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Swedes on a NATO crew during Aurora 23

Swedes on a NATO crew during Aurora 23

liaison officer
liaison officer

Ingebrikt Sjövik, pictured right, is one of two liaison officers on the international staff in Rostock, Germany.

Picture: Niko Thisca/Bundeswehr

The Swedish Navy has two liaison officers on the international crew.
– Our task is to facilitate communication between the Swedish Navy Command and the NATO Staff Command, says Ingeprekt Sjovik, one of the two Swedish officers.

The NATO force that played during Aurora 23 consisted of a German and a French frigate with three minesweepers from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and the British ship HMS Albion. The ships are part of three combat units and have different capabilities such as surface combat, submarine hunting and mine clearance. Their task is to free the Swedish forces from such tasks as identifying enemy units in the southern Baltic Sea. NATO forces played a role in supporting Swedish capabilities by escorting ships, demining important waterways, and contributing to deterrence and stability in the region. This is so that the Swedish forces can focus on important coastal operations and the defense of the country.

Simulating NATO personnel participating in the exercise makes us better at sharing information and creates a common and more accurate picture of the maritime situation, which in turn can free up Swedish resources at sea, says Ingebrikt Sjövik.

There are some similarities and differences between the work of the armed forces of other countries. NATO has significant forces speaking and visible. Swedish ships seem to be more concealed, for example when it comes to radio communications.

– In these cases, it’s good to have a liaison officer on site who can explain Sweden’s way of behaving to international staff, says Ingebrikt Sjövik.

The Swedish Navy is already well prepared for cooperation with NATO. Since the early 2000s, all orders have been in English and follow NATO standards. Within the Navy, cooperation with NATO has been ongoing since the 1990s.

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