NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. --
The Swedish Air Force provided a vital role to the 414 Combat Training Squadron’s Red Flag-Nellis 22-2 with two air bosses. Their participation promotes interoperability between friendly forces and the exchange of information for both future Red Flag exercises and the Swedish Arctic Challenge Exercise.
The two worked side-by-side with Airmen to coordinate command and control capabilities to air and ground units during the entirety of the exercise.
“The Swedish Air Force is providing coalition support to exercise Red Flag 22-2 by integrating two personnel with the 414 CTS White Force Exercise Staff,” said Col. Jared Hutchinson, 414th Combat Training Squadron commander. “Acting as air bosses, they bring over 40 years of fighter aircraft experience to ensure each mission is planned and executed safely, following applicable regulations and within an appropriate level of risk.”
The intention of employing an air boss in exercises like Red Flag and Arctic Challenge is to ensure the safety of all participants while in the air domain. Their role is to also create as accurate of an environment as possible for training purposes.
“During mission execution, the air boss monitors the mission and is also the main contact point,” said Maj. Daniel Jannerstad, a Swedish Air Force air boss. “What I want to bring home are ways to improve the Arctic Challenge Exercise, so all participants get the best training possible. Red Flag is the model for just that.”
Despite being two completely different exercises, each provides an opportunity to learn from the other, allowing the U.S. and Swedish Air Force to work together and support each other throughout the training.
By integrating friendly forces, the USAF can expand upon these concepts. The opportunity to work with other Air Forces has been ongoing and beneficial for both countries.
“This is my fourth year coming back to Nellis as an air boss,” said Jannerstad. “Sweden is a small country compared to the U.S., and to be able to represent my country and the Swedish Air Force is huge to me and an honor.”
Red Flag provides training in real-world scenarios with real-world forces, allies, and international partners. The U.S. Air Force is more prepared for future conflicts by exchanging information with its Swedish counterparts.
As part of a U.S. Air Force Weapons Center agreement with the U.S. Air Force Europe-Africa Warfare Center, the 414 CTS staff supports the Nordic Defense Cooperation (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) in the planning and execution of the bi-annual Arctic Challenge Exercise, which will kick-off again in May 2023 at Kallax Air Base in Sweden.
The 2019 DoD Arctic Strategy calls for U.S. forces to enhance their ability to operate in the high north through regular Arctic exercises and deployments, both independently and with allies and partners. The strategy also explicitly highlights the Arctic Challenge Exercise as a venue which provides combat-credible deterrence in the Arctic region.”
These exercises allow partnerships to breed more lethal, resilient, and rapidly innovating joint forces, combined with a robust constellation of allies and partners, sustaining American influence and ensuring favorable balances of power that safeguard the free and open international order.