The Swedish government is planning to deploy a military force to Syria, after a question from the United Nations to contribute to the dismantling of the chemical weapons in the Southwest Asian country.
The Swedish ministry of Foreign Affairs is positive about the deployment. If the green light is given, the Swedish Air Force will send one of its eight C-130 Hercules aircraft, dubbed TP 84 in Swedish service, with about 70 personnel to Syria.
Earlier this year Sweden cancelled the dispatch of one of the Hercules to Mali, just two weeks before departure. Since crew and aircraft trained for that operation, the preparation time to deploy to Syria is likely short. It is uncertain which of the eight TP 84s will be designated for the mission.
The Swedish C-130s are amongst the oldest of the type still in service in Europe, with 32 to 48 years of age. They operate out of F7 Såtenäs base at giant lake Vänern in the southern part of the country. Despite frequent talks about a replacement of the TP 84s, no decision has been made nor does one seem imminent.
© 2013 AIRheads’ Marcel Burger
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