“An important exercise, in particular we get the possibility to practice together in an organisation that in the future will be able to lead larger formations under a UN mandate,” said Colonel Dennis Hedström, the Swedish Defence Forces project manager for this exercise.
LAW09 is one of the largest exercises so far in Sweden. All in all, ten countries are contributing with aircraft and/or ground units. The exercise is led by NATO with the Swedish Defence Forces as host. The aim is to practice and train units and staffs in leading and carrying out air operations, prepare the NATO standby units and to improve the inter-operability of the Swedish Air Defence Forces.
Soon after lunchtime on Thursday, the first fighter aircraft landed at F 21 in Luleå. These were F16 “Fighting Falcons” of the Turkish contingent.
“We are looking forward to an exciting exercise with many interesting missions together with the other nations. We have exercised with other countries many times before, but this is the first time we are in Sweden,” said Major Anil Basar, the first of the Turkish pilots to land in Luleå.
Partnership for Peace (PfP)
This NATO exercise is open to so-called PfP countries. The PfP programme is a practical programme of cooperation between NATO and interested states. The basis for PfP is that every individual state decides in which area and in which way they want to cooperate. The aim of the PfP cooperation is among other, to improve the capability of participating in international peace-keeping missions, mainly by improving the interoperability between various countries, that is, the capability of working together effectively.
Experience for the future
LAW09 is the exercise with the highest priority for the Swedish Air Defence Forces in 2009. Being a host for this exercise means that Sweden will get experience in exercise planning, logistics, and the carrying out of larger international exercises here in Sweden.
“LAW09 is very important for the Swedish Defence Forces, it will give us good practice and the opportunity to work in an international context. Not only with the flying units, but also with ground units and staffs,” said the Information Manager of the Swedish Defence Forces, Erik Lagersten.
The exercise will start June 8, and will take place in Norrbotten and Västerbotten, with the Norrbotten Wing at F 21 in Luleå, as the main base.