The Finnish Air Force participates with its F-18 Hornets and Hawks in the main exercise of the Finnish Defence Forces led by the commander of the Finnish Army.
The Air Force will deploy maximum of 22 Hornets and six Hawks in the exercise along with Learjet and Casa transports.
The aim of the exercise is to test the striking capability of the Air Force and its operational procedures in joint operations. The Air Force supports Army and Navy operations with defensive counter air fighter missions.
Air Force units operate from the bases at Tikkakoski, Rissala, Kuorevesi, and Kauhava and they consist of regular personnel augmented by conscripts and reservists called up to service. Land operation scenarios have also been designed to exercise cooperation between services and branches. The objective is to improve the sharing of situational awareness between the command echelons of the services and to make the process of building and using of joint operational air picture more effective. A new air surveillance reporting system is on test use in Exercise Radio Spark .
Cooperation with civilian authorities like the police and rescue services is conducted in operations at the exercise bases.
The strength of the Air Force in the exercise is around 2300 military personnel, of which 1600 are reservists, 500 are of regular personnel and 200 are conscripts under training.
In the early phase the focus of flight operations is on the west coast of Finland and on the regions of Kuopio and Tampere while the Army manoeuvres mainly in the surroundings of Niinisalo. As the exercise moves to its subsequent phases, the emphasis of flight operations will be on the area between Kuopio and Kajaani. Some missions are to be performed at low altitude. Primarily flight operations are carried out during daytime and in the evenings.