Lapland, Karelia and Satakunta Air Commands to train during week 46
The Lapland, Karelia and Satakunta Air Commands will arrange exercises involving a total of nearly 30 F/A-18 Hornet fighters on 14‒18 November 2022.
Taking place simultaneously in mid-November, Otava, Vilkku and Touho are annual exercises for the units of the Finnish Air Force. This year, the exercise activity will involve also international partners.
Lapland Air Command’s Fighter Squadron 11 will arrange the Otava 22 exercise at Oulunsalo air base. F/A-18 Hornets will operate out of Oulunsalo between 9 am and 11 pm from Monday to Thursday, and between 9 am and 2 pm on Friday.
The French Air and Space Force (Armée de l'Air et de l'Espace) will participate in the Otava 22 exercise with two Rafale fighters deploying to Rovaniemi Air Base, Finland. In addition, the Swedish Air Force’s JAS 39 Gripen fighters will take part in Cross Border Training missions from their home base in Luleå, Sweden.
Karelia Air Command’s Fighter Squadron 31 will arrange the Vilkku 22 exercise at Rissala air base. F/A-18 Hornets will operate out of Rissala between 9 am and 8 pm from Monday to Thursday, and between 9 am and 2 pm on Friday.
Satakunta Air Command’s Air Combat Centre will arrange the Touho 22 exercise at Pirkkala air base. F/A-18 Hornets will operate out of Pirkkala between 9 am and 8 pm from Monday to Thursday, and between 9 am and 2 pm on Friday.
Air activity across Finland
The air activity of the exercises will take place in the airspace between Ivalo and Kuopio, over the Bothnian Bay, and in the vicinity of the air bases. The largest missions will be flown in the airspace between Rovaniemi and Kuopio. Supersonic flights will be flown only over the sea, and noise abatement procedures will be followed in the vicinity of the air bases, whenever feasible.
During the exercises, the aircraft will deploy countermeasures including flares and chaff. Flares may be seen as momentary bright spots of light in the sky, and chaff may cause false echoes on weather radar.