Starting January next year, the third Fighter Unit, SE 03 will be placed on standby duty. This spring’s SE 03 consists of about 100 persons from the F 21 Wing, including technicians, an HQ unit and personnel for communications and close defence. The unit will relieve SE 02 that comes from the F 17 Wing in Ronneby.
CAP and CAS
During exercise Loyal Arrow the unit has been able to work on the preparations for this duty. The pilots have carried out a total of 78 offensive and defensive missions.
“One of the defensive tasks is to defend our airspace. Our defensive missions include the dropping of ordnance on the Vidsel firing range and Close Air Support,” says Squadron Commander Edström. The Gripen has dropped four inert GBU 12 bombs, which cannot explode since steel weights replace the explosives.
Four Gripen aircraft from the F 21 Wing have participated in exercise Loyal Arrow, and the timing of this exercise fits our training schedule, says Squadron Commander Edström.
“This is second to last exercise before standby duty commences. We did some live firing exercises during exercise Cold Response earlier this winter, and now the aim is to carry out a peace-enforcing mission. During exercise Loyal Arrow the Rules of Engagement (ROE) are more influential,” he says.
“During this exercise we have also have a trained headquarters unit, and that is most useful. This will introduce important elements where the HQ unit and the other participating countries must arrive at the right decision before the missions are decided on,“ ends Squadron Commander Edström.