Finnish authorities have shut down one of their main highways for five days to allow their fighters to practice landings and take-offs. A Nordic country that is applying for NATO membership has a dozen reserve runways – located along motorways – intended for use in wartime.
The backup road base located at the height of the Joutsa commune, in the center of the country, has not been used for decades – mainly due to the fact that it serves as the main highway connecting the capital Helsinki with cities in the north of the country.
Within a few days, the Finnish air force cleared the roadsides and prepared the area for exercises in which about 200 employees and F / A-18 Hornet fighters, older Hawk Mk51 training aircraft and other military aircraft, informed the head of the Air Force Academy FinlandColonel Vesa Mantila.
“All our road bases are in fairly good condition, so they can be easily up and running in a matter of days,” said Mantyla. To protect its fleet, the Finnish Air Force can quickly disperse all of its planes across the country, which is why it conducts roadbase trials every year.
Hundreds of spectators of exercises on the highway
Hundreds of local residents watched the exercises of the Finnish army. The residents of Joutsa County watched as combat fighters practiced take-offs and landings on a 2-kilometer stretch of a gated highway, while ground personnel trained the refueling of the fighter with its engines running.
Pensioner Veikko Haapala in an interview with the Reuters agency said that he believed that the Finnish defense forces would be able to defend the country, especially with the help of allies from FOR THIS. “I feel a bit concerned, given how things have changed in the world,” the 79-year-old said.
Seija Viinikainen, 57, welcomed the exercises on the highway. – Finns also need to be vigilant and even lean on these small rural runways, so that the army is prepared to use them and conscripts can exercise on them – she stated.
Main photo source: Reuters