For the first time US tanks will roll to Sweden. Past week it was reported, that Sweden is preparing for war against Russia. Today on Monday Swedish media reports, that US and French forces are heading to Sweden to participate in the largest military exercise in Sweden in 20 years.
The coming war game is called "Aurora". About 19,000 Swedish troops, including the Home Guard, will participate in the exercise in September next year. Also about 1,000 troops from the US, Denmark, Norway, Finland, France and Estonia are expected to participate in military exercise.
The war games will be held at sea, on land and in the air. Main training grounds are Stockholm county, Gothenburg and the island of Gotland. French and US forces will deploy air defense systems to Sweden for the first time.
"To my knowledge, we have not practiced this way before. With both the American and French air defense participating, the Swedish units will receive very good training," Rickard Wissman, who is Head of Communications for the Aurora exercise, told SVT News.
According to Major General Bengt Andersson, American M1A1 tanks and other combat vehicles are expected to participate in war games, which will be the first time US tanks will roll on Swedish ground.
Earlier this year, Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist signed a new military cooperation agreement with the US against a backdrop of "escalating military tension in the Baltic Region," which facilitates the deployment of US troops in formally non-aligned Sweden. Additionally, a controversial Host Country Agreement was signed with NATO, which makes it easier for NATO members to operate in Sweden.
Just in the past week Sweden's civil protection agency organized under the Ministry of Defense issued an official letter to country's local authorities to prepare for a possible war with Russia.
DONi News Agency