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Sweden and NATO train to keep Gotland secure

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Gotland Island commands the southern Baltic Sea – which is why the Swedish Armed Forces work with NATO Allies to keep it safe and secure.

Synopsis

Situated roughly 100 kilometres off the Swedish coast, the island of Gotland is of strategic importance, as it has a commanding view of the Baltic Sea. Should a crisis occur, the island would provide the Swedish Armed Forces with an advantage to influence air and maritime traffic.

This year, NATO partner Sweden hosted the annual United States-led maritime exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS), to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the Swedish Navy.

As part of BALTOPS 22, the Swedish Army practised the rapid reinforcement and defence of Gotland against a simulated aggressor, working alongside US Marines from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, deployed across the Atlantic for the exercise.

In the month prior to Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in February, Sweden deployed an emergency contingent of troops to strengthen Gotland’s defence.

Transcript

— TEXT ON SCREEN —

THE SWEDISH ISLAND OF GOTLAND

IS CRITICAL FOR SECURING
THE BALTIC SEA

TO PROTECT THE ISLAND, SWEDISH SOLDIERS TEAMED UP WITH NATO ALLIES

AND PRACTISED RAPIDLY REINFORCING THE ISLAND

DURING EXERCISE BALTOPS 22


—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—

COLONEL MAGNUS FRYKVALL
Commander, Gotland Regiment

“Well, Gotland is situated in the middle of the Baltics. From Gotland, you could easily control both air and sea movements in the south of the Baltic Sea. These kinds of exercises make it easier.”

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—

ADMIRAL JOHN MENONI
Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 2

“We’ve had a long relationship with Sweden, both as a country and then as a military. They’re extremely professional. We are learning a ton from them, and I believe they are learning from us.”

SWEDEN APPLIED TO JOIN NATO
ALONG WITH ITS NEIGHBOUR FINLAND
AFTER RUSSIA’S UNPROVOKED INVASION OF UKRAINE

—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH—

COLONEL MAGNUS FRYKVALL
Commander, Gotland Regiment

“Everything is much more real. And we have seen what Russia is prepared to do to a neighbouring country.”
Music
“Building Snares” by David Thomas Connolly and Max Samuel Rowat
Usage rights
This media asset is free for editorial broadcast, print, online and radio use. It is restricted for use for other purposes. Some footage courtesy of the United Kingdom Royal Navy, Crown Copyright 2022
Reference
NATO868425
ID
1974