Around 150 British personnel have deployed to Finland alongside US and Finnish armed forces for Exercise Vigilant Fox.

According to a Ministry of Defence news release, the deployment follows the UK’s joint security declaration with Finland signed in May.

“More than 750 troops from the UK, USA and Finland gathered this week in Niinisalo, western Finland, to participate in the four-day high-readiness exercise. Partner nations practised interoperability between air and land forces ahead of Finland’s accession to NATO. This type of international training is critical in preparing allies to operate alongside one another should NATO need to deploy in the future.”

Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey MP said:

“Exercise Vigilant Fox has demonstrated the strength and interoperability of our Armed Forces with our US and Finnish allies and reaffirms our commitment to the defence and security of the Baltic Sea region.”

British troops based in Estonia as part of Project Unified Stance swooped into Finland in Royal Air Force Chinook helicopters, say the Ministry of Defence.

“The troops from C Company, 2 Rifles Battlegroup, were inserted into Niinisalo to join Finland’s high readiness forces from the Jaegar, Karelian and Pori Brigades. The exercise also included soldiers, armoured fighting vehicles and helicopters from the US 3rd Armoured Brigade Combat Team (The Iron Brigade).

Units from all three nations undertook a series of demanding training events, conducting offensive and defensive operations including helicopter assaults, covert landings and short-notice raids using American Black Hawks, Finnish NH-90s and UK Chinooks. Such training improves integration between air and land forces, as well as interoperability between partner nations, and is crucial to ensuring that NATO forces can work together effectively on operations and in war.”

You can read more on this here.

This exercise comes just two weeks after RAF fighter aircraft deployed to Finland and Sweden for joint training.

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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jason
jason
4 days ago

Why so few only 150 taking part?

Marked
Marked
4 days ago
Reply to  jason

It’s all that’s left of what was once an army.

Andrew D
Andrew D
4 days ago
Reply to  Marked

God help us ,and there still want to cut 10,000 troops.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
4 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

I know there is a saying that every inch counts but it really is quality that matters😉. The problem, of course, is could we recruit another ten thousand even if we wanted to. We need to make sure that our people get the best kit money can buy from the bird or bus that drops them off to comfy boots.

Graham b
Graham b
1 day ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

We could recruit them if we put together an attractive package. Unfortunately recruiting went on lines few years ago and the persuasive skills of enthusiastic SNCOs are no longer used.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
11 minutes ago
Reply to  Graham b

The friendly NCO with their “shop” on the High Street. Also some of the social and support services could be improved . Some of the housing is awful.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
4 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

It’s not really cutting 10,000 troops. It’s more they can’t recruit 10,000 so have been short of numbers for ages. So moving the numbers to actually reflect what’s there.
It’s a concern and since the start of Ukraine issue the army recruitment should of been in overdrive. Nothing gets young men excited than big things going bang.

Andrew D
Andrew D
3 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Agree 👍

B
B
1 day ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

You say there’s not the numbers I’m currently in Basic training, and nearly all the troops we have and both squadrons are full.

Andy P
Andy P
4 days ago
Reply to  jason

Its the weekend mate. 😉

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
4 days ago
Reply to  jason

Well they were flown by chinook from the troops already based in Estonia. So more people means more chinooks and then less in Estonia. Then you need to accommodate them all in Finland. It’s a 4 day exercise. There have been loads of exercises this year all of different sizes.

farouk
farouk
4 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I was of the understanding that RAF rules forbids troops to be carried over long stretches of water by helicopter during peacetime

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Really, that’s interesting, is it because the remaining RAF rotors don’t have flotation etc ?

farouk
farouk
4 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Not just Helicopters, when I flew to Belize (via VC10) we flew over Iceland, down through Canada, stop over in Washington and then down to Belize

JJ Smallpiece
JJ Smallpiece
4 days ago
Reply to  farouk

I think you will find thats because the ‘great circle’ route such as this is the shortest route. Nothing to do with flying over water

Trevor Hogg
Trevor Hogg
3 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Does that also include flying from Brize to Ascension then onto the Falklands???

farouk
farouk
3 days ago
Reply to  Trevor Hogg

Trevor,

I looked into this and found that was the FAA ruling until 1984 (60 mins flight time from land) when the first 2 Eng jet (TWA) crossed the Atlantic. Which might explain how my squadron when we flew down to Ascension in 1982, flew via Dakar in Senegal

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
4 days ago
Reply to  farouk

I’ve never heard that before. I wonder how long a long stretch of water is? Thanks for the info. Every days a school day.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
4 days ago
Reply to  jason

Gad! One British Tommy is equivalent to ten Johnny Foreigners!

