Winter Sun 2024 continues with undiminished strength

Winter Sun encompasses about 2,000 participants from Revingehed in Skåne to Boden in the north. Throughout the week, the participating units have continued to develop their ability to operate in subarctic conditions to be as well-prepared as possible for the large-scale exercise Nordic Response, which commences at the beginning of March.

To operate in the subarctic environment requires the ability to handle cold and snow, as well as the capability to solve tasks with vehicles and weapon systems under extreme weather conditions. Photo: David Kristiansen
During the initial days of the exercise, the temperature was around minus 30 degrees Celsius. Photo: David Luttu Carr
During Winter Sun, there has been continued focus on developing the ability to operate in the subarctic environment to be as well-prepared as possible for the major exercise Nordic Response, which begins in early March. Photo: David Kristiansen

"Winter training encompasses everything from the individual soldier's ability to handle the cold and snow to the entire unit's ability to accomplish tasks with vehicles and weapon systems under extreme weather conditions. After the exercise, our soldiers should be so well-trained that they can fulfill their tasks in Finnish Lapland and Norwegian Finnmark during the Nordic Response exercise," says Colonel Gustaf Dufberg, commander of the Norrbotten Brigade.


There is no doubt that the interest in the Swedish Armed Forces' activities is constantly increasing. During the Winter Sun exercise, a press meeting was held on Friday, February 16. For a few hours, media representatives visited the exercise, interviewing the brigade commander, exercise leaders, as well as soldiers and officers from most of the participating units. The media day was attended by about fifteen journalists and photographers from various media outlets, mainly from Sweden but also from Finland and Japan.


During the initial days of the exercise, the focus has been on the winter training and adaptation of individual units to the sometimes harsh winter conditions that often prevail in the northern region. This was clearly emphasized during the first two days of the exercise when the temperature dropped to minus 30 degrees Celsius.


During Winter Sun, the exercise activities have not only been conducted in the area around Boden. At the Lomben firing range outside Kalix, tactical coordination in fire and movement between mechanized infantry and tanks has been intensively practiced among combined units from I 19, P 7 from Skåne, and P 18 from Gotland.

"The exercise method is not difficult and doesn't take long, it's just about understanding a basic principle. Our northern terrain with dense forests, marshes, and rugged terrain requires close cooperation between tanks and mechanized infantry. Which unit supports which one varies depending on the terrain and the enemy's actions. You can compare it to a waltz. But even more beautiful, a tank waltz," says Morgan Frööjd, training officer at the Lomben exercise facility.

The Winter Sun exercise continues with bilateral combat operations at Boden's southern firing range on Sunday and Monday, and the exercise concludes on Tuesday, 20 February.