Around 20 air assets from Finland, Sweden and three other Nato member nations are carrying out a two-day-long joint training mission.

The three Nato nations included Poland, France and the US.

The exercise is being held between 7 and 8 December. It was executed in the international skies above the Baltic Sea region, as well as above the airspace of Finland, Sweden and other Baltic countries.

The exercise involved the participation of a total of eight Finnish F/A-18 Hornet strike aircraft and Sweden’s JAS 39 Gripen multi-role fighter jets.

Other aircraft included the US Air Force’s (USAF) KC-46A Pegasus air-to-air refuelling tanker aircraft, French Air Force’s Rafale aircraft and Polish Air Force’s F-16 fighter jets.

Throughout the exercise, the eight Finnish F/A-18 aircraft operated from their home base.

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By GlobalData

Being conducted as part of the Finnish Air Force’s daily air activity, the exercise involved Finnish Hornet fighter jets undertaking refuelling operations with the USAF’s KC-46A Pegasus aircraft.

It was the first time Finnish Hornets received fuel from the USAF’s aircraft.

However, the Finnish Air Force conducts several regular training missions with the Swedish Air Force and the Nato Baltic Air Policing detachments, including those from Italy, Poland and France.

According to a tweet by the Finnish Air Force, the activity on the second day will involve the 31st Fighter Squadron assigned under the Finnish Air Force’s peace-time unit Karelia Air Command, to conduct a night flying training mission from the Rissala base.

In 2016, the Finnish Air Force’s Hornet aircraft conducted a similar bilateral air training exercise with the USAF’s aircraft and forces at the Rissala air base in Finland.