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September 5, 2022

UK, Finland, and Sweden participate in Exercise Vigilant Knife

Nearly 2,000 soldiers took part in the exercise aimed at improving interoperability.

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced the conclusion of the five-day Exercise Vigilant Knife held at Rovaniemi and Rovajärvi in northern Finland. 

Troops from the British, Finnish, and Swedish armed forces came together to participate in the short notice command-post exercise, aimed at further enhancing interoperability.     

Nearly 2,000 soldiers executed exercises on delivering and receiving international aid. The troops also trained on improving tactical and technical capabilities to ensure interoperability.

They engaged in both offensive and defensive actions to stay battle-ready.

Over 80 British Army personnel attached to C Company, 2 Rifles Battlegroup, deployed at Santahamina in southern Finland, were among the participants. 

The light infantry company has been undergoing a three-month training session as part of an agreement to reinforce defences across northern Europe amid security concerns, following the Russian invasion in Ukraine. 

As part of the latest exercise, the UK troops provided anti-tank, sniper, and reconnaissance capabilities to the participating soldiers.

According to the MoD, the exercise gave the troops an opportunity to train in Finland’s heavily wooded terrains.

UK Defence Secretary of State Ben Wallace said: “Whilst there is war in Europe, it is more important than ever to strengthen our international partnerships.

“We welcome Finland and Sweden’s application to join Nato and will continue to exercise together so we are ready to face shared security challenges.

“Exercise Vigilant Knife is an invaluable opportunity for UK personnel to develop their skills and experience of warfighting in cold weather conditions, enabling them to be effective on the battlefield alongside their Finnish and Swedish counterparts.”

Finland and Sweden officially applied to join the Nato alliance in May this year.

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