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UPDATED: 08:07, May 09, 2007
Finland, Sweden to take part in NATO response force exercise in Poland
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Finland and Sweden will take part in the NATO Response Force (NRF) exercise in Poland next week, the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported Tuesday.

The so-called Noble Mariner exercise will take place in Poland from May 18 to May 24. This exercise is one of three exceptionally large-scale military exercises to be held from May 14 to May 24 in the southern Baltic region, including adjacent Danish, Swedish, German and Polish territorial waters, airspace and land.

Dozens of ships and airplanes, and thousands of personnel from 17 coastal NATO states including the United States will take part in the NRF drill. Finland and Sweden will train with them as "partners in peace."

Finland will send some 80 to 90 servicemen, reservists, and their instructors, plus three armored personnel carriers and a dozen other vehicles, for the war game.

The role of the Finnish and Swedish units is to act as a training opponent to the NRF disembarkation troops. In other words, the Finns and the Swedes will "defend" Poland against the invasion force.

Prior to the NATO exercise, Finland and Sweden will organize a joint exercise in Sweden, where a significantly larger number of Finnish personnel and more equipment will be involved.

Source: Xinhua

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