Swedish daily: US special forces in Estonia-bound exercise
United States special forces conducted an airborne exercise over the Baltic in which personnel rehearsed reaching Estonia by air from Sweden, Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter reports.
The personnel were transported from Sweden to Tallinn, flying over the Swedish island of Gotland, before reaching Tallinn, Dagens Nyheter reported (link in Swedish).
Once there, they were tasked with forward observation duties of a hypothetical air strike involving F-15 Strike Eagles flying from bases in the U.K. and Sweden.
Saab JAS 39 Gripen multi-role fighters of the Swedish airforce (Svenska Flygvapnet) escorted the U.S. personnel in their flight, including during a low-altitude run over Gotland, until they reached Estonian airspace, when German air force (Luftwaffe) Eurofighter Typhoons in NATO Baltic Air Policing duties, flying out of Ämari, took over.
The U.S. personnel were transported in a Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL)/short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft – a plane which has been spotted in Estonian airspace in the past (see picture) – and the event was part of a wider U.S. special forces exercise centered on Sweden and which will also employ other arms, including the Navy, it is reported.
The U.S. Special Operations Command Europe (SCOEUR) is a unified command subordinate to the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and includes personnel from the 10th Special Forces Group and the 352nd Special Operations Wing, the latter based at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, England.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte