Defence Minister Sten Tolgfors: Sweden has a high reputation in international deployment

“Nordic Battlegroup is important not only for renewal of the armed forces but also for motivation and attraction when recruiting personnel for other international deployments,” says Defence Minister Sten Tolgfors, who, together with politicians from the participating nations, visited the Nordic Resolution final exercise.

“It often does not come out at home how appreciated and valuable the work is that our personnel do in deployment areas. We must remember that our soldiers take significant risks to help others,” says Sten Tolgfors. Photo: Johan Lundahl/Combat Camera

Sweden has long had a very good reputation in international operations. The soldiers take great pains to treat the local population with respect, which contributes to both security and the potential to do the job.

“Broad recruitment and awareness of the basic value issues are the foundation of the quality of Swedish deployments,” says Sten Tolgfors.

“One example is Korea, which I visited recently and where Sweden has had personnel for just over fifty years.”

“We often do not realise how appreciated and valuable the deployment of our personnel has been and what it has meant to the development and security of the region. This does not always come out at home. We must remember that our soldiers take significant risks to help others. This is worth pointing out,” stresses Sten Tolgfors.

Attractive experience
The recruitment of personnel for international deployment is affected positively by experience abroad becoming increasingly attractive on the civil labour market. One example is the legal advisors who, after serving in Kosovo, were in demand on the Swedish labour market.

“A grading system in which military qualifications and international service can be comparable to civil training is therefore an important issue to be addressed,” says Sten Tolgfors.

Broad political support
NBG is an important tool in which many abilities can rapidly be adapted to the job at hand.

“NBG is one of the motive forces, strengths and prides of Sweden’s armed forces. Even if we are not deployed immediately, it is worth being ready for rapid deployment,” says Sten Tolgfors.

“It is also incredibly important for us to have sound preparation processes when a decision on deployment needs to be taken. It is necessary to have broad political support. In Sweden we have a tradition of broad support in the Swedish Parliament for the deployments that take place.”

In November, Defence Minister Sten Tolgfors visited the Nordic Resolution final exercise in Norrbotten together with the Defence Ministers from Norway, Estonia and Ireland.

Text: Hans Axelsson