Finnish Defence Forces’ helicopters below deck
The multinational helicopter exercise, called HOT BLADE 2012, will be held in the beginning of July in Ovar, in the north of the Portugal, gathering crews and assets from Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Netherlands and Spain. HOT BLADE 2012 will train for hot and dusty environments, commonly found in operational scenarios. Finnish Defence Forces will participate with three NH-90 helicopters and personnel of 55 people.
Part of the Finnish Defence Forces' attendance to the exercise was the movement of helicopters from Finland to Portugal. Copters were flown from Utti Regiment to Port of Rauma during the Midsummer week. UPM Seaways was chosen to be the carrier of helicopters from Rauma to Santander in north Spain wherefrom the helicopters will be flown to Portugal.
The actual loading, sea transportation from Rauma to Santander and discharging of copters in Santander was carefully planned well in advance in close cooperation with personnel of UPM Seaways, Finnish Defence Forces and Master and Chief Officer of mv Mimer. According to master of mv Mimer, Mr Janne Lustig, everything went according to plans: "The weather during the passage from Rauma to Santander couldn't have been better, although Bay of Biscay can be sometimes quite nasty even during the summer season. The two military persons of Utti Regiment, who travelled together with copters from Rauma to Santander, were happy as everything went smoothly and without surprises”.
Author: Lauri Rikala, Manager, Short Sea Break Bulk Services