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NATO Allies participate in Swedish exercise Northern Wind

NORRBOTTEN, Sweden – NATO Allies and partners are taking part in Swedish exercise, NORTHERN WIND 19, a high intensity war fighting exercise in cold weather conditions being held in northeastern Sweden from Mar. 18 - 27, 2019. 

"Exercises like these provide superb training opportunities from section right up to Brigade level. Exercise NORTHERN WIND will demonstrate our defensive Brigade concept and build upon various capacities. We are very aware of the importance of operating in all conditions and the demands placed on military skills and equipment," said Colonel Stefan Smedman Exercise Director. "I am very pleased that we have forces from NATO here in Sweden, where we can both learn from each other and build upon our interoperability and standards," Smedman added.

Around 10,000 personnel are participating in the exercise including Finnish, Norwegian, United Kingdom and United States personnel. During this exercise NATO Alliance member nations will act as the exercise enemy with Swedish and Finnish personnel conducting defensive operations for the duration. A key part of this exercise is reinforcing the strong cooperation that exists between Sweden and Finland.
NATO Allies and partners are participating in Swedish exercise NORTHERN WIND 19 in northeastern Sweden. The exercise is designed for cold weather conditions and will test military skills, equipment whilst improving interoperability and standards. - Photo by Swedish Armed Forces

Exercise NORTHERN WIND 19 is taking place in a strategically important area during a time where partnerships and cooperation are vital. The exercise is designed to allow freedom of manoeuvre in the North of Sweden, where both Sweden and Finland will defend sovereign territory until the enemy are defeated.  

"I and my personnel have been preparing for Exercise NORTHERN WIND 19 for some time. We are very excited and confident that we will put our training into practice and perform our duties well. All ranks are very aware of the importance of defensive operations, said Sergeant Per-Ola Mjomark Swedish Armed Forces Reserve. 

"There are many of us here who have served alongside NATO Forces in operations, and so the opportunity to train alongside Finland and NATO members will be very beneficial."  Following Exercise NORTHERN WIND 19, planning will be underway for Sweden's Total Defence exercise next year, Exercise AURORA. This will not only build upon valuable lessons learned during NORTHERN WIND, but will include all levels of home defence including security, emergency and civic authorities.  

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

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