US General visited Gothenburg

Intense and very rewarding. This is how Army Commander Karl Engelbrektson sums up the visit from his American colleague Lieutenant General John Kolasheski from the US Army V Corps.

”This is a clear indication that we are now rapidly increasing our capacity”, says Major General Engelbrektson.

”As I join you today, for the first time in Sweden, it is clear that there is a lot of experience of cooperation with the United States”, says Lieutenant General Kolasheski.

Chefen för Amf 4, Fredrik Herlitz berättar för generalerna Engelbrektson och Kolasheski om betydelsen av Göteborgs hamn.
Chefen för Amf 4, Fredrik Herlitz berättar för generalerna Engelbrektson och Kolasheski om betydelsen av Göteborgs hamn.
Amphibian Regiment Commander, Fredrik Herlitz describes the importance of the Gothenburg harbour to generals Engelbrektson and Kolasheski. Photo: Dawn Collazo/US Army
"Alla relationer mellan nationer börjar med relationer mellan människor." säger Karl Engelbrektson.
"All relationships between nations start with relationships between people”, says Karl Engelbrektson. Photo: Dag Enander/Swedish Armed Forces
Under det dygnslånga besöket hann generallöjtnant Kolasheski och hans delegation med att både träffa amfibiesoldater och köra stridsbåt.
During the one-day visit, Lieutenant General Kolasheski and his delegation had time to meet amphibian troops and to operate a combat boat. Photo: Dawn Collazo/US Army

Russia's full-scale attack on Ukraine on 24 February.

A Swedish Nato application submitted on 18 May.

It has been an intense spring for the Swedish Armed Forces. And it will continue to be a defining time for Sweden, where an active defense is crucial - and where training, exercise and interoperability with partners are also of great importance. 

The latter three topics were discussed 25 to 26 May  in Gothenburg, where the commanding officer of the US Army V Corps, Lieutenant General John Kolasheski and delegation were received by Army Commander Karl Engelbrektson.

”Achieving practical effect is what this visit is about, because the components of action are at a tactical level”, says Lieutenant General John Kolasheski.

”Every exercise opportunity, where we collaborate with partners like Sweden, is good for us”, says Kolasheski.

He highlighted a recent river crossing during the exercise Defender Europe 22 in Poland where Swedish and V Corps engineers built a bridge together.

The generals were not the only ones to meet and plan for the future. Among others, Mikael Beck, Commander of the Air Defense Regiment, Rickard Johansson, Commandant of the Land Warfare Centre and designated division commander, Stephan Sjöberg, head of planning at the Army Staff and Dennis Hedström, Chief of the Airforce Staff, all participated in the meetings at Älvsborg's amphibious regiment, headed by Regiment Commander Fredrik Herlitz.

The meeting had a sweeping view of Gothenburg's inlets and harbours, and Commander Herlitz explained the location’s historical and current strategic importance. The Army Chief also made a historical reflection, only going back a few years in time.

”Six years ago we were a battalion army, with zero brigades. We now have two brigades, on our way to four, as ordered, as well as building up our division command capability. The Army must now focus on speeding up our increased capability. Therefore it is good to practice and train with a partner like the US Army, because it also creates interoperability. But we need to build relationships with people, because that is how relationships between nations are created”, says Army Commander Karl Engelbrektson.