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
4 days ago
Reply to  jason

They are 150 troops from the Estonia deployment.

bill masen
bill masen
2 days ago
Reply to  jason

Who would want to join these days, not only has the MOD gone woke, and the army cut to a shadow of its former self, But now the lads have to watch for the enemy to the front, and over their shoulders for Yuman Rites lawyers, lefties and others waiting to prosecute them for hurting the enemy.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 days ago
Reply to  bill masen

…and there is not much real active service to be had.

JohnM
JohnM
4 days ago

150 is 20% of total 750 taking part plus our rotary assets. The training is probably aimed more at the Finnish contingent. Practising alongside US and UK elements, NATO’s most professional forces, so doesn’t need large numbers in this case.

Last edited 4 days ago by JohnM
RobW
RobW
4 days ago
Reply to  JohnM

Stop talking sense, it isn’t welcome here!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 days ago
Reply to  RobW

👍😀

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
4 days ago
Reply to  RobW

It would make all the difference if we sent 100k forces to dominate the training: not.

All we do by numerically dominating is to suppress the ability of the other participants to express their abilities or faults.

The main purpose of an exercise is to find out what works and what doesn’t.

Mark Franks
Mark Franks
4 days ago

At least we swooped in on Chinooks! Who writes this rubbish.

Last edited 4 days ago by Mark Franks
Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
4 days ago

If we are going to be regularly visiting big, bad and bruising environments this might be a good time to consider keeping the Herky Birds…and just a few more Chinooks?

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
4 days ago

Finland has an outstanding, well equiped and highly motivated large army with detailed local knowledge of the ground over which any Russian invasion would be fought.

I would say our chaps and chappeses will be learning from them, not the other way round

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
4 days ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Exactly.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
4 days ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Yes. But they would still need the support of US and UK specialised assets to know exactly what was going on. As well as NATO air support which would mean RAF and USAF as the Germans either won’t want to or won’t have any working aircraft. The French won’t want to as they want to reequip Moscow. It is too far for the Spanish to fly and anyway they can deal with it manyana. Oh, and Turkey how could I forget that they forget which side they are on err. Which leaves the UK, US and the other very reliable… Read more »

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
3 days ago

Yes you have got it covered. Finland does have a large number of people who have received basic military training and they do have form fighting Russian invaders to a standstill during the Winter War.

I’m glad they have joined NATO, and the Swedes

Airborne
Airborne
4 days ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Not quite as while I do agree with your viewpoint to a degree, the Finnish still operate as a “total war” concept and subsequently the vast majority of Finnish putting on their uniform will be reservists with x amount of days reservist training per annum. After completing their 6/9 or 12 months training (trade dependent) at their allocated Bde area, they are demobbed and sent home! The Finnish Army is not an operational ORBATed organisation during peacetime and their Bdes are operated as training organisations! Numbers do count and the Finns have a large number of people to call up,… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry
4 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

”So much more to soldering” I consumed percolated coffee with cream, while consuming petite fours; Really Airborne, stop talking tosh!

However, sad to see Sweden not involved – they could have brought another set of reliable, including eyes in the sky, armed forces, to the party and as a neighbour, with a partially, similar system.

Airborne
Airborne
4 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

Maybe that was your soldiering David, try not to presume everyone had a Mickey Mouse job in a Mickey Mouse unit 👍

Airborne
Airborne
3 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

But your right about Swden mate!!!!

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
3 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

The Finns hate the Russians with a vengeance. My guess is they are eyeing the territory they lost to Russia after the Winter War

They have a long border with Russia and have had 70 years to prepare. I would’nt underestimate either their resolve to defend their homeland or their courage.

Airborne
Airborne
3 days ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Agreed. I certainly dont underestimate them in any way, just clarifiying certain minor points in regard to soldiering lol! They are going to be a welcome addition to NATO and know how to fight.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
3 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

And drive rally cars👍😂😂

Dave_s
Dave_s
4 days ago

The Russian armed forces would probably score the lowest average IQ of any forces in the world – I imagine in Bonobos took more of a dislike to their treatment and formed themselves up into an army they would win a battle of wits against their Russian counterparts* – but even as dopey as they are, if the order was given to invade Finland, they would desert en masse; they would be annihilated, ‘suicidal’ would not be a strong enough word. NATO is going to give Finland the backing of logistics, and naval and air support, it is more belt… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
2 days ago

👍🏻

Last edited 2 days ago by Monkey spanker
OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
1 day ago

Interesting story in the Drive. Tempest Interesting article, now that the Japanese are due to join Tempest the Americans seem to be taking it seriously! But his math doesn’t really add up. If the Tempest program costs $60bn (excluding planes), between partners over 10+ years that’s $20/25bn for senior partners UK/Japan and 10/5pm for Italy/Sweden, which is eminently sustainable over 10 years as most of this cost will be back loaded. “After all, developing and then buying the Typhoon (which the Tempest is slated to replace) cost the United Kingdom around £35 billion, or $43 billion, in inflation-adjusted terms. Bronk… Read more »

Last edited 1 day ago by OkamsRazor