Sunday, April 17, 2011

Swedish Gripens Fly Patrol Mission Over Libya

“It's a historic day,” says Anders Silwer, the Air Force Inspector, after participating in one of the first missions in support of UN Resolution 1973.

During the mission, which began at 15:55 on Friday from Sigonella air base in Sicily, included air refueling by a TP-84T [C-130 Hercules tanker—Ed.] at 10,000 feet. The two JAS 39s then flew on to enforce the No-Fly Zone around Tripoli.

“The air refueling went very well. It was completely undramatic,” says Anders Silwer, who was traveling in the mid-air refueling plane.

After the flight over Libya, the two Gripens returned to base and landed at Sigonella air base just before 18:30.

“Normally, we do not comment on our flights, but since this was a historic mission, we are making an exception," says Anders Silwer.

The first mission in the NATO-led Operation Unified Protector was conducted on Thursday evening. It did not include air refueling.

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