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Major flight exercise in the coming weeks

The Air Force must test new deployable headquarters before joining NATO contingency next year. It is going to mean flying at different times in several places in the country.

By the Defense Command The Air Force will next year be on standby for NATO’s Response Force with a so-called Composite Special Operations Air Task Group (C-SOATG). It is a special operations force headquarters, which in short must be able to plan the use of aircraft and helicopters for the deployment of special operations soldiers very quickly.

The NATO Response Force is a military force composed of contributions from various NATO countries, ready to be deployed at short notice in the event of an urgent need. In order to be able to go on standby, the individual countries must demonstrate that they can solve their tasks through a certification.

The Air Force’s certification will take place in an international framework in the period from 26 October to 6 November at Aalborg Air Base. “Conducting operations with special operations forces at this level requires that we train our soldiers’ ability to plan complex operational flights in a very short time, so that we can deploy over long distances in surprising ways.

This is a capacity we have developed over many years, among other things in connection with the exercises carried out during the special operations exercise NIGHT HAWK, ”says Jens Blomqvist, who is head of the Danish part of the force.

International participation In order to make the exercise as realistic as possible, a number of different types of aircraft will arrive at Aalborg Air Base from other NATO countries during the exercise.

There will be, among other things, F-15E Fighter aircraft, MC-130J special operations transport aircraft and possibly CV-22 Osprey transport aircraft. “We set up our Composite Special Operations Air Task Group in close cooperation with soldiers from the Netherlands and Belgium, and the flying units are American.

With the Danish contribution, we will have around 200 participating soldiers, ”says Jens Blomqvist. There will primarily be flying in the daytime and early evening hours, and the exercises will be carried out primarily in Central and North Jutland and on Bornholm. “When we have to operate in this way, it is inevitable that we will disturb the peace in places we do not normally come, but most activities are intentionally concentrated around areas where military activity can already be expected (eg air stations ).

We hope that the Danes will take it as an experience, because it will also mean that they can see planes in the air, which are not normally seen in our airspace “, says Jens Blomqvist.

We have deliberately planned to end the flights before kl. 22 for the sake of people’s night sleep. Covid-19 in all preparations It was originally planned to hold an exercise earlier in the year where the certification could have taken place, but it was canceled in connection with Denmark being shut down.

Now 2021 is fast approaching, and this exercise must ensure that the certification of the Danish forces can be completed. Holding the exercise is necessary, as Denmark will otherwise not be able to solve the tasks that it has committed itself to in NATO co-operation. But the organizers are confident that the exercise will be held in a responsible manner.

“We have made a lot of reservations: We use dispersion where it makes sense – different nations’ contributions are placed in different places at the airport – and in the headquarters itself, which must be able to function as one unit, greater dispersion has been used between the individual employees than what usually used and people work in teams that do not switch. Accommodation and bath follow this principle.

There are only quite a few places where greater proximity will be needed. Here we wear masks and in general we ensure a high degree of hygiene through frequent spraying of all surfaces, ”says Jens Blomqvist. In fact, the Air Force sees the challenges of this exercise as an opportunity.

“We must be able to operate in war zones no matter if there is a pandemic going on or not. If we are in a situation where we are being deployed in a crisis or war area, the situation will hardly wait for a contagious disease to pass.

We therefore also use this exercise to train deployment in areas where there is a health risk. It has been a great challenge to get the exercise in place under the current conditions characterized by COVID-19, but the experiences so far are actually good, and something we will take with us in future setups “, says Jens.

If you have any questions, please contact the Armed Forces’ press guard on tel. 70204033. Due to the situation with coronavirus

Source: forsvaret.dk

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