwAF Gripen fighters arriving in Finland on 4th October.