The brigade is the target

Brigstri 15 – staff exercise in Skövde

From Boden in the north to Revinge in the south, approximately 800 people have made their way to Skövde. They will exercise operating together, like one unit, over the course of one week. The exercise is Brigstri 15, a staff exercise at Skövde garrison and training field.

A large part of the army's unit is represented and the air force is also on site. The target of the exercise is to exercise all functions included in a brigade.

"Actually the exercise has two targets. One is co-exercising functions in the brigade and the second is allowing the brigade to exercise the same type of tasks which they will train during the army exercise Arméövning later this year. Brigstri is a part of an exercise ladder which the Land Warfare Centre has developed for the army's units where the highlight of the year is the Arméövning. If you want to participate and exercise there, it is necessary that you participate at Brigstri first," says drill master Åke Palm.

Åke has worked with the planning of Brigstri for over one year, but he has not done it alone. There is a scenario as a starting point for the exercise to be as relevant as possible for the units on site. In this scenario a large part of Sweden has been replaced by water.
"We have made Lake Vättern to a sea so that everything east of the lake is water. I was assisted by a person who drafted the scenario and wrote preparatory orders. I also had a commendant from the Land Warfare Centre's staff who took care of the practical details – where everyone should stay, what they should eat, and so on."

As the exercise is a staff exercise, there are no contending units but the decisions which are taken among the staff are converted to troop movements in a game system in computers. In this context the management training department Ledningsträningsavdelningen and the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration, FMV have played a large part in the preparations. In total there are approximately 30 people in the exercise management.

"The planning takes roughly one year and we start looking at the upcoming year as soon as the exercise is over. Just like this year's exercise, there are three planning conferences."

Representatives of the units which will be a part of the exercise attend the planning conferences. During the first conference you decide on who will attend, the design of the exercise and how the planning work will be structured. At the second conference representatives bring their own unit's exercise objectives and these are incorporated in the plan. The third conference entails determining the plan and briefing for the exercise.
"The major challenge for the unit compared to Brigstri the year before is that the exercise is twice as large. Several functions are exercised, among other things we include electronic warfare units, we exercise helicopter transport and act under a greater air threat so the degree of difficulty is significantly higher. As the main part of the exercises is field-based, then the link, that it functions as intended, is also one of the major challenges," says Åke.

Åke is very satisfied with the exercise and hopes to increase the level of difficulty next year.

"My personal strategic objective for next year's exercise is that we can develop a movement with the units so that you are always in the same terrain you are moving in within the tactical game in the computers. It will be an even bigger challenge to get functioning links then," he concludes.