Approaching NBG

Sweden will set up a battlegroup, known as Nordic Battlegroup 11, as part of the EU’s crisis management capability. The recruitment of soldiers is currently in progress and the selection of who should be included in the companies that are part of Sweden’s contribution is now taking place. One of those that have applied and will probably be employed as a soldier in the force is Neo.

Neo Nilsson, one of the applicants for NBG 11. Photo: Anne-Lie Sjögren/Försvarsmakten

Neo Nilsson, a 27-year-old guy from Jönköping, knows exactly what he is getting himself into.

“I’ve worked as a soldier for almost three years and consider it good experience to have in the bag. Getting the chance to experience an adventure perhaps while, at the same time, helping someone who really needs your help,” explains Neo.

Nordic Battlegroup, NBG, is nothing new to Neo. The last time Sweden set up a battlegroup, he applied and was given employment. Back then, they were not deployed and Neo does not see it as strange that the same could happen this time too.

“Then, we accomplished our task by being constantly on standby and this time the task is the same.”

After this period of time on standby with NBG, Neo did six months foreign service with KS19 in Kosovo. He arrived home just before Christmas and, after a few weeks’ holiday, he is back at the regiment.

“I really enjoy the work I do for the Swedish Armed Forces. I work alongside good people and the work tasks are varied. The salary could have probably been better,” says Neo who is currently employed as an instructor at the Wilska Company, one of the two companies that P 4 will commit to NBG 11.

Neo would like to get the opportunity to go away on foreign duty again, as he explains that it feels good to be able to represent Sweden and to contribute to something you believe in. He is well aware that there are risks involved. Military operations are performed in areas that are associated with risk.

“Having confidence in your superiors is the alpha and omega prior to all future missions, whether it is being on standby or active in a mission area. Based on my experiences, I feel I receive great support from both the Swedish Armed Forces and from home, which is important before heading off on a mission with colleagues.”

The support for those at home is something that Neo thinks can and should be improved. It is not only the men and women that go away on missions that can find it difficult, but also the loved ones here at home.

Between the time he spent as a conscript at Lv 6 and his employment in the first Nordic Battlegroup, Neo has managed to both study and perform civil work. He has not yet decided what direction he will take once this period of time on standby is over. Perhaps it will be civil work, or perhaps he will look for a new job within the Swedish Armed Forces.