U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa has been actively taking steps to employ the Air Force Arctic Strategy since the inception of the plan nearly a year ago, and hosted the first Arctic Air Chiefs Symposium at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Sept. 15.
The conference hosted senior defense representatives from seven of the eight Arctic nations, including Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the U.S. to discuss a variety of Arctic-focused campaigns and initiatives.
“The Arctic is not a place we can operate alone,” said Iris Ferguson, author of the Air Force Arctic Strategy. She continued to describe the significance of airpower and space power in the region.
Over the past year, USAFE-AFAFRICA has driven a series of exercises and training scenarios to successfully integrate capabilities with allies and partners across the region, which has included a combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control mission in Norway, Arctic Challenge exercise in Finland and Sweden, and the recent Bomber Task Force Europe mission involving B-2 Spirit stealth aircraft in Iceland.
“The Arctic region provides key defense opportunities in the high north,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, USAFE-AFAFRICA commander. “We prepare to fight and win in every domain, and we have a crucial role in working alongside our allies and partners to ensure the continued security and stability throughout the Arctic.”
The Arctic is a complex and dynamic environment for military operations, and engagements, like the Arctic Air Chief Symposium, offer multinational military leaders the opportunity to build a comprehensive picture of the region’s operating environment and pursue collective defense initiatives.