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USAFE commander discusses regional security with Arctic air chiefs during Arctic Challenge 19

U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles from 104th Fighter Wing, Barnes Air National Guard Base, Mass., form up next to Royal Danish Air Force F-16 Falcons behind a KC-135 Stratotanker from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., after receiving fuel over Sweden, May 24, 2019.  The aircraft are supporting Arctic Challenge Exercise 19, a Nordic aviation exercise intended to provide scenario-based training to prepare partner forces for enemy defensive systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenneth Shaner Brown)

U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles from 104th Fighter Wing, Barnes Air National Guard Base, Mass., form up next to Royal Danish Air Force F-16 Falcons behind a KC-135 Stratotanker from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., after receiving fuel over Sweden, May 24, 2019. The aircraft are supporting Arctic Challenge Exercise 19, a Nordic aviation exercise intended to provide scenario-based training to prepare partner forces for enemy defensive systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenneth Shaner Brown)

Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian, Commander U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa (USAFE- AFAFRICA) visits U.S. Air Force personnel assigned to the Air National Guard’s 169th Fighter Wing from McEntire Joint National Guard Base supporting of Arctic Challenge Exercise 2019 at Kallax Air Base, Lulea, Sweden, May 27, 2019. ACE 19 is a Nordic aviation exercise that provides realistic, scenario based training to prepare U.S. forces for enemy defensive systems. U.S. forces are engaged, postured and ready to deter and defend in an increasingly complex security environment. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Edward Snyder)

Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, visits U.S. Air Force personnel assigned to the Air National Guard’s 169th Fighter Wing from McEntire Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina, supporting Arctic Challenge 2019 exercise at Kallax Air Base, Lulea, Sweden, May 27, 2019. ACE 19 is a Nordic aviation exercise that provides realistic, scenario based training to prepare U.S. forces for enemy defensive systems. U.S. forces are engaged, postured and ready to deter and defend in an increasingly complex security environment. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Edward Snyder)

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.

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