Blekinge Wing, F17, is based in Kallinge, about 8 km north of Ronneby in central Blekinge. In Skåne the Wing has an underground command and control facility responsible for airspace surveillance and the control of combat aircraft missions. F 17 is also responsible for the air base at Visby, Gotland.
F 17 operates two divisions equipped with JAS 39 Gripen aircraft. Each division consists of approximately 20 aircraft. The pilots train continuously to maximise safety and tactical skills. Most exercise flights take place over the sea. This is good from an environmental point of view, especially with regard to noise. The proximity of mainland Europe means that the Wing can take part in international exercises without have to set up temporary bases.
The F 17 pilots together accumulate some 45,000 flying hours annually. To make sure that all flights take place safely requires many hours of aircraft inspection and servicing. This work is undertaken by the aircraft maintenance unit.
F 17 is responsible for what is known as incident preparedness. This means that a number of the Wing’s aircraft are at constant readiness for take-off should it be necessary to intercept, identify and, if necessary, turn away foreign aircraft that do not have permission to overfly Swedish territory. Every year there are infringements of Swedish airspace by foreign aircraft that need to be investigated. The great majority of these incidents take place in the southeast Baltic area.
Blekinge Wing’s own aircraft and personnel make up part of a new international aircraft force.
F 17 trains on average some 300 national service personnel annually. The Training Unit includes the Air Base Ranger School.