Viking 22 – the world’s largest international computer aided staff exercise

More than 50 nations and 70 civilian organisations are trained in military and civilian cooperation in the computer aided multinational staff exercise Viking 22, which starts on 28 March in the Swedish town of Enköping. The exercise is a training platform to prepare civilians, military personnel and police officers to participate in peace promoting efforts.

Military personnel in front of computers.
Military personnel in front of computers.
Archive image from Viking 18 Photo: Lenny Ericsson/Swedish Armed Forces

Viking 22 is a distributed computer aided exercise. The units commanded by the various staffs are "played" by simulations. The participants are in nine locations, in six different countries. The game is run from Sweden, and the main deployment of some 1 000 militaries, civilians and police are in Enköping, but there are also participants in Uppsala, Karlskrona and Kungsängen.

The exercise is part of Swedish US cooperation that has been ongoing since 1999 that was introduced as an international forum for cooperation at the Nato Washington summit. Since the start, the exercise has gone from being a military exercise led by PfP to now also include the UN and other humanitarian actors.

"Cooperation in the exercise is one of a kind, and one of the reasons why many of the international community want to participate", says Lieutenant Colonel Carl-Fredrik Kleman, responsible for planning Viking 22.

What sets Viking apart from other international exercises is that all participating organisations and countries have their own objectives for the exercise; i.e. Viking is not only a military exercise, it is also a platform for cooperation to increase capability in the own organisation as well as cooperation between actors in the environment where one will be operational.

Viking 22 is based on an entirely new international scenario “Northern Continent”, which is built on the Nordic geography, but where the content is taken from modern-age conflicts. The scenario is adapted to Nato doctrines and the processes used in operations. This provides Swedish officers with an excellent opportunity to learn and practise with international colleagues within the framework of joint operations.

"The exercise is a way to build bridges between nations and organisations, as well as to develop personal networks. Naturally, the current security situation affects the exercise, making it even more important", says Lieutenant Colonel Kleman.

The exercise is held from Monday 28 March until Thursday 7 April 2022.