Aerial WarfareSpecial Operations

German Air Force Support Special Forces Training During Nordic Response

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German Air Force Support Special Forces Training During Nordic Response

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German Air Force Support Special Forces Training During Nordic Response
German Air Force Support Special Forces Training During Nordic Response

The German Air Force’s contribution to exercise Nordic Response provides air transport, low-level flying and Special Forces airdrop capabilities with an A400M transport aircraft and support crews operating out of Rovaniemi, Finland. Running from March 3 to 14, the Norwegian-led exercise Nordic Response is part of NATO’s exercise series Steadfast Defender 2024. The series marries up NATO and national defence plans demonstrating the ability to deploy forces rapidly from North America and other parts of the Alliance to reinforce the defence of Europe in sustained complex multi-domain operations over several months, across thousands of kilometres, from the High North to Central and Eastern Europe. Germany’s contribution of joint forces to exercise Nordic Response takes place under the nickname German Quadriga 2024. It includes the deployment of forces to the High North where troops are practicing various procedures under Arctic conditions.

“During Nordic Response we practiced all these missions under arctic conditions; our troops have hugely benefitted from working with NATO members from the Nordic Region – Finland, Norway and Sweden,” the German Air Force stated; and added that icy temperatures, snowstorms, low clouds and poor visibility or rapid weather changes this close to the Arctic Circle, create special challenges for our crews that boosted their skill levels and resilience.

The Security Forces of the Air Mobile Protection Team watch over security of the A400M at the deployed location enabling constant readiness. (Photo by Bundeswehr)
The Security Forces of the Air Mobile Protection Team watch over security of the A400M at the deployed location enabling constant readiness. (Photo by Bundeswehr)

For the German Air Force, an A400M deployed at Rovaniemi, Finland, executed low-level and night flying training sorties and facilitated air-drop missions. For two weeks, the German crews dropped Special Forces from various Allies and their gear to the training areas. Whenever Special Forces work together in a multinational environment, a Special Operations Air Task Group oversees and coordinates their missions integrated into Nordic Response exercise command and control. At 62nd German Air Transport Squadron, the Special Operations Air Task Unit is used for operations and exercises which ensures 24/7 mission readiness.

The flight planners, technicians and pilots have to plan and prepare their missions often within hours which means quick response and flexibility are essential for mission success. According to the German Air Force the team’s professional approach and personal commitment as well as the reliability of the A400M are key to this mission success in spite of any challenges. The Security Forces of the Air Mobile Protection Team watch over security of the A400M at the deployed location enabling constant readiness. These specially trained soldiers protect aircraft, crew and material during an exercise or mission. During Nordic Response they have the opportunity to practice various scenarios together with the Allies in order to be prepared for an emergency.

Several Allied Special Forces teams used the German A400M for their free-fall missions practicing various procedures under Arctic conditions. Photo by Bundeswehr.
Several Allied Special Forces teams used the German A400M for their free-fall missions practicing various procedures under Arctic conditions. (Photo by Bundeswehr)

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