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A new view of the world makes this year’s workout different

On Sunday, the 51st military exercises of Operation Baltic, Baltops, were launched. Sweden is hosting an exercise this year, which is why ships congregate in Stockholm just before it begins.

Our naval fleet is used to being in open waters and has recently returned from the deserts of Afghanistan and Iraq. Participating in an exercise in the Baltic Sea area means a lot to us, Vice Admiral Eugene Black says before the exercise.

Another view of the world

The fact that the maneuver is taking place at the same time with a continuous Swedish request to NATO and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine makes it partly different, according to Swedish Navy Commander Ewa Skog Haslum.

– It’s different because we have a different view of the world before our eyes. But she says it’s an exercise that evolves every year and is a lot more complex than it was when we started in the ’90s.

The meeting was also attended by Louis Lanchars, Deputy Commander of the Joint Forces of NATO in Brunssum, the Netherlands. He and Eugene Black both testify that Sweden will be an important partner and will receive protection while waiting for NATO’s request to respond, even if it takes time.

only benefits

If Sweden becomes a member of NATO, cooperation will take it to the next level, according to Black.

– There are advantages only to membership of Sweden and Finland, they are already important partners. As a country of 200,000 islands, you are very good at this type of terrain. It gives us important experiences.

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When asked if he was surprised by how things were going in Russia in Ukraine, Eugene Black answered yes after some hesitation.

We invest a lot in complex exercises and cooperation between the land, air and water forces, and Russia does not seem to have succeeded in this area.