The massive exercise is underway

It starts in earnest today in Norway. Trident Juncture 18 is one of NATO’s biggest exercises and Sweden is participating with around 2,200 personnel. A total of more than 50,000 are taking part from the 29 NATO countries as well as partner countries Finland and Sweden.

Den Svenske korvetten K35 Karlstad i Trondheim havn under øvelsen Trident Juncture 2018 i Norge.
The navy participates with two corvettes during the exercise Trident Juncture 18. Photo: Torbjørn Kjosvold/Forsvaret
Erik och Mattias, båda hemvärnssoldater som är inlånade för att tjänstgöra vid 11:e ledningsplatskompaniet från Ledningsregementet under Trident Juncture 2018. Erik kommer från Enköping och tillhör Upplands hemvärnsbataljon och Mattias kommer från Uppsala men tillhör Medelpadsbataljonen.
Soldiers from the National Guard during the exercise Trident Juncture 18. Photo: Mats Carlsson/Swedish Armed Forces

Sweden’s participation in the exercise is based on the Swedish Declaration of Solidarity adopted by Parliament in 2009.
“This is Sweden’s unilateral declaration of solidarity, which is linked to neighbouring Nordic countries and EU Member States. We will not be passive in the event of a conflict or crisis”, says Major General Michael Claesson.

In this scenario it is in fact Norway that has been drawn into a conflict. The assumption is that Norway is being attacked from the east by an alliance of five countries. Sweden now has an opportunity to practice in a qualified context in order to increase its military capabilities.

“As we know, we have a political order as the basis to increase our capabilities, so it is valuable for us to participate. It is also important for the defence cooperation established with Finland and NATO”, says Michael Claesson.

For the seven Jas 39 Gripen and the two Visby corvettes participating in the exercise, it is also preparation for their inclusion in the NATO Response Force, NRF.