The NORKA detachments provided the Swiss Air Force with the ability to improve their skills of air defence and air superiority away from the heavily restricted air space of Switzerland, and similarly the core of NORKA deployments was the use of an ACMI, (Air Combat Manoeuvring Instrumentation), range. In this case the BAE Systems North Sea ACMI Range (NSAR).
The mission also provided training to GCI (Ground Controlled Intercept) controllers who are also such a vital element in the defence of Swiss air space. Further the NSAR provided a unique ability to debrief missions accurately and determine how the missions "actually" went.
Early deployments were dominated by the use of two "indigenous" Swiss aircraft, namely the F-5 and the Mirage IIIS during a three to four week detachment. However, by the late 1990s the Mirage was phased out of service and the F-18 began to take centre stage in NORKA detachments. At this time training on the NSAR with other air forces also became more common place and this eventually led to a shift in training emphasis.
By 2001 training with other airforces was so common place in both operations that the deployment of aircraft for that deployment seen as unecessary on financial and practical grounds. Thus a decision was taken to "freeze" the NORKA mission at present and continue with ACMI training in the annual multi-national NOMAD exercises.