These units must be capable of being used both internationally and nationally. In peacetime the Swedish Armed Forces must also be capable of being used in support of the civil community.
The air combat units have to be ready, once parliamentary approval has been given, to take part in military operations beyond Sweden’s borders. In such cases the Air Force contributes both men and materiel and is able to put together specific units depending on the nature of the mission.
The Swedish Air Force is composed of flight units, base units and command and control units:
- Air combat units are capable of striking land, sea and air targets with high levels of precision, flexibility and firepower, and can also be used for intelligence gathering and upholding Sweden’s territorial integrity.
- Transport aircraft units carry out transport missions and are employed, for example, in humanitarian operations both nationally and internationally.
- Signals intelligence (SIGINT) units carry out signal intercept and intelligence gathering operations.
- Air surveillance units are used mainly to supplement the ground based radar stations.
- Helicopter units carry out land and sea based operations as well as search and rescue (SAR) duties.
- Base and command unit, the principal task of which is to provide command and control for the air combat units.
Swedish Air Force Chief of Staff, Major General Micael Bydén, is the most senior representative of the Swedish Air Force’s air combat forces. Swedish Air Force Chief of Staff also heads the Air Component Command (FTS) which forms part of the operational staff at Swedish Armed Forces Headquarters.
Air Component Command leads activities utilising the Air Force’s operational capabilities, for example in actual operations and deployments and in major exercises, both in Sweden and abroad.