[…] Rear Adm. Ewa Skoog Haslum said during an American Enterprise Institute online discussion today that the Baltic and North seas are busy waters for merchant, military and recreational traffic and that keeping the waters free and safe are important to Sweden, which is not a NATO member but a close partner to the alliance.
Though Russia is not taking actions in the region that rise to the level of needing a military response, she said it has become increasingly important for the Swedish Navy, Swedish civilian agencies and international navies to work together to be present, have good maritime surveillance, and share information so that Russian harassment of other vessels or other gray -zone actions don’t go unnoticed.
“It’s very easy to hamper or harass without anyone [seeing] it or [knowing] it – that is maybe the worst problem if you compare [the maritime environment to] what can happen ashore,” she said.
“That’s why we are very much concerned of always be present at sea, because then we can be the eyes at sea, and we can also both show our flag of course to other nations but also to show that we are ready to protect the merchant shipping, if that’s the one being harassed.”[…]
When it comes to working with international navies, she said Sweden is making procurement decisions that could support a “day-zero connectivity” goal, so that when it joins with NATO navies for exercises they are already able to seamlessly come together and begin working without any troubleshooting to get connected. […]
In the same event, U.S. 2nd Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis also spoke of the importance of these exercises, saying in a previous exercise with the Swedish Navy he “learned more than I ever thought I would learn about mine countermeasures, about anti-submarine warfare, about operating in a very restricted waterway.” Läs artikel