Helicopter activities are going extremely fast now. A section of the Wing is preparing for a mission in Afghanistan with the Helicopter 10B (Super Puma). Another section has its focus on NBG 11, but the most immediate goal is the mission in Djibouti in the Gulf of Aden, ME 02.
The two Helicopter 15s that will go to Djibouti are grey. The reason for this is that they will operate from ships, in this case HMS Carlskrona, which incidentally leaves the Port of Karlskrona on 13 March. Then, one of the helicopters will also be on-board. The other will be transported to Djibouti by a large cargo plane.
“We’re now turning our plans into action. There is and has been a lot of work involved in solving these tasks. It is a commitment in which the entire Wing is involved in one way or another,” says Magnus Westerlund, Head of the Armed Forces Helicopter Wing.
As previously mentioned, one of the helicopters that will be part of NBG 11 is ready. Something that Magnus Westerlund regards as another step in the right direction.
“It feels great that we now have a helicopter that is equipped as it should be.”
The other helicopters that will be included in the force will be gradually modified, but this will not happen in Italy as before, but in Belgium.
The modifications that are being done include putting on a sand filter and mounting attachments for ballistic protection. These helicopters are painted a camouflage green colour and must be prepared in principle to operate anywhere in the world from 1 January 2011.
In addition to the immediate operations in which the Wing is involved, there is currently a large winter exercise during the spring in the Abisko region where all three helicopter squadrons are participating (Luleå, Linköping, Ronneby). During early summer, the Wing will also take part in a large international exercise in Spain. It can also be mentioned that the last of 20 ordered Helicopter 15s recently arrived at the Wing. All were formally delivered to the Swedish Armed Forces earlier, but the twentieth has been on loan to another operation up until now.