State Secretary Jan-Olof Lind hosted the Nordic permanent secretaries meeting that was held in Luleå on 23–24 May within the framework of the Swedish chairmanship of NORDEFCO. The agenda included information about national defence plans, international cooperation and total defence. In connection with the meeting, the state secretaries visited the Arctic Challenge Exercise.
The Swedish chairmanship for NORDEFCO is hosting a number of meetings throughout 2019 and the Nordic permanent secretaries are also meeting to advance Nordic defence cooperation. During the meeting in Luleå, State Secretary Jan-Olof Lind and his Nordic colleagues updated informed each other about national defence priorities. The meeting was also an opportunity to discuss the themes raised by the Swedish chairmanship in the area of NORDEFCO cooperation and the shared vision for Nordic defence cooperation that was adopted in autumn 2018 was highlighted. The Military Coordination Committee informed the permanent secretaries about the status of ongoing NORDEFCO projects. Other topics discussed included EU-transatlantic defence cooperation and issues concerning NATO.
Arctic Challenge Exercise (ACE) 2019
In connection with the permanent secretaries meeting, there was a visit to the international air exercise ACE 2019.
During the period 22 May–4 June, Sweden, Finland and Norway are hosting the Arctic Challenge Exercise 2019 under Swedish lead. The exercise is being carried out for the fourth time within the framework of the Nordic defence cooperation and the Cross Border Training concept. One of the objectives for this year’s exercise is to achieve ‘flag level’ status making it more extensive, complex and cutting-edge.
More than 100 aircraft from nine different countries, including tanker aircraft and lead aircraft, are taking part in this year’s exercise.
Approximately 4 000 people will take part in the exercise.
The objective for ACE 2019 is for pilots from several nations to conduct a joint exercise with different aircraft types in large combined air forces, training tactics and procedures in a realistic threat environment with simulated anti-aircraft systems. For the Swedish units, this means increasing our operational impact by working together with others in Sweden and our neighbourhood.
The exercise scenario is an international peace support and crisis management operation under a UN mandate.