Brunssum, the Netherlands - From 24 to 25 April General Riccardo Marchiò, JFC Commander, visited Exercise Viking 18 in Enköping and the Swedish Armed Forces Headquarters in Stockholm.
General Marchiò was welcomed by the Exercise Director, Major General Brännström, before being briefed on the Viking 18 Concept and the Bogaland Scenario. Further briefs were provided by the exercise (also real-world) United Nations (UN) Special Representative, Ms Landgren, the exercise NATO Force Commander, Vice Admiral Thörrnqvist, and the exercise European Union (EU) Head of Mission, Ms Limdal. The briefings were followed by a tour of the exercise facilities where General Marchiò met members of JFC Brunssum that were deployed as members of the training audience.
Ex Viking 18 simulated a large scale and complex peace support operation; it was supported by 61 nations, 80 organisations and 2,500 personnel over 9 sites in 6 countries. It focusses on the 'Comprehensive Approach' to operations and aims to maximise the coordination/interaction of civilian, military and police elements taking part. The scenario is particularly challenging due to the multi-dimensional nature of the 'in-country situation' supporting separate NATO, UN and EU operations with all participants operating within, what Sweden describes as, "the Grey Zone" of hybrid warfare.
The JFC Commander also visited the Swedish Armed Forces HQ for an office call with the Swedish Armed Forces Head of Training and Development, Lieutenant General Johan Svensson. Afterwards General Marchiò was briefed by Rear Admiral Jonas Haggren on the current status of the Swedish Armed Forces, Sweden-NATO cooperation and the security situation in the Baltics/High North Region. The discussion focussed on NATO's command and control structure/relationships, exercise cooperation and the realities of growing capabilities through partnership. General Marchiò spoke of "our shared problems and limitations" and the need for "long-term political decision making" vice short term.
Story by JFC Brunssum Public Affairs Office