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Mar 11 2024

Allied Air Command ceremony marks Swedish accession to NATO

RAMSTEIN, Germany – Headquarters Allied Air Command (AIRCOM) celebrate the accession of Sweden to the Alliance in a flag-raising ceremony on Mar 11, 2024, formally recognising Sweden as the 32nd NATO member. 

AIRCOM has a longstanding and extremely valuable relationship with the Swedish Air Force - Sweden is a great addition to NATO

"It is a great honour to host this historic ceremony at AIRCOM,” said General James B. Hecker, AIRCOM Commander. “AIRCOM has a longstanding and extremely valuable relationship with the Swedish Air Force and I am looking forward to seeing this grow further now that Sweden has become a full member of NATO. Sweden is a great addition to NATO and will make a tremendous contribution to collective security," General Hecker added.

Allied Air Command staff assembled outside the headquarters at Ramstein Air Base to attend the first-time the Swedish flag was raised. Photo by Arnaud Chamberlin.

After welcoming Sweden to his command, General James B. Hecker, Commander of NATO's Allied Air Command, receives the Swedish flag from the Swedish Air Force Senior enlisted leader. Photo by Arnaud Chamberlin.

At 12:15 on March 11, the Swedish flag was raised at Allied Air Command and simultaneously across NATO military headquarters. Photo by Arnaud Chamberlin.

Adding Swedish Air Force capabilities - including JAS-39 fighter jets  - to the Alliance and Allied Air Command will enhance MATO Air Power with assets that are "already integrated". Archive photo courtesy Sweden.
The Commander of the Swedish Air Force, Major General Jonas Wikman, joined AIRCOM senior leaders and staff at Ramstein Air Base for a traditional flag raising ceremony, a visible sign to commemorate the accession.

“It’s been an honour to travel to Ramstein to mark this special occasion. Sweden has served as a partner nation, closely collaborating with NATO for a substantial duration. As a full NATO member, we are committed to meeting our mutual high expectations, prioritising the preservation of our freedom and security, ”Major General Wikman, added.

As a long-standing partner of the Alliance, Sweden already has a high degree of interoperability with NATO countries. In 1994, Sweden joined the Partnership for Peace (PfP). The PfP aims to build trust and facilitate cooperation between NATO and individual non-member countries in the Euro-Atlantic area. In 1997, Sweden also became a member of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, which is a forum for political dialogue between all NATO members and partner countries.

With the Swedish accession, the Alliance welcomes the addition of the Swedish Gripen fighter jets, one of the most versatile modern platforms, along with Global Eye reconnaissance aircraft and the PATRIOT ground-based-air defence systems which will make a considerable contribution to collective security and defence.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

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