Aurora 17 – the largest military exercise in Sweden for over 20 years

Aurora 17 –  the largest military exercise in Sweden for over 20 years

In order to increase military capabilities, Swedish Armed Forces will conduct Exercise Aurora 17 – a national exercise that will build a stronger defence and increase the overall capability to face an attack on Sweden.

Aurora 17 will take place from11-29 September. It’s the largest exercise in Sweden for over 20 years, with more than 19,000 personnel will participate from the Swedish Armed Forces, in addition to personnel from a 40 agencies and military units from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Lithuania, Norway and the USA.

Exercise takes place around Sweden

Aurora 17 will be conducted in the air, on land and at sea and the main exercise areas will be the Mälardalen and Stockholm areas, on and around Gotland, and the Gothenburg area. Some of the events during September include the Supreme Commander’s visit to Gothenburg on 13 September, where host nation support will be exercised with the American and French Air Defense Units; a landing exercise on the island of Gotland on 22 September,  the Defence Information Day at Gärdet in Stockholm on 24 September and a coastal defence operation (conflict) in Oxelösund on the 27th.

NATO chief positive about Aurora 17

Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO, is positive about the Aurora 17 military exercise which starts on Monday 11 September, reports SVT. “Sweden’s security and NATO’s security are closely linked, so it is good that we practice together” Stoltenberg told SVT. Stoltenberg believes that the exercise is particularly important given the increased tensions in the Baltic Sea and Gotland’s central position in the area.

However, several peace organisations are critical of the two-week long military manoeuvres.  “This is a really big problem for us because the exercise is part of Sweden getting closer and closer to Nato. The exercise itself is an example of this because troops from four or five Nato countries will take part in the Aurora in Sweden. We strongly oppose Swedish politics turning closer to Nato,”

However, several peace organisations are critical of the two-week long military manoeuvres. One of them is the Chairman of the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Association’s (Svenska freds- och skiljedomsföreningenlocal office in Gothenburg, Tomas Magnusson. “This is a really big problem for us because the exercise is part of Sweden getting closer and closer to Nato. The exercise itself is an example of this because troops from four or five NATO countries will take part in the Aurora in Sweden. We strongly oppose Swedish politics turning closer to NATO,” Magnusson, told Sveriges Radio.

Photo: Joel Thungren / Försvarsmakten / Combat Camera

 

Mundus Weekly

 

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Jessica Nilsson Williams is the CEO & Founder of Mundus International. She has a long-standing interest in international affairs, having studied and worked in the field for more than 20 years. She began her career as the political advisor at the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm, and then worked in London and Singapore before returning to Stockholm. In 2011 she took up a senior role at the New Zealand Embassy before founding Mundus International in 2012. In addition to working for foreign missions, she has worked in sectors such as NGOs and non-profit organisations (e.g. the Clinton Foundation and the International Red Cross), and TV.