On Friday, the Swedish Armed Forces and US Air Force conducted a joint exercise above Öland. Two Stratofortress B-52 exercised mine dropping together with the Swedish navy.
When the US bombers entered Swedish air space, they were escorted by Swedish JAS 39 Gripen. Off the eastern coast of Öland, a Visby-class corvette guided the bombers, marking the area where mines were to be laid in the exercise.
“Broadly speaking, the exercise involves the identification of an area in Swedish territorial waters, where we wish to prevent opponent movements. The US bombers then drop mines in the area”, says Chief Swedish Navy, Rear Admiral Ewa Skoog Haslum.
No live mines used
The mine dropping was simulated in the exercise. No live ammunition was used. After the exercise, the US bombers were escorted due north and around noon, observant citizens were able to see and hear the planes in the Stockholm area.
“The Bomber Task Force exercise is very important to us. Within a few weeks, we have obtained proof that all our service branches have the capability of joint action with US Bomber Task Force”, says Commander Joint Force Generation Command, Lieutenant General Johan Svensson.
“The Swedish Air Force is able to protect them, the ground units can conduct Close Air Support and the navy is capable of neutralising sea targets. There is no doubt that this enhances our capability of defending Sweden”, says Lieutenant General Johan Svensson.