The Armed Forces decided in February 2007 the Nordic Battlegroup's helicopter unit, Heli Unit 01 (HU01), should be provided with four HKP 4 helicopters for tactical transport purposes. The helicopters underwent modification which included the fitting of ballistic protection and machine guns for self-protection. It had already been decided that the unit should have three HKP 10 helicopters for so-called medevac duties, that is the evacuation of wounded soldiers.
The Helicopter Wing has for twelve months been recruiting, training, equipping and developing methods for carrying out tactical transport and medical missions in the international environment of the Nordic Battlegroup.
"We are now up and running. Progress has been rapid and in just 12 months we have developed a unit which is ready for action", says Micael Bydén.
The training check was the final part of the process of making sure of the unit's professional skills and capabilities. The Commander of the Helicopter Wing has now confirmed that Heli Unit 01 has, in all respects, the capacity and capabilities needed to carry out the range of tactical missions specified in the EU's requirements document.
A capability much in demand
"With this unit, the Nordic Battlegroup certainly has the ability to carry out medical transport operations with qualified medical personnel and the proper on-board medical equipment, which is a capability that is much in demand", says Micael Bydén.
For the HKP 10 helicopters which form part of the unit, it is at present only possible to provide support for humanitarian actions where medical transport facilities, including qualified medical personnel and proper on-board medical equipment, are already available.