Sweden and Finland have, since many years, a close military collaboration. This has been demonstrated during the international commitment in operations such as Afghanistan, Kosovo and Tchad. The countries have also had joint training in the past within the Nordic Battle Group. And now VIKING, a multidimensional civil-military, computer simulated headquarters compound exercise.
During the exercise, over hundred of students from both the Swedish and the Finnish National Defence College will be trained in staff duty, focusing on the maritime arena. Thirty eight of them will be based in Karlskrona. The main objective is to plan their marine tasks at the coast of the fictitious country in the exercise. The problems they will face, such as piracy and smuggling, are inspired from real operations at sea. The work of the students is being overseen from the naval headquarter in Glüksburg, Germany.
Commander Jon von Weissenberg, teacher at the Finnish National Defence College, attends the exercise as Deputy Commander in the Task Group where the Finnish and Swedish officers interact. It is the first time he participates in Viking but he feels that everything has been running smoothly so far.
– The cooperation works perfectly, Sweden and Finland have very similar working methods.
The majority of the students attending the Finnish National Defence College studies their first year of staff duty, where VIKING is included as a part of the education. All of the students are already officers and have served the Armed Forces of Finland for at least ten years. Many of them have a lot of knowledge from other multinational exercises, but only one of them has earlier participated in VIKING. However this is not something that worries the Commander Jan Dunmurray, who functions as the Commander of their Task Group.
– Of course it can be a bit chaotic in the beginning, but how hard can it be?