Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces visits training unit in Iraq

Swedish soldiers have been training Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq since August last year. The Supreme Commander, General Micael Bydén, was recently on the ground to meet the unit and to form his own picture of the situation.

View from a vehicle on the road from Erbil to the Swedish unit. Photo: Patrick Persson/Swedish Armed Forces

The Swedish training programme consists of 35 personnel and is part of the military training initiative by the international coalition against Daesh. The main tasks are training and advice in the areas of healthcare, staff service, defence combat, combat in urban environments and the detection of improvised explosive devices.

"The unit is carrying out its tasks exceptionally well in a very challenging and complex situation," says the General.

The General also took the opportunity to meet the Peshmerga soldiers that the Swedish soldiers are supporting, and was struck by how highly-motivated they are:
"I can say without any doubt that they are quickly learning what we teach them and directly putting it into action, which is an acknowledgement that our efforts are of benefit here."

The General also met the political and military representatives in both Baghdad and Erbil, as well as the military leadership of the international coalition.

"It is important that there is good coordination within the coalition, in particular with the other players working in the same area as our Swedish soldiers."

After the General met our soldiers in Iraq, he attended a meeting with the highest military representatives of the international coalition.
"This was an opportunity to gain a shared view of the current status within the coalition, not least in the area of security, but it also provided a forum to discuss continued cooperation in the task area," continued the General.