Joint Action 2014 – the exercise has begun

The ten day long, multinational, exercise Joint Action 2014, started yesterday. It is the final exercise for the Quick Response Force of the EU; Nordic Battlegroup. JA14 has been in the planning for over a year and comprises approximately 2 400 participants from seven European nations.

Check point in Hagshult. Photo: Kent Löving/Swedish Armed Forces
Field hospital at the Hagshult base. Photo: Kent Löving/Swedish Armed Forces
Photo: Jan Bohman/Swedish Armed Forces
Latvian Quick Reaction Force. Photo: Jan Bohman/Swedish Armed Forces

During the exercise the different units of the Quick Response Force practice together to be able to deploy to conflict areas with short notice. Once deployed they are expected to perform peace enforcing and peace keeping tasks as well as supporting the civilian community in times of crisis.

- The role of the exercise is to ensure that the Battlegroup is capable and ready for their state of readiness starting on January 1st 2015, says Olof Johansson, head of the Exercise Staff.

Training over a large area
The exercise is conducted in a number of cities and communities, from Uppsala in the north to Hagshult in the south.

- The first half of the exercise is concentrated to the area around Hagshult and Skillingaryd with some parts of the force moving up to the Motala area to practice. Between Sunday and Tuesday the main part will be in and around Eksjö, says Olof Johansson.

The Battlegroup includes both Army and Air forces. During the exercise military personnel will move on roads and in urban areas.

- We are training towards the protection of the population in crisis areas and want to train as realistically as possible. To do that we have to move in urban terrain and between different areas. In these areas will probably notice us during this, says Olof Johansson.

A recurring responsibility
The responsibility to man the Quick Response Force is shared between Sweden, Norway, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Ireland.

- Sweden contributes the main part of the personnel with some 1900 participants where the core is a Rifle battalion from the Southern Skåne Regiment, P 7, says Olof Johansson.

The last time Sweden acted as host nation was 2011. Since then the force has grown and now include, amongst others, Black Hawk helicopters, a larger ground force and increased medicinal capacity.

Follow the exercise on the website of the Swedish Armed Forces, on Facebook and on Instagram with the hashtags #nbg15 #eubg15 and #svfm.