Director General of the NATