The mission of the air base security company is to protect the air base and to guard the area around it. This is done by mobile patrols consisting of professional officers, conscripts and dogs. In addition they use a number of technical supervision aids, sensors and vehicles.
“This is a live final exercise for the soldiers, as close as possible to an overseas mission it is possible to have on your home turf,” says Major Danielsson, “the patrols are led by trained air base security officers, and we get a confirmation that our battle skills function as is intended.”
Extended military exclusion area
Since May 15, the existing military exclusion area around the wing has been extended, in part for the patrols to carry out their surveillance mission. Signs and warning tapes have been put up, and the public is not allowed to enter the area.
“Anybody found inside the extended military area and who does not have any authorisation is informed that they are not allowed here,” the major adds, “we then ask them to leave the area.”
If anybody refuses to leave the military exclusion area he or she will be apprehended by the patrol, and handed over to the police for further investigation. This has already happened twice on Friday, June 5 and Monday, June 8.
Despite the long hours, the soldiers in this mission are alert. There is constant tension when they are on patrol. The soldiers have also received some legal training during their conscription period, so they can now call themselves Community Service Officers.
“After having been on duty for 17 hours you are rather exhausted,” says conscript Lars Sjödin, “not only physically because of the patrolling, but also emotionally because you are under constant tension.”
The soldiers must implement their knowledge in a real situation and they can see the result straight away.
“It is great to see that the things we were taught during our training period really work in practice,” says Jonas Johansson, another conscript in the guard force.