A pair of Boeing F/A-18C/D Hornet multi-role fighters from the Suomen Ilmavoimat (Finnish Air Force) are participating in the second Ramstein Alloy exercise of the year, with their involvement in the event taking place from June 29-30.
Exercise Ramstein Alloy – an event which takes place in the Baltic Sea region three times a year – is designed to enhance the interoperability between the air forces of NATO member states and partner nations. While Finland is not a NATO member state, it is a close ally of the organisation and takes part in Ramstein Alloy as a partner nation. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Finnish Hornets will be operating from Kuopio-Rissala Air Base, Finland, for the duration of the exercise.
The event provides an opportunity for pilots from participating air forces to conduct dissimilar air combat training (DACT) with different fighter aircraft types in use across the alliance and by its partners. Other training scenarios include tasks such as identification; escort; and the handover of escort duties of an aircraft suffering from communications loss (COMMLOSS).
During Ramstein Alloy 21-2, the Finnish F/A-18s will conduct training missions with Aeronautica Militare Italiana (AMI, Italian Air Force) Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning IIs and Luftwaffe (German Air Force, GAF) Eurofighter EF-2000s. Training missions will take place in international airspace over the Baltic Sea, as well as the domestic airspaces over Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
While the Finnish F/A-18s will be operating from Kuopio-Rissala, the AMI F-35As and GAF EF-2000s will be flying from Ämari Air Base, Estonia and Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania; respectively. From these two Baltic bases, a detachment of fighters from both the Italian and German air arms are supporting NATO’s ongoing Baltic Air Policing (BAP) mission in the region.