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U.S., Finnish leaders discuss partnership opportunities

Release Number: 020720

U.S. Air Force Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, conducted a call this week with Finnish Maj. Gen. Pasi Jokinen, Finnish air force commander, to discuss opportunities to strengthen the partnership between the U.S. and Finland.

During the call, the leaders discussed upcoming exercises to include Arctic Challenge 21 and ways the two air forces can continue to work together.

“I want to make sure we’re able to optimize our training and exercise our Agile Combat Employment to get the most out of our training with Finland,” said Harrigian.

Jokinen also discussed ways to fortify the close partnership between the U.S. and Finland.

“If there are any opportunities coming up for the next year, we would like to do fourth and fifth generation integration exercises with the U.S.,” said Jokinen. “We’d love to take advantage of those opportunities.”

Harrigian also took the opportunity to thank Jokinen for his country’s role in supporting key USAFE-AFAFRICA initiatives.

“Because of our close partnership with Finland, we’ve been able to continue our missions with Baltic Air Policing and the Bomber Task Force, and I just want to say thank you for your support as we maneuver around your airspace,” Harrigian said.

The Finnish air force commander confirmed the open invitation to work with his NATO partner with a single sentence.

“You are always welcome,” said Jokinen.