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ARROW 22 ~ UK Challenger 2 Tanks To Exercise In Finland

Library image of a UK Challenger 2 main battle tank deployed to the Baltic region in May 2021 [© Bob Morrison]

The Finnish Ministry of Defence has announced that UK Challenger 2 tanks are to exercise in Finland on the mechanised Exercise ARROW 22.


Press Release, Helsinki, 14 April 2022: The [Finnish] Armoured Brigade will lead the Army mechanised exercise ARROW 22 at Pohjankangas Niinisalo and in Säkylä on 2 – 13 May 2022. The exercise will also be participated by visiting forces from the UK, Latvia, the USA and Estonia.

The objective of the exercise ARROW 22 is to develop mechanised units’ operating in a multinational environment and the capability for receiving international assistance and providing host nation support. Additionally, the purpose is to develop the Finnish Defence Forces’ joint fires. The exercise’s objective is also to sustain and develop the competence and capability of Army units for the purposes of national defence and to create and sustain international interoperability and connectivity. The exercise offers versatile support for the development of land defence capabilities and for the competence and skills of service personnel, reservists and conscripts on the individual and unit level.

Finnish Leopard 2A6 on Exercise ARROW 19 in Niinisalo [© Finnish MoD]

The exercise ARROW 22 will be participated by service personnel and conscripts from the Armoured Brigade, Pori Brigade, Karelia Brigade, 1. and 2. Logistics Regiments, Utti Jaeger Regiment, FDF C5 Agency, Army Command, and from the Army Academy’s Armour School. The exercise will also involve FiAF and Army flight activity. The total strength of the training audience troops will be circa 3,400 personnel. The exercise will involve circa 150 armoured vehicles and up to 300 other military vehicles. The exercise will be commanded by Commander of the Armoured Brigade, Colonel Rainer Kuosmanen.

The exercise will be participated by visiting forces from the UK, Latvia, the USA and Estonia. The training audience unit from the UK will be an approximately 120-personnel-strong mechanised infantry tank company with the main battle tank Challenger 2 as their main equipment. The Latvian training audience unit to the exercise will be a mechanised infantry platoon with the strength of circa 40 personnel equipped with Finnish-made new Patria armoured vehicles. The USAREUR Cavalry Regiment’s strength in the exercise composition will be circa 110 personnel with Stryker armoured fighting vehicles as their main equipment. The Estonian training audience unit will be a 40-personnel-strong armoured jaeger platoon equipped with CV9035 infantry fighting vehicles.

Library image of USAREUR Stryker Brigade Combat Team on a road move through Lithuania [© Bob Morrison]

From 26 April to 2 May, training audience units will be massed in phases to Kankaanpää and Niinisalo. The march speed of the detachments will be 50–80 km/h. Tracked vehicles will be transported by train and by equipment transporters to the exercise area. While on the move, transports may slow down traffic and result in occasional congestion. On Sunday 8 May, part of the training audience will transfer from Niinisalo to Säkylä. Along with the Pori Brigade training audience unit, the FTX to be arranged in Säkylä will also be attended by training audience detachments from the UK and the USA. On 7-13 May, the exercise’s LFX phase will be executed at Pohjankangas, Niinisalo.

In accordance with the Army Action Plan, the Army mechanised exercise is a national exercise organised on a yearly basis that has been open for participation by international partner nations’ training audience detachments since 2014, and is included in the Finnish Defence Forces’ international training activity for 2022 as confirmed by the Ministry of Defence.

From a well chosen position a Finish Leopard 2A4FIN engages a Norwegian CV9030N Mk III AIFV during COLD RESPONSE in Northern Norway, late March 2022 [© Carl Schulze]


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