Supreme Commander gets a new role

The Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces, Håkan Syrén, is to spend a few days taking part in the exercise VIKING 08 in the role of Combined Joint Task Force Commander.

The Supreme Commander, Håkan Syrén. Photo: Johan Ardefors/FBB

What does your role in this exercise entail?
“I shall be responsible for bringing together and commanding all the military forces taking part in the exercise. I have to provide the appropriate leadership in this complex scenario in which the objective is to disarm the combatants and arrive finally at a situation in which democratic principles prevail. We aim to achieve this through good coordination across a broad spectrum of civil and military means.”

What do you think about exercises like VIKING, and what can the Armed Forces  get out of them?
“I believe that exercises like VIKING are necessary and that they fulfil a number of purposes. Among other things they help us to build bridges not only between countries and structures such as the UN and the EU, but also between civil and military organisations. Another point is that, in this way, we become better acquainted with each other and our respective roles. After all, it is only after we have exercised that we really know what we are talking about.”

Is there anything else that the Supreme Commander would like to add about the exercise?
“I think it is essential that I too should on occasions join in and play a role. The only way of understanding how everything works is through training and exercising, and I believe that everyone should be given an opportunity to do this.”