Although Sweden is not a member of NATO, we participate, within the framework of Partnership for Peace, in a large number of working groups within the organization. One of the first established is the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Inter-Service Working Group, which during the past week has completed its 58th working session. For the very first time Sweden has hosted this meeting, arranged by SWEDEC, in Eksjö with just over 60 NATO delegates.
– The aim is to bring together national expertise, to share experiences and knowledge in order to be well prepared for multinational deployments and also to be effective in a national perspective, says Colonel Zac Scott, from Great Britain, who is chairman for the working group.
The working group develops standards that are used by member and partner nations to increase their interoperability, i.e. the possibility to carry out successful combined operations in a safe manner. These joint, tactical and technical publications include standardization in matters such as equipment, training, terminology and tactics. To some extent the NATO standards form the basis for development of the Swedish Armed Forces' publications regarding EOD.
– EOD is a military profession highly influenced by the experience from 20 years of international operations in the Balkans, Middle East and West Africa, where the Swedish EOD teams have worked side-by-side together with most NATO nations. We have learnt procedures and methods from others but also influenced our partners in how to act as effective as possible against the threat from conventional munition and improvised explosive devices. The information exchange and cooperation through this working group is of mutual benefit, says Captain Fredrik Peedu, Commanding Officer of SWEDEC.