The main task of the Norrbotten Wing is to create rapid response units, namely two combat aircraft divisions and one base battalion, all at readiness to take part in national and international missions. The Wing also shares in the common tasks of the Armed Forces, such as providing support for the civil community in the event of major disasters.
Because of the sparseness of the infrastructure in the north of Sweden, F 21 is able to make use of one of the world’s largest air exercise areas, which makes the possibility of joint exercises an attractive prospect for the Air Forces of other countries. Exercising jointly with the Norwegian and Finnish Air Forces can take place routinely on a day-to-day basis.
In common with other units of the armed forces, F 21 is responsible for the training of units on rotation for participation in international missions. In 2010, for the second time, F 21 will be responsible for setting up a mission to Afghanistan, FS 19.
The forerunner of today’s Wing was created in 1941, at the height of World War 2, when the Norrbotten air base corps was established at Kallaxheden. Temporary units, drawn from the whole of the Swedish Air Force, were based here right through until 1963 when full Wing status was granted.
Since then, F 21 Wing has grown steadily. The Wing was allocated JAS 39 Gripen aircraft in January 2002 and from 2009 both the first and second divisions will be re-equipped with the latest version of the JAS 39C Gripen.