Featured image: A Finnish Air Force F-18 Hornet, seen during Frisian Flag 2016. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

Finland starts exchanging Hornet pilots

The Finnish Air Force and United States Marine Corps (USMC) have agreed about exchanging F-18 Hornet flight instructors. A Finnish Air Force pilot will work three years as an air combat instructor in the US and a Marines pilot will do the same in Finland. It marks the first exchanging of Hornet pilots for Finland, that has been flying the F-18 for twenty years.

The exchange will take place from August 2016 to 2019 and the aim is to develop the Finnish Air Force Hornet multirole (fighter/attack) instruction and national flight instruction system in unison with the originating country of the Hornets. In addition, the exchange procedure enables deepening know-how regarding the implementation and development of air-to-ground armament that´s integrated in MLU 2- upgrading of Finnish Hornets.

The Finnish instructor will serve three years in 3rd Marine Air Wing, Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101, based at 3rd MCAS in Miramar. His American counterpart will be based at Hävittäjälentolaivue 31 of the Karelian Air Wing at Rissala AB.

The exchange comes at a time that Heksinki is looking for an fighter jet to replace its Hornets. The F-18 Super Hornet is one of the candidates for the job.

Finnish pilots have worked as exchange flight instructors for BAe Hawk- training at NATO multinational flight training program in Canada.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com contributor Pelttari Veli-Pekka