Participating units are deployed for Bold Quest 19.1 (BQ19.1), the latest in a series of Coalition Capability Demonstration and Assessment events sponsored by the Joint Staff and hosted this year by Finland, only the third time the series is being held outside the United States.
Troops began arriving in Finland for BQ19.1 in late April and early May. The applied testing phase of the event is scheduled to begin this week with about 18 days of data collection. Approximately 2,200 servicemembers, civilians and contractors from the United States and 14 partner nations, including Finland, will participate in Bold Quest, with about 700 of those being Finnish Defence Forces. The largest contingents from other nations will come from the United States, Norway, Denmark, France and Sweden.
Bold Quest is a collaborative joint and multinational enterprise in which Nations, Services and Programs pool their resources in a recurring cycle of capability development, demonstration and analysis. Conceived in 2001, the BQ coalition has grown since 2003 from the U.S. services and four nations to now include 18 Partner Nations and NATO Headquarters.
“The event tests and demonstrates the functional and technical interoperability of Joint Fires, ISR and Fires systems. Also, we get to test and assess our own procedures in a multinational operational environment,” said Maj. Gen. Pasi Jokinen, commander of the Finnish Air Force and Finland’s Bold Quest lead.
The Finnish Defence Forces, representing the host nation, have overall responsibility for Bold Quest 19.1, collaborating with the U.S. Joint Staff’s Bold Quest team that will be directing activities at the tactical level. The main Bold Quest Control Center will be located in Sodankylä, with supporting centers throughout the nation. The national and multinational Combined Network Control Center will be located in Riihimäki. In addition to the Finnish locations, multiple participants and support personnel will be connected daily from distributed sites in Europe and the United States.
“The precedents achieved in this Bold Quest are many and significant, including the most complex capability demonstration in our 16-year history, and the first Bold Quest of this nature to be hosted by a nation other than the USA,” said Joint Staff’s Bold Quest manager, Mr. John Miller.
A Finnish heavy rocket launcher battery (MLRS), a heavy artillery battalion and a mortar company will be participating in the live fire portions of the demonstration. Also participating in the live fire are artillery guns, mortars and MLRS units from Belgium, Sweden and France.
The Bold Quest sorties will be flown from the bases in Rissala and Rovaniemi May 13-24. The flights are mainly directed at the training areas close to the bases and to the area around Rovajärvi. More than 30 aircraft and helicopters from Denmark, Finland, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Norway, and the United States will participate.
Two F/A-18 Hornet multirole fighters and one Pilatus PC-12NG liaison aircraft will be participating in the event from the Finnish Air Force and five NH90 helicopters from the Finnish army.
During Bold Quest 19.1, the Finnish Defence Forces will be responsible for the foreign troops’ logistics arrangements in Finland in regards to entry into the country, activities during the event, and exit from Finland.
”Bold Quest is a good opportunity to test and demonstrate the Finnish competence in different fields. Also, we get to practice the logistical arrangements for the officially invited foreign troops,” Maj. Gen. Jokinen said.
The event can be observed online at www.puolustusvoimat.fi/boldquest, Youtube.com/puolustusvoimat, #boldquest. (Courtesy, Finland Defence Forces and Joint Staff public affairs offices)