…In September, Sweden’s armed forces will be staging ‘Aurora 17’ – a national exercise simulating a military attack on Sweden. It will involve over 19,000 personnel from the Swedish air, land and sea armed forces, together with additional military units from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Lithuania, Norway and the USA. 20% of Swedish personnel will be from the home guard while there will also be participation from around 40 other civil agencies. “Aurora will be our biggest joint exercise for 25 years, involving 50% of our total armed forces,” declared Exercise Director of Aurora 17, Major General Bengt Andersson.
Aurora 17 will involve army, navy and air force units from all over Sweden with the main exercise areas concentrating on the Mälardalen and Stockholm areas, on and around the recently remilitarised island of Gotland, and the Gothenburg area. Finland is also participating with naval and air transport units, together with Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, France and USA. These countries will role play both opponents and friendly forces…
While Maj Gen Andersson did not specify which real countries ‘A land’ and ‘B land’ might represent, a glance at a map of the Baltic shows that the littoral countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are very close to a much larger eastern nation.
The headquarters of the Swedish Armed Forces has issued the following public statement on the forthcoming exercise: ‘The overarching mission of the Swedish Armed Forces is to defend the country´s interests, our freedom and the right to live the way of our choice. Deterrence lies at the core of a strong defence, one that rises to all threats and overcomes all challenges. It is designed to deter potential attackers and force them to carefully consider the risks of attacking our country. For a deterrent to be effective, it needs to be credible and visible. Through frequent and extensive training and exercise, especially with other defence forces, Sweden is strengthening its deterrence effect and makes it more credible.’ Läs artikel