RAMSTEIN, Germany - French Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets deployed to a Swedish base to practice Agile Combat Employment (ACE) in a NATO-Partner environment.
During a short-term deployment from January 29 to February 1, 2004, two French Air and Space Force Mirage 2000-5 fighters conducted a deployment applying ACE procedures to the Swedish Satenas Air Base
ACE is an operational scheme of manoeuvre designed to improve resilience and survivability while generating air combat power
A Lithuanian C-27J transport aircraft supported the deployment ensuring airlift of required crew and material. France currently supports NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission with four Mirage 2000-5 who operate out of Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, together with Belgian Air Force F-16s.
The goal of the ACE deployment to Sweden was to temporarily extract the Mirage 2000-5 aircraft from their Air Policing role to operate in an expeditionary mode out of a remote airfield and to cooperate with the Swedish Air Force ground and air crews.
A Lithuanian C-27J transport aircraft supported the French Mirage 2005 ACE deployment to Satenas, Sweden, ensuring airlift of required crew and material. Photo by French Air and Space Force.
Two French Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets deployed to a Swedish base to practice Agile Combat Employment (ACE) procedures. Archive photo by Arnaud Chamberlin.
A Swedish JAS-39 Gripen flying alongside a French Mirage 2000-5 during the flight from Lithuania to Sweden. One goal of ACE deployments is to practice interoperability between air forces. Photo by French Air and Space Force.
ACE deployments also serve to practice ground support operations and cross-servicing, e.g. Host Nation staff ensuring maintenance and turn-around of jets at the deployment site. Photo by French Air and Space Force.
The manouevre coincided with the visit of the French President to Sweden and underscored the close interoperability with the armed forces of the Nordic country that is set to join in the near future.
Moreover, deployments like this one highlight the flexibility and resilience of NATO's operational assets. Controlled by the Combined Air Operations Centre at Uedem, NATO Air Policing detachment frequently participate in combined and joint training activities, while the deterrence and defence posture is constantly maintained.
“ACE is an operational scheme of manoeuvre designed to improve resilience and survivability while generating air combat power from both home bases and geographically dispersed locations,” said French Air and Space Force Brigadier General Gilles Juventin, who leads the Support Directorate at Headquarters Allied Air Command during a recent ACE Symposium at Allied Air Command. “ACE can be conducted from Main or Deployed Operating Bases and Contingency Locations – this requires a flexible, well prepared and coordinated approach by the deploying force and the receiving bases,” he added.