Kingsley Eagles Finland-Bound

Oregon Air National Guard F-15C/D Eagles will deploy to Rissala AB, Finland, for two weeks of bi-lateral training this spring, the Finnish air force announced Feb. 11. Six to eight fighters from the 173rd Fighter Wing based at Kingsley Field, Ore., will train with Finnish air force F-18 Hornets from May 9-20, according to the release. “Cooperation with the US is close and our cooperation on a practical level has been and will continue to remain tight,” Finnish defense department spokesman Mika Varvikko said, quoted by Finland’s Yle Uutiset news. Though not a NATO member, Finland is an official Alliance partner and has upped recent training with the US and NATO states. Sweden and Finland jointly hosted Air Force F-16s for last year’s Arctic Challenge in Sweden, and trained with F-16s and A-10s during last year’s Baltic deployments. Sweden and Norway have been invited to join the exercise in May to add cross-border training opportunities.