Wednesday 29 May, 2024
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Royal Marines test Sweden’s defences during Exercise Borealis

The Royal Marines have tested Sweden’s defence capabilities of the strategic Gothenburg Archipelago at the entrance of the Baltic Sea, as the UK strengthens ties with their newest NATO ally.

During Exercise Borealis, Arbroath-based 45 Commando were tasked with testing the 4th Amphibious Regiment which is responsible for guarding the Archepelgo and Sweden’s 2,000-mile coastline.

45 Commando’s X-Ray Company, supported by assault engineers and sappers from 59 Commando Royal Engineers, along with a specialized reconnaissance team from 30 Commando, conducted a raid on Gothenburg Port to neutralize vital national infrastructure.

Subsequently, a six-day battle ensued in the northern region of Gothenburg Archipelago, where 45 Commando was assigned the mission of disabling defense systems to facilitate the entry of a larger military force into the area.

Major Luke Norkett, in command of X-Ray Company, said: “The final scenario is highly-relevant for the Royal Marines, mirroring the likely tasking in the event of large-scale warfare, acting as an advanced force to enable follow on forces with greater mass and capital ships entry into an area of operations.”

“The deployment demonstrates the high value UK places on its relationship with Sweden, understanding and operating with an important Joint Expeditionary Force partner.”

“Taking place almost immediately following Sweden’s NATO membership approval it also served to highlight NATO’s commitment to the security of the Baltic Sea.”

He continued: “The exercise provided valuable lessons for both sides; highlighting complementary, as well as areas of development, of our respective capabilities.”

Exercise Borealis is a prelude to NATO’s biggest annual exercise in the Baltic, known as Baltops, which takes place later this month.

Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie is the founder and editor of Neil is also the editor of other online publications covering military history, defence and security. He can be found on Twitter: @NeilRitchie86.

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