Sweden launches military exercises due to deteriorating security environment

JAS 39 Gripen multirole fighter and Stridsvagn 122 main battle tank | Image credit: Swedish MoD

With a deteriorating security situation in the Baltic Sea region and a challenging global security environment, the Swedish Armed Forces announced 24 August that they have launched readiness exercises, stepped up maritime surveillance and increased the military presence on the island of Gotland.

“Extensive military operations are underway in the Baltic Sea region, both from Russia and the West, in a way that in some parts has not been experienced since the days of the Cold War. The Armed Forces have emergency operations around the clock, all year round and we make continuous assessments and adapt our operations to the prevailing situation. Some operations are visible while others are not”, says the Swedish Armed Forces’ Chief of Operations Jan Thörnqvist.

With the ongoing crisis in Belarus and Russian military exercises in the Baltic and in the Kaliningrad region, the focus of the contingency effort is to strengthen maritime surveillance in the Baltic Sea at sea and from the air. In addition, the military presence on Gotland is increasing.

The Swedish Armed Forces’ assessment is that the risk of a military attack on Sweden is currently low, but stated that the unpredictable security situation in the immediate area places high demands on accessibility and preparedness.