The Swedish Armed Forces has made the decision to postpone the Aurora 20 exercise, planned to take place in May, due to the current situation in Sweden and the world, caused by the covid-19 pandemic.
"There is immense pressure on society right now. Therefore, the Swedish Armed Forces must adapt their activities accordingly, that is quite self-explanatory," says Lieutenant General Johan Svensson, Chief of Training and Development of the Swedish Armed Forces.
The cancelled exercise means that no conscript personnel will be called in for rehearsal training this year. The participation of the Home Guard is also cancelled as they must be able to maintain readiness, and also be able to give support to society.
The Swedish conscripts are now at the end of their training, and therefore some exercises will still be carried out, but to a far lesser extent.
"The conscript soldiers have given us – and Sweden – nearly a year of their time and must be allowed to conclude their training in a good way. This is important to them personally, but primarily in order for them to be able to contribute to the defence of Sweden. More information about this will follow shortly," says Lieutenant General Johan Svensson.
Planning of the Aurora 20 exercise has been underway for several years. Many government agencies as well as several other countries were planned to take part in the Aurora 20 exercise, which also would have included parts of the extensive Total Defence Exercise 20.
As regards the Total Defence Exercise 2020, the Swedish Armed Forces and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency have decided that the parts that were planned to be carried out during Aurora 20 will be cancelled, or possibly re-planned. The remaining activities of the Total Defence Exercise 2020 are now being analysed and possible changes will be decided shortly.
"We appreciate that so many countries, government agencies and organisations have been willing to participate in the Aurora 20 exercise and we hope that they will be able to participate at another time instead", says Lieutenant General Svensson.
At this time, it is not known when Aurora 20 will be carried out:
"The Swedish Armed Forces is now focusing on supporting the community and maintaining Sweden’s readiness and security, which is even more important now when our society is vulnerable and under a lot of pressure", says Lieutenant General Johan Svensson.