KALLAX AIR BASE, Sweden (AFNS) --
The commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Force Africa met with the air chiefs of Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway to discuss regional security and exercise planning during Arctic Challenge 19 at Luleå, Sweden, May 28.
Gen. Jeff Harrigian worked with the air chiefs on a path forward for future ACE exercises, including a focus on developing realistic scenarios for the Airmen on the ground and in the air.
“Cooperation, partnership and trust are key components to regional security. The Arctic region is vitally important and provides our Airmen with exceptional airspace to operate in as we fly and learn from our allies and partners,” Harrigian said.
ACE 19 is one of Europe’s largest air force exercises, with 140 aircraft and approximately 4,000 participants from nine nations. The United Kingdom, Netherlands, France, Germany and Switzerland are also participating in ACE 19.
“Interoperability is key, learning from one another and integrating our air forces is critical if we have to go into combat together as a unified force,” Harrigian said.
“Our friends in the Arctic region possess highly technological and interoperable militaries, making them exceptional partners. By continuing to develop our strategic relationship through combined activities like ACE, we support a unified strategy, enhance our unity of effort and support collective defense and deterrence.”
ACE 19 is scheduled to continue through June 4. In addition to Luleå, Sweden, allied air forces are also participating from Ørland and Bodø, Norway and Rovaniemi, Finland.