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Mar 11 2024

SHAPE welcomes its newest member - The Kingdom of Sweden

SHAPE, Belgium –Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) welcomed NATO’s 32nd member as military personnel raised Sweden’s flag during an official ceremony at the main headquarters, March 11, 2024.

Today’s ceremonial flag raising was complementary to ceremonies occurring at NATO headquarters in Brussels and other NATO commands across the Alliance. The SHAPE Supreme Allied Commander Europe Gen. Christopher Cavoli presided over the ceremony and celebrated the evolution of NATO’s relationship with Sweden.

“Today we mark Sweden’s accession to NATO by raising the Swedish flag among our nations’ banners, a visible, enduring symbol of our dedication to Euro-Atlantic security,” said Cavoli.
For years, NATO and Swedish troops have stood shoulder to shoulder, building trust through training, exercises, and combined operations. Now, our forces are formally united in deterrence and collective defense.

The Swedish National Military Representative to SHAPE, Col. Anders Byren, also offered remarks, expressing Sweden’s commitment to the Alliance.

“Our membership comes with a responsibility to be part of the alliance commitments to protect and defend one another,” said Byren. “We are proud to assume these responsibilities and do not take them lightly. We are fully committed to ensure the implementation and enablement of the NATO Concept for Deterrence and Defense of the Euro Atlantic Area.”

Sweden became NATO’s newest member on Thursday (7 March 2024), upon depositing its instrument of accession to the North Atlantic Treaty with the Government of the United States in Washington DC.

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

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