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Secret Swedish Cold War ops exposed

Secret Swedish Cold War ops exposed

Published: 24 Mar 2011 10:25 GMT+01:00
Updated: 24 Mar 2011 10:25 GMT+01:00

A top-secret Swedish air force unit with ties to NATO members Denmark and Norway operated through the Cold War and remained in operation until 1997, a new book reveals, casting fresh doubt over the country’s long-standing claims to neutrality.

The secret entity, known as Air Force Unit 66, used a small fleet of civilian airplanes for operations that included transporting NATO operatives out of the country or depositing infiltrators along the Finnish border with the Soviet Union, Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet reported.

Documents accessed by the newspaper’s reporter Mikael Holmström, the author of a new book about Sweden’s secret NATO links, show that the clandestine air force unit was a well-organized group consisting of a team of commanders, pilots and ground staff.

The unit received protection from the Swedish Security Service (Säkerhetspolisen - Säpo), and operatives were paid in cash in order to avoid a paper trail. The tax authorities received their due share in advance.

The head of the formation, using the code name Jan Danielsson, confirmed the existence of Unit 66.

“We carried out flights, exercises, and reconnaissance both in Sweden and in our neighbouring countries,” he told the author of the ‘The Secret Alliance’.

The unit used four-seater Cessna 182 and six-seater Cessna 206 planes, Svenska Dagbladet reported. As many of its operation were performed under the cover of darkness, the pilots were trained to land in difficult terrain with only flashlights to guide them.

Funding for the unit ran out in 1998 and the last planned operation was cancelled that year. The unit then ceased to operate, Holmström found.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:04 March 24, 2011 by jjoensuu
So here we again find that Sweden never was as pure and clean and neutral as what we were bulls...I mean lied to.

Although perhaps many lost faith in that long before the current revelations...
17:32 March 24, 2011 by Kaethar
Where the hell have you been? This is well-known, as is Swedish cooperation with Finland especially during WWII. This does not change the fact that Sweden was a neutral country during these conflicts. In practice neutrality = non-belligerency since true neutrality is impossible. In a war between the USA and Saudi Arabia Sweden would remain officially neutral but it takes no genius to figure out who we'd be rooting for. The only war any country can be completely neutral in is one involving countries the country in question has no contact with.
23:43 March 24, 2011 by Mike in America
Next you'll tell us that there's gambling in Casablanca.
09:19 March 25, 2011 by HYBRED
Like this is a 'news flash'. Sweden has been a NATO country for a long time, the government still won't admit it.
14:00 March 28, 2011 by wenddiver
@Mike in America- I'm going to have to have to close you down Monsieur Rick, theres gambling hoing on here!! I'm Shocked, shocked!!

Wow, what a surprise that the Swedish Military would want the side that had enslaved half the small countries in Europe and physically attacked little Finland Latvia, Wstonia and Poland next door, to lose the Cold War!!!!
15:14 March 28, 2011 by Ozpot
US embassy: 'Sweden no longer neutral'

http://www.thelocal.se/30558/20101202/
16:51 April 1, 2011 by From_San_Diego_to_Sodermalm
This is fluff. Sprinkles on a cup cake.

Sweden was doing a lot more than this during the cold war.

Air taxi, pfft come on, this is news? Let's talk about intelligence operatives in Soviet Baltics...

...I actually like the part where it says "they were paid in cash, but don't worry, they paid their taxes first" yeah right...
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