A Happy Saturday to you all, FighterSweep Fans! Our good friends down in the Land of No Slack recently embarked on a trip which took them to Kuopio, Finland. They were able to partake in a combined training exercise with European partner nations, but focused predominantly on the Finnish Air Force. The visit was much publicized prior to the arrival of the 173rd FW and its Eagles, but once on the ground in Finland, the Oregon Air National Guard quietly went about its business–as professionals do.

More than 100 Oregon Air National Guard Airmen from the 173rd FW at Kingsley Field, Ore. traveled to Kuopio, Finland for a training opportunity between two partner countries.

The exercise is part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, but differs from other deployments to the region called theater security packages in that it is really a training opportunity between partner nations–Finland and the United States.

The 173rd Fighter Wing is the sole F-15C training unit for the United States Air Force, and its main mission is to introduce Airmen to the F-15C for the first time or requalify pilots from non-flying positions or other airframes.  173rd Fighter Wing Commander Col. Jeff Smith said that expertise proved valuable in this environment.

“At home with our students we use a building block approach beginning with one-verses-one scenarios and progressing to two-verses-two and so on, and that format is how we are conducting this exercise beginning with the smallest block, getting familiar with each other’s tactics and working to cross the language barrier,” he said. “By the end of next week we’ll be training in large force exercises, possibly as many as eight-verses-eight.”

We encourage you to check out the original article in its entirety, which can be read right here.
(Featured Photo by Technical Sergeant Jefferson Thompson/173rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)