U.S., 4 partner nations sign letter of intent for Arctic Challenge Exercise Leave a comment

Feb. 18 (UPI) — Acting Secretary of the Air Force John P. Roth and the ministers of defense of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden signed a letter of intent Thursday to express continued support for the Arctic Challenge Exercise.

According to the Air Force, the letter advances the service’s Arctic Strategy, which it released last July.

“We have a common vision and shared set of values in upholding security and stability in the Arctic region,” Roth said. “Strong, enduring relationships with our allies and partners are essential to safeguarding peace in the region.”

Denmark Minister of Defense Trine Bramsen, Finland Minister of Defense Antti Kaikkonen, Norway Minister of Defense Frank Bakke Jensen and Sweden Minister of Defense Peter Hultqvist all joined Roth in signing the letter of intent.

The biennial Arctic Challenge Exercise is one of Europe’s largest tactical air exercises.

It’s designed to encourage defensive training and interaction between ally and partner nations, with an emphasis on interoperability — which is especially critical in the Arctic due to the challenging terrain.

“The Arctic Challenge Exercise demonstrates the integral role combined exercises play in deepening ties with our allies and partners,” said Kelli L. Seybolt, deputy under secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs. “These activities simultaneously strengthen cooperation, enhance interoperability and support collective defense and deterrence.”

Sweden hosted ACE 2019, which featured 140 aircraft and 4,000 military personnel from nine participating nations.

They included the United States, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

ACE 2021 is scheduled for June 2021.

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