Swedish soldiers from the sub-arctic Ranger Regiment was flown to Gotland. Photo: HAW / Henrik Gebhardt
The SAC C-17 moved Swedish Armed Forces units from all over Sweden, as well as units from another SAC nation, Finland, to the island of Gotland and to areas on the mainland. The SAC C-17, with its large cargo space, was a much appreciated addition to other air transport assets involved in the Swedish exercise. The convenience of using their own C-17 capability was expressed by one of the officers from the Swedish Air Defense Regiment, saying, "It is a great way to deploy our Missile Units by flying them there in the C-17."
Swedish Air Defense Missile System being uploaded. Photo: HAW / Henrik Gebhardt
The exercise concluded with the redeployment of troops to their home stations. Here again, the capability of the SAC C-17, was highly appreciated.
More than 19,000 men and women of the Swedish Armed Forces and other Swedish authorities participated in Aurora 17. In addition, roughly 1,500 soldiers from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Lithuania, Latvia, Norway and the USA, were also involved in Sweden's largest exercise in twenty years.
Finnish soldiers exit the SAC C-17 on Gotland. Photo: HAW / Henrik Gebhardt
About the Strategic Airlift Capability
Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC), established in 2008, is a multinational program that provides its 12 member nations with assured access to military airlift capability by owning and operating three Boeing C-17A Globemaster III long-range cargo aircraft.
SAC is based at the Hungarian Defense Forces (HDF) Pápa Air Base, Hungary.
The SAC Nations are the NATO members Hungary (program host nation), Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and the United States and NATO Partnership for Peace nations Finland and Sweden. Each participating nation owns a share of the available flight hours of the SAC C-17As to serve the needs of their national defense, NATO, EU or UN commitments and humanitarian relief efforts.
SAC consists of the 12-nation Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW) and the NATO Airlift Management Programme Office (NAM PO). The HAW is the operational unit and the NAM PO, an integral part of the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), is the acquisition and sustainment authority of the SAC C-17A weapon system.
NAM PO contracts Boeing via a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement to provide technical support for the SAC C-17A aircraft.