The United States and Finland are currently in the midst of negotiating a defense cooperation agreement (DCA) that would allow the U.S. military to use Finnish soil for training and weapons storage, the local Helsingin Sanomat reported on Monday, May 1st.
…The foremost aim of the agreement is to strengthen Finland’s defense capabilities through the presence of U.S. Army personnel and the possible early deployment of American defense systems—both viewed primarily as a deterrence against any future Russian invasion.
…Most importantly, the terms of the DCA will allow the deployment of U.S. military units to specified locations throughout Finland, but the rules that are currently being finalized will also set certain guidelines to regulate their stay within the country as well as the details of storing American military equipment. Potential U.S. infrastructure investments are also on the table.
For instance, Antell mentioned the possibility of creating a service center on Finnish soil reserved for the maintenance of America’s state-of-the-art fighter jets, the F-35s. Other investments could be similar to the ones specified in a previous DCA with Norway, under which the U.S. invested around €170 million into the Rygge airport to streamline the coming and going of American troops into the country.
…In the meantime, the U.S. is also negotiating similar agreements with Denmark and Sweden, the latter of whom is also hoping to become a NATO member later this year. The DCA with Norway mentioned above was concluded back in 2021 and gave “unhindered” access to three airports and one naval station for U.S. military personnel.