UK personnel take part in Exercise Vigilant Knife in Finland (Picture: MOD Crown Copyright).
UK personnel take part in Exercise Vigilant Knife in Finland (Picture: MOD).
Army

UK troops test cold weather skills with Finnish and Swedish forces on Exercise Vigilant Knife

UK personnel take part in Exercise Vigilant Knife in Finland (Picture: MOD Crown Copyright).
UK personnel take part in Exercise Vigilant Knife in Finland (Picture: MOD).

British troops have taken part in Exercise Vigilant Knife, an exercise with Swedish and Finnish armed forces.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) said the exercise offered a strengthening of "interoperability", as both Sweden and Finland bid to join NATO.

The command-post exercise took place in Rovaniemi and Rovajarvi in northern Finland between 29 August and 2 September.

Around 80 personnel from C Company, 2 Rifles Battlegroup, took part, travelling from the island of Santahamina in the south of the country where they undertook a three-month training deployment as part of a security agreement between Britain and Finland.

The international force, made up of more than 2,000 troops, practised delivering and receiving international assistance, the MOD said.

It builds on the success of Exercise Vigilant Fox in July and was staged against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, which has sharpened minds across Europe about security on the Continent in the face of Russian aggression.

UK troops look through the woods on Exercise Vigilant Knife in Finland (Picture: MOD Crown Copyright).
UK troops on Exercise Vigilant Knife (Picture: MOD).

Defence Secretary 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."