On the way into the operational area

The Nordic Battlegroup’s final exercise has started and the soldiers are on their way into the operational area. In two weeks time the force’s units from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Ireland and Estonia will be exercising together in Norrbotten.

Air transport into the airfield at Jokkmokk. Photo: Mats Engfors

The scenario for exercise Nordic Resolution is a peace-making operation in which the mission for units of the NBG is to protect the civil population while at the same time checking for and suppressing any illegal military activity.

Sunday saw the start of air transport into the airfield at Jokkmokk. After a reconnaissance force had kept the airfield under observation for 24 hours, the Hercules aircraft could land with the first of the soldiers and a number of light vehicles.

One of the first to land at the Jokkmokk air base was Alexander Cederlöv who is a member of the command and control group where he acts as a driver and is responsible for communications. The command and control group have set up their base, consisting of a small tent and a short-wave antenna for communications, on an area of high ground at the south end of the airfield. They also have access to satellite phones. Soldiers have been positioned round the area of high ground to give protection.

Alexander Cederlöv, who completed his national service in 2002-2003 with K 3 in Karlsborg, is looking forward both to the continuation of this final exercise and, perhaps most of all, to what is waiting for them all in the new year.

“One cannot help being a little nervous when one does not now what kind of tasks there may be. It would be very interesting to take part in an operation abroad, for example to help with elections,” he says.

Among those on the fourth aircraft to land was Rickard Johansson, Commander of the NBG’s rapid reaction battalion. Once established in position, he immediately set about gaining a clear picture of the situation in the operational area.

“The area has been secured to the North and South, we have a command post, we have our personal equipment, short-wave and satellite communications. Later today the command and control vehicle will be arriving and on Wednesday the whole battalion will be in place,” says Rickard Johansson.