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Mar 12 2024

HQ JFCBS Brunssum welcomes Sweden as new NATO member

Brunssum, The Netherlands – Headquarters Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFCBS) officially welcomed Sweden as the thirty-second North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) member on Monday, 11 March 2024, with a flag-raising ceremony at the HQ in Brunssum. The Swedish Ambassador to the Netherlands, H.E. Mr Johannes Oljelund, the Chief of Joint Operations of the Swedish Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Carl-Johan Edström, the staff of JFCBS and the Swedish military delegation working at the Headquarters headed by the Swedish Senior National Representative, Lieutenant Colonel Per-Olof Nordin, attended the ceremony in front of the main building of JFCBS on the military base Camp Hendrik in Brunssum.

This is a historic day. For the first time since 1814, Sweden is part of a military alliance. We are now members of NATO

The Deputy Commander JFC Brunssum, Lieutenant General Luis Lanchares led the ceremony on behalf of the Commander, General Guglielmo Luigi Miglietta. During his speech, Lt Gen Lanchares emphasised the importance of Sweden's accession to NATO: "It shows that free democratic countries are united as never before and committed to jointly defending our territory, maintaining the international legal order and our Western values."

In his address, Lt Gen Edström underlined: “This is a historic day. For the first time since 1814, Sweden is part of a military alliance. We are now members of NATO. The journey we started together with our Finnish friends has finally been completed. As Allies, we will reinforce the most successful military alliance in history – and the Alliance will reinforce us.”

The Swedish Senior National Representative, Lt Col Nordin, mentioned the long-standing cooperation between Sweden and HQ JFC Brunssum: “We have been guests in this Headquarter for more than two decades and you have been gracious hosts, but now it is time for us to repay that hospitality and contribute to our shared security.”

He then handed the Swedish national flag to his deputy, who carried it to the flagpole, where it was raised in the midst of the flags of all other NATO nations represented in HQ JFC Brunssum.

Simultaneously, flag-raising ceremonies were conducted at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels, led by the Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, and at other military Headquarters across the Alliance.

Sweden's NATO accession is remarkable and even historic, since with this step Sweden is abandoning its military neutrality policy after almost 210 years. The Swedish people overwhelmingly supported this political decision, seeking the protection of the Western Alliance in recognition of the challenging security environment after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Sweden has formidable Armed Forces of the highest standards, and they are highly interoperable with NATO troops. Sweden's military is very modern, well-trained and equipped and highly capable. In 2010, Sweden ended conscription, however, due to the growing Russian threat, Sweden reintroduced it in 2017. Since 2018, women have also been conscripted.

With Sweden's accession, almost all countries bordering the Baltic Sea are now NATO countries. Joining the Alliance makes Sweden safer and NATO even stronger.

Story by JFC Brunssum Public Affairs Office

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Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum
Rimburgerweg 30
6445 PA Brunssum
The Netherlands


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PO box 270
6440AG Brunssum
The Netherlands

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Public Affairs Office
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6445 PA Brunssum
The Netherlands