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Exercise Winter Sun 18 conducts defensive operations in the snow

A Swedish Archer Artillery System live firing at Exercise Winter Sun in Norbotten,  Sweden on 16 March 2018. NATO photo by SSgt Dan Bardsley GBR A
BODEN, Sweden – Operating in near arctic conditions demands certain skills set that must be maintained whenever possible. Exercise Winter Sun 18 held in Boden, Sweden is an annual Swedish Home Defence Exercise that tests defensive joint operations in a challenging environment. 

Some 1400 personnel from the Swedish Armed Forces and United States Marine Corps have been conducting high tempo battle drills in order to repel a fictitious enemy crossing Sweden's border.

Exercising with NATO's partners provides opportunities that reinforce many capabilities with the opportunity to exercise with nations where it is second nature is hugely beneficial.

"Exercises like WINTER SUN underpin the operational importance of maintaining our cold weather military skills. This is a harsh and unforgiving environment that requires personal discipline and the ability to maintain equipment in extreme conditions," said Major General Odd Egil Pedersen Norwegian Army, Director of the Military Partnerships Directorate. "I am delighted that a highly experienced partner such as Sweden provides training opportunities and through testing tactical scenarios, we are able to learn from each other."

Exercise WINTER SUN 18 reflects what partnerships and training can achieve where combined Cold Weather operations must be practised and practised. The Swedish armed forces are extremely capable in operating in such conditions and this exercise has mirrored the importance of NATO's 360 degree approach to defence.

"Ex WINTER SUN is a high tempo exercise where Swedish forces are conducting defensive operations from multiple attacks across many fronts. The interoperability and co-operation between Sweden and the United States Marine Corps has been beneficial for both. In our battalions we have been able to test tactics, techniques and procedures and I am very proud of our achievements," said Lieutenant Colonel Michael Carlén Swedish Army, Commanding Officer 192nd Mechanized Battalion. "The global security environment has changed and this exercise has shown that the Swedish armed forces have adapted accordingly," he added. "We look forward to our participation in Exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 2018 later this year."

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

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