Communication – a decisive factor

It is often necessary to have an ability to communicate with those around you. When involved in an operation, this is of vital importance.

The heart of the communications network. Photo: Helene Nyberg/Swedish Armed Forces
Supplying electricity to all of the communications systems at the forward operating base requires several generators. Photo: Helene Nyberg/Swedish Armed Forces
The controllers direct air traffic from the mobile tower. Photo: Helene Nyberg/Swedish Armed Forces

Today, we are used to being able to reach each other in many different ways. However, if the infrastructure is not in place, everything needs to be built from the ground up and then maintained. The unit responsible for this within the Expeditionary Air Wing is the Communication Information System (CIS).

“We are responsible for all communications systems on an air base. This can involve everything related to telephony, data or radio communications. We are also responsible for the power supply and for putting in fibre-optic and power cables”, says Daniel Björkman, Head of CIS.

This unit is made up of personnel from both the air wing in Luleå (F 21) and the air wing in Kallinge (F 17). In the Nordic Battlegroup they will be stationed at both the main base and to the forward operating base, which is located closer to the area of operations.

“We are dispersed in a way that allows us to manage communications and everything connected to it at both sites.”

In the event of an operation, personnel from F 21 will be stationed at the base closest to the area of operations. A mobile control tower will also be set up there, from where air traffic controllers can do their job. To ensure that everything will work on site, they recently conducted exercises with the air traffic controllers in Jokkmokk.

“We are preparing ourselves and testing all systems to ensure they function and that we have the expertise required in the Nordic Battlegroup. It is the first time we used the ATS system, i.e. the communication system in the mobile tower, in a live exercise.”