Swedish-British cooperation on the west coast

For three days, British officers of the Royal Marines Commando have participated in an exercise together with the Älvsborg Marine Regiment, within the defense cooperation framework Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF).

UK soldier and a Swedish flag
UK soldier and a Swedish flag
JEF is a rapid reaction force framework led by the UK. Photo: Mathilda Arthursson/Swedish Armed Forces
Swedish and UK officers looking at the Gothenburg port
The port of Gothenburg is the largest in all of the Nordic countries, and to protect it is crucial. Photo: Mathilda Arthursson/Swedish Armed Forces

JEF is a framework for a rapid reaction force led by the UK. It is to be viewed as a compliment to Nato, and will be able to operate in a crisis, with focus on northern Europe. Ten countries, including Sweden and the UK, are cooperating in JEF. This type of cooperation is important to Sweden.

The British officers were shown the regiment’s exercise fields, materiel and how security issues are addressed as regards the major Gothenburg port. Major Christian Schöld is deputy Chief of the 5th Amphibious Battalion:

”Through joint exercises we gain an understanding for each other’s forces, sensors and weapon systems. The Swedish archipelago is a unique environment on which we are the experts, and we are happy to show others how we operate”.

Captain Henry Shelton of the Royal Marines thinks that the exercise was very useful:

”The importance that you in Sweden put on the archipelago environment, combined with coastal critical infrastructure, as for example ports, is very similar to how we in the UK perceive this issue. We have learnt a lot about Sweden’s amphibious capability, and will continue to build on this for the future”.

To the Swedish Armed Forces, cooperation with other nations and organisations is important, not least with Sweden’s Nato-application as backdrop. All types of cooperation contribute to the saftey and security in our vicinty.

”If, in the future, we will need to carry out joint live operations with the Royal Marines Commando, our take-off distance is now significantly shorter”, says Major Christian Schöld.