May 21, 2019

CONTAINMENT: US fighter jets just landed in Sweden to practice fighting in a new kind of airspace.

The looming proliferation of air defense systems, including sales of the Russian-made S-300 and S-400, means that allied pilots must prepare for the possibility of fighting in future airspaces unlike anything they faced in the permissive environments of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Airmen and F-16C Fighting Falcons from the 157th Fighter Squadron out of McEntire Joint National Guard Base, Columbia, South Carolina, arrived in the region Thursday for the first day of Arctic Challenge Exercise 19 taking place throughout Norway, Sweden and Finland.

“There’s some unique training airspace we don’t get to train with in South Carolina. Being just 50 miles south of the Arctic Circle, the high latitude means nearly 20 hours of daylight. That together with the cool weather, will set us up for some essential training.” said Maj. Shaun Hoeltje, an F-16 pilot from the South Carolina Air National Guard, in an Air Forces Europe news release.

It’s a safe bet that Vladimir Putin isn’t happy about Sweden’s virtual admittance into NATO, but he has no one to blame but himself.

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