To spread aircraft and support these – spread ground support – at other sites than ordinary stands has been practised by the Wing during the past winter. Now comes the next stage, to practise spread ground support to other military bases than the ordinary ones.
"To exercise at military bases was commonplace before. It is a capability we have lost and not practised for many years. We must rediscover and take back our basic ability to be able to act at our military bases without the need of major exercises and a great deal of personnel," says Örjan Lindström.
Örjan Lindström previously leader of aircraft maintenance has, with personnel from the 32nd aircraft maintenance company and support from the wing staff as well as the department for tactics and capability development of the air force's basic abilities from the Air Combat School, developed a concept and a new method for training at the production and air time production base.
You use whatever you have
In order to practise spread ground support demands resources in the form of, and in addition to personnel, adapted vehicles for operations.
Mental activity and innovative have been significant for how combat units shall rediscover the ability to implement spread ground support at military bases. While waiting for new ground support vehicles for aircraft maintenance, personnel have been involved in the modification of old sprinter vehicles, off-road vehicle 5.
"The commitment shown by the staff has been tremendous". Old sprinter vehicles used in the KFOR mission have been renovated and adapted for aircraft maintenance.
It's not a question of modifying or rebuilding the vehicle, but adapting the cargo compartment for ground support materiel and ammunition handling so that it works for the aeronautical staff. In addition the load needs to be safe, an technical issue dealt with by the Aircraft maintenance staff assisted by the road safety officer.
Tests and trials with new-old adapted vehicles for spread ground support have been conducted by the Wing with good results. The trial with the old sprinter vehicles attracted interest from others within the air force and Armed Forces.
Increased capability gives available combat units
As the first Wing and developer of a concept, F 21 has taken the next step to implement spread ground support at the military base in Vidsel.
"We have done this within the daily activities with a minimum of resources". Two vehicles with trailers as well as six aircraft technicians can prepare and equip a Jas 39 Gripen.
After successful trials at the Vidsel base, the concept will be introduced and practised on several occasions during the year at our military bases; F 21, Vidsel and Jokkmokk.
"For the pilots it is important to be able to land at military bases. The concept increases the capability of the base and the ability to act from the military bases. In this way we increase availability of all combat units," concludes Örjan Lindström.