It seems a strange to have this safety system on the 3.350-m-long runway at Lulea. However, the safety system is required for the American F-15 Eagles in the first place, and during Loyal Arrow the Portuguese and Turkish F-16 detachments will also use the cable system which is similar to that installed on aircraft carriers.
The US team based at Ramstein Air Base in the southwest of Germany is used to travelling around the world with their mobile cable system. During the exercise they cooperate with the local airfield maintenance, because a lot of preparations including earthworks were required to install the cable.
“The Swedish are the most helpful team we have ever worked with,” adds an enthusiastic Robin Elliot, “I wish to thank them for their outstanding cooperation.”
The six team members are split up in two shifts. On average they have to put the cable out four to five times a day. “We would also like to thank the tower staff,” says Elliot, “because they have done a great coordinating job so we did not have to go out on the runway more often than required.”
When they get a call from the tower the cable team has to hurry up and get the cable off the runway. Normally it just takes them a few minutes to retrieve it.
“So far in the exercise, nobody had had to use it,” says Robin Elliot, “but it is always better to have some backup safety system.”