Although the number of airframes has been limited in accordance with Parliament's decision, the unit FL 02 (Flying operation Libya 02) continues to provide information to the higher staff of NATO with the same frequency as before. The unit's technicians FSC, Fighter Support Coy, must work hard in the heat.
“We soon realized that a precondition to keeping the aircraft fleet running was to introduce a shift system for staff. We are now working with one shift between the hours of 0700 and 1600 while the second shift starts at 1500 and continues until the work is done. It often adds up to 12 to 14 hours”, says Kent Stråhle, Head of the FSC.
The heat in Sicily is something that the staff has to deal with.
“There are few of us who are accustomed to working in this heat. Almost every day we have temperatures between 40 and 50 degrees on the tarmac”, continues Kent.
In an attempt to limit the effect of the heat on the staff there are air conditioned vehicles on the tarmac, which staff can jump into to cool off a bit during their shift.
“It is also important to drink plenty of fluids. We drink about 4-6-litres of water per day”, concludes Kent.
But it is not only the staff that is affected by the heat. The wear and tear on the equipment is also harder than normal. The tyres are the most affected by the heat as they wear out quickly on the hot track. The strain during take-off and landing considerably shortens the lifespan of the tyres.
“We bring spare parts and tools to change tyres and repair the wheels here on the base. It takes about three hours to dress a wheel and so far we have changed just over ten tyres,” says Cit Claesson.