Last Wednesday, Swedish Gripens joined forces with the US Air Force during an interoperability exercise, reports Forsvarsmakten. For the American bombers involved, it was their first time exercising in Swedish airspace.
According to another report by thebrantsobserver.com, the exercise was one of the largest of its kind where several allies and partners trained along with the US B-1B bombers. The Gripens not only escorted the American bombers but also carried out air-to-air refueling with the American KC-135 to increase air time.
“This has been a good exercise, in which we have demonstrated interoperability and our role as a reliable and relevant partner," says Air Force Commander, Major-General Carl-Johan Edström. "The transatlantic link and joint exercises with US air units increase our capability. Our task, single-handedly as well as with others, is to create security and stability in the Baltic Sea region,” he adds.
Although not a NATO country, Sweden, under a partnership agreement with NATO, allows allied forces to conduct such joint training exercises in the country. And this exercise was based on the Statement of intent signed in 2016 between the US and Sweden. The sortie was conducted by the Swedish air combat command.
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