UK Deploys Combat Aircraft to Sweden and Finland

Britain’s Royal Air Force has actually sent out fighter jets to Sweden and Finland for training maneuvers as part of the UK’s “increased presence in the region” following the two nations’ applications to enter the NATO military alliance, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has revealed.

Two F-35Bs and four Typhoons performed “high-end warfighting training” with Finnish F-18 Hornets and Swedish Gripen aircraft, the ministry reported in an official statement.

The deployments, which happened over the last month at the demand of the host countries, enabled the three air forces to  “develop their joint tactics and strengthen their ability to operate alongside each other,” and highlighted the UK’s dedication to enhancing mutual defence abilities with Sweden and Finland, stated the MoD.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace called the two countries “important defence partners”and invited their applications to sign up with NATO, which he stated “will make the alliance stronger as we face a renewed threat in Europe.”

“These deployments highlight our determination to enhance that partnership and ensure our forces can work together seamlessly,” he said.

Swedish defence minister Peter Hultqvist stated the joint training deployments “strengthen our ability to operate together in response to a crisis in our neighbourhood,” which he said is “particularly important in today’s challenging security environment.”

The UK signed shared security guarantee statements with Sweden and Finland in May. The two nations are likewise members of the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF), a union of 10 countries who work together to keep the security of Northern Europe.

The joint exercises are part of a series of bilateral and JEF training flights prepared this year at Finland and Sweden’s request, the MoD stated. Later on this month the UK will release the F-35Bs to Norway for additional combination training with the Norwegian Air Force.

On July 5, NATO’s 30 allies signed an accession procedure for Finland and Sweden, enabling them to join the alliance as soon as parliaments validate the choice, the most substantial growth of the alliance since the 1990s.

Finland shares a long land border with Russia, while Sweden shares a maritime border with Russia. The Nordic countries had actually resisted offers to join NATO for years until the Russian invasion of Ukraine drastically altered the national security situation in the region.

H/T The Epoch Times

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