To carry out exercises of this scope places huge demands on air command leaders, who tactically support the pilots so they can complete their duties efficiently, whilst at the same time ensuring flight safety measures are met at all costs.
It is incredibly important that the aircraft can be kept separate from each other, whilst of course being able to freely manoeuvre in order to complete their duties. The air command leaders work with this on a daily basis. What is special for this type of exercise is that the units of the battle group solve various tasks.
Some need to descend to lower altitudes to be able to act with ammunition aimed at ground level targets, whilst at the same time others must leave the battle to refuel from either Swedish or American tanker aircraft circulating the area.
The first days of the Nordic Air Meet 2012 have been completed and the duties accomplished according to plan, despite the bad weather. The morning activities ended well, and the 40 aircraft that took part in the international battle group of the exercise succeeded in holding back their enemies and defeating the Air Defence Regiment present in the area.
It will soon be time for the Finnish air command leader, Timo Osmala to lead the pilots through their next task. Personnel at the Luleå military command centre gather and Timo briefs them for their task, together with his Swedish colleague Erik Casselberg.
"This is an offensive exercise, therefore it is important to pay extra attention to tactical play during the first stage", explains Timo.
American and Swiss air command leaders will take part in this exercise. The air command leaders' duty is to lead the pilots through their tasks. Later on in the exercise, even more than today's 40 aircraft will be airborne.
The exercise is very demanding with the long flight time. In the evenings, personnel are incredibly tired, however plans for the next exercise are already in full swing.