Members from the E-3A Component participated in the multinational exercise, Arctic Challenge (ACE 21), hosted by Norway, Sweden and Finland. The exercise began on 7 June and will finish on 18 June.
"This exercise is between NATO and Partnership for Peace nations (PfP)," said OF-2 Bodo "Morpheus" Walle, Chief Mission Planning Cell for Arctic Challenge 21. "The exercise gives a unique opportunity for NATO and PfP air, land and sea assets to integrate and train together in an airspace with unprecedented geographical size. The airspace spans across Norway, Sweden and Finland. Additionally, it will introduce fourth and fifth generation integration training across NATO and PfP-countries."
ACE 21 also has participants from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Germany, the United States, Denmark, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. This event was an opportunity to conduct a safe and effective exercise in a multi-domain environment while integrating NATO and PfP nations.
"Each day of the exercise, there were two flying waves with aircraft launching from multiple airfields in Norway, Sweden, Finland, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands," Walle said. "The first wave will give opportunities to focus on individual unit training objectives with dissimilar assets within each host nation's airspace structure."
The second wave will focus on large force employment and composite air operations against a near peer enemy, striving for flag-level execution. The flying will combine all possible air missions to include dynamic targeting. The exercise aims to develop air combat techniques, tactics and procedures for aircraft from Allies and Partners.
During the exercise, the Component was also conducting a self-evaluation. Personnel from logistics, flying crew, mission planning cell and deployed battle staff were evaluated by Component subject matter experts.
"The self-evaluation will mirror the requirements of an AIRCOM evaluation as much as possible," said Walle.
Missions will be flown crossing from one country into another. This will allow participants and hosts to practice coordination and hand-over skills.