The US military is sending F-15 fighter jets to Finland for the first-ever joint exercises in the country due to perceived increased military activity by Russia, according to the Air Force Command Finland. Members of the US Oregon Air National Guard have been dispatched to Finland’s Karelian Air Command in Rissala, located in the eastern part of the country, for joint air exercises that will last two weeks in the beginning of May, Yle news agency reported, citing the Finnish Air Force Command.

“Cooperation with the US is close and our cooperation on a practical level has been and will continue to remain tight,” said an official at the Finnish Department of Defense, Mika Varvikko. The Oregon Air National Guard have previously been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Nordic country has never hosted the US Air Force before. The Americans are planning to bring along somewhere between six and eight unarmed McDonnell Douglas F-15C Eagle tactical fighter jets. The exercises will consist of “education and training operations.” READ MORE