The exercise has started

The first day of the Arctic Challenge Exercise 2013, ACE 13 is almost over. The evaluation of the afternoon period will take place at the same time as the planning of the following day's morning session begins.

The first day of the exercise means lots of news for the participants, especially the visiting units. For the pilots, it is about familiarising themselves with the airspace. Certain equipment must be adjusted so that collaboration between the bases participating in the exercise can go without a hitch.

Five nations stationed at four different bases over three countries need organisation and planning.

The key to success is that the video conferencing equipment (VCE) works. This links the bases so joint briefings can take place before the flight period can begin. VCE is just as important for the evaluation as the flight sessions conducted in the flight exercises.

One of the aims of the exercise is to practice the planning, execution and evaluation of large joint forces. Training with others, both Swedish and foreign units is essential to our response capacity. By training together, we create the conditions for executing joint efforts.

“This is the best way to learn from each other”, says Tobhias Wikström, Squadron Commander of the 211 Fighter Aircraft Unit.

The exercise is a Nordic collaboration between Sweden, Norway and Finland but other nations have also been invited to participate.

“Being able to train against a new platform such as the British Typhoon makes us develop our competencies. We receive good and cost-effective exercise exchanges”, he says.