Full speed towards Scotland

The largest multinational military exercise in Europe under the name Joint Warrior has started. The exercise comprises units from all defence arenas, Navy, Army and Air force and will mainly take place in Scotland and the waters around Scotland.

Platoon leader lieutenant Karl Olsson, is happy with the planning work and looks forward to the exercise. Photo: Kristina Swaan/Swedish Armed Forces
Units from all arenas will participate. The fire control group will lead firing from a helicopter. Photo: William Axling/Swedish Armed Forces
One last inventory of equipment before final loading. Photo: Kristina Swaan/Swedish Armed Forces
Kask has experience from the exercise and has, like the others, provided excellent support during planning. Photo: Kristina Swaan/Swedish Armed Forces

A combined unit will participate from the First Marine Regiment consisting of a gun platoon and a fire control group of about 30 men. Participating personnel will be made up of both the 204 and 205 amphibious rifle companies under the leadership of platoon leader lieutenant Karl Olsson.

"This is the first time that I will be participating in Joint Warrior and I'm really looking forward to see my personnel receive quality exercise time. As our platoon is the only rifle unit we will be involved in a great deal of exercise time, which is positive. The past month has been intensive as it has mainly been a question of preparing for the exercise, now it's time to finish packing. Several of the lads have taken part before and they have valuable experience of what is important to take along. We do not have a logistics function with us, which means what we have packed is the equipment we have and it must be maintained well. With so much experience I feel confident with all the planning we have done," says platoon leader Karl Olsson.

A great deal of exercise time

The unit has participated in Joint Warrior for five years either with just the fire control group or together with the gun platoon. The purpose in participating is to train our tactical approach and combat technique on different levels with all the participating nations.

"One of the most important preparations for us, has been firing together since we are a platoon composed of two different companies and it is essential that we are closely bonded before Scotland. Our platoon will be a part of numerous combat operations together with ships, aircraft and ground forces from the nations. This means that other nations will lead indirect fire with our grenade launcher while our fire control group will do the same with other nations. One significant advantage we have is that our methods and procedures are already internationally adapted, which means that we do not need to change anything before the exercise," says Olsson.

This weekend the platoon will board a Hercules that will take them to Scotland and the exercise area Cape Wrath. The platoon will live in tents and it is hoped that they take a cook with them, otherwise they will have to live off their rations. The gun platoon will participate for a week while the fire control group will stay for two weeks with the aim of gaining even more training.

"The opportunity to participate in this type of exercise together with other nations, increases our interoperability, skills and ability, which in turn contributes towards stability," adds lieutenant Karl Olsson.