Not many Air Force pilots have assisted in leading an Air Force of more than fifty aircraft in attack. However, this has been done twice during the Red Flag this year, reports forsvarsmakten.
According to one of the pilots, the planning for such a mission begins about 36 hours before the aircraft takes off with an Air Tasking Order (ATO) issued.
The ATO describes the task assigned to each unit, number of aircraft that will fly along with their strategies. There is also a section describing generally what applies to the mission, acceptable risk and higher managerial objectives. In this case, it is about breaking through enemy air defenses to eliminate the enemy's ability to conduct terrorist operations and ability for chemical warfare.
After all the preparations and briefs and a final inspection of the aircraft, a group of commanders and four Gripens (loaded with missiles and GBU-49) are all set for the mission.
"War starts when the escort begins to sweep the area and I note with satisfaction that it is quite good to have stealth aircraft on our side. The escort followed by SEAD aircraft start to disrupt and destroy the enemy air defense positions. In the end it is our turn and we follow in their tracks on the way towards the target area", says blogger writing under the name Captain "Tank".
Read the full story: Swedish pilot leads mission on great exercise
Image Courtesy: forsvarsmakten