Contribution by the Swedish Air Force to NATO crisis management

From 1 January 2016, personnel from the Norrbotten Wing will be in readiness for the NATO Rapid Response Force. The unit, which consists of the 211th Fighter Division and the 2nd Airbase Battalion, is called a Swedish Fighter Unit and must be ready for action within ninety days if necessary.

Lieutenant Colonel Claes Bernander, Head of the Swedish Fighter Unit. Photo: Helene Nyberg/Swedish Armed Forces
Photo: Helene Nyberg/Swedish Armed Forces

Sweden has been part of the NATO Rapid Response Force since 2013, with its associated reserve force register, Response Force Pool. From the beginning of 2016, F 21 will be responsible for making available Swedish Air Force fighter aircraft for the NATO force.

"The Swedish Fighter Unit consists of an air force task force that, in the event of action, contributes with reconnaissance and air defence," says Lieutenant Colonel Claes Bernander, who is Head of the Swedish Fighter Unit.

Countries in the reserve force register must carry out an evaluation every fourth year to ensure that they are up to NATO standards. In the autumn it is time for Sweden to be evaluated, which means that personnel have a busy time in the autumn with several exercises ahead.

"We already started during an air force exercise when we simultaneously ran another exercise in which we practised deploying the unit in a different location from usual."

"The greatest challenges during the autumn are to perform exercises together and train the staff that will lead the unit. This is necessary because the staff does not exist in its present form. It is an unit made up of personnel from different units in the Air Force."

Capabilities will be tested in the autumn for possible future preparedness.

"The evaluation is carried out prior to preparedness. This is a final trial in which all the component parts are tested, but mainly our capability regarding flight operations, protection of our own deployment and logistics."

A government decision is required for a Swedish task force to become operational.
Before a Swedish task force is put into operation, a government decision is required.