Senior Course 132, Regional Approaches and PfP Field Study: Stockholm
Upon arrival in Stockholm, Sweden, on June 19, SC132 was welcomed in the afternoon by RADML Ms Eva S. Haslum, Vice-Chancellor (Deputy-Commandant) of the Swedish Defence University (SDU), who presented the University to Course Members. She was followed by Mr Lars Hedström, Deputy Head of the Security, Strategy and Leadership Department at SDU, who presented the concept of Total Defence.
The next day, SC132 received comprehensive briefings by the Secretary of State for Defence Mr Jan Salestrand; Supreme Commander, General Micael Bydén and Ambassador Frederik Löjdquist, from the European Security Department, Ministry for Foreign Affairs; thereby setting the stage for further detailed briefings by Mr Johan Lagerlöf, Head of Department for Security Policy and International Relations at the Ministry of Defence; Mr Magnus Bergman, Head of Department for Military Capability and Operations at the Ministry of Defence; Brigadier General Michael Claesson, Armed Forces HQ and Mr Lars Hedström, Deputy Head Security, Strategy and Leadership Department at the Swedish Defence University.
SC 132 learned that a strong national defence based on the further development of the Swedish Total Defence Concept and increased international cooperation, remains one of the three main pillars of Swedish security and defence policy.
The needed re-focusing on national defence in a Baltic regional context will be a long-term, costly task sustained by the achievements of the 2016 - 2020 Defence Plan.
Sweden will optimize its efforts to coordinate and otherwise manage warlike conditions by further developing its Total Defence Concept. This will allow Sweden to increase its resilience in a combination of multi-disciplinary civil emergency preparedness and military robustness. In particular, Total Defence will mobilize society’s civilian and military resources to strengthen military defence.
Sweden’s focus on international security and defence cooperation with neighbouring countries, other European countries and the USA was highlighted by describing Sweden’s international engagement and close and broad cooperation as a NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partner (EOP) for Dialogue and Cooperation.
Increased complexity and more actors in security and defence cooperation, call for training and regular exercises. Accordingly, SC 132 noted the Swedish focus on major exercises like ‘Aurora 17’, held in Sweden, and the NATO exercise ‘Trident Juncture 18’ that will take place in Norway and involve 40,000 participants from more than 30 countries, including Sweden.
The visit to Sweden was once more extremely successful and very complementary to previous lectures held at the NDC. The whole delegation is extremely thankful to the Swedish authorities for their warm welcome in Stockholm.