A voice from Down Under

Navy Captain Steve O´Keefe from Australia is bringing a new perspective to the exercise.

The first visit to Sweden for Navy Captain Steve O´Keefe from Australia Photo: Anton Thorstensson / Försvarsmakten

Captain O'Keefe is Chief of staff with the main duty to support the participants in the exercise.
- I am here to give Australia access to this important exercise. Maybe we will have the same exercise in our own country in the future. I will also promote a bigger participation from us at the next VIKING exercise. This time we are four people from Australia and I am the only one from the military, the others represent civilian organisations.

Steve O´Keefe says that the preparations for the exercise are really impressive, and he praises the networking opportunities.
- This is a fantastic opportunity with great possibilities to improve your  understanding for how your work affects the cooperation between different actors.

The Captain from Australia realizes the challenges with this kind of cooperation between military and civilian organizations.
- The biggest challenge is that every organization has their own different mandate during a mission. To improve the cooperation, an understanding of each others mandates must be considered early in the planning of the mission. This is not easy because every actor has their own objective, but early cooperation will improve the conditions for everyone.

Surely Australia offers a lot better weather this time of year, but in spite of the gray skies Steve O´Keefe is very satisfied with his first visit to Sweden.
- I am really enjoying my time here, the people are great, the country looks beautiful and my visit has been outstanding this far, says the cheerful visitor from the other side of the globe.