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Snow becomes Sand as Sweden's Helicopter Wing prepares for international missions

8th March 2010 - 11:19 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Sweden's Helicopter Wing is to exercise in the mountains in the north of the country next week as part of its preparation for international deployments.

The helicopters will operate from Abisko, where the environment of snow and high mountains is similar to that found in Afghanistan, the snow compares favourably with sand in the way in reacts in the presence of helicopters.

'This is one of the preparations for upcoming international efforts,' said Ulf Boman, head for the first helicopter squadron at in Luleå.

'Here we can train ourselves to fly and navigate in poor terrain and with limited visibility.'

He also points out that the process of developing the capacity to carry out a technical service at a temporary base with little infrastructure is an important part of the exercise.

Crews will use the exercise to carry out a variety of take-offs and landings on the high peaks, narrow valleys, and on mountain shelves.

In a few weeks, the squadron will begin operations in the Gulf of Aden under the European Union's Operation Atalanta, with two A109 helicopters. Next April two  Super Puma's locally designated Hkp10B will be sent to Afghanistan.

"I see it as an extremely important exercise for us when I know what we have before us," said Ulf Boman.

Approximately 140 people from the squadron (Luleå, Linköping, Ronneby, Sweden) are participating in the mountain exercise.

Source: Swedish Armed Forces

The Shephard News Team


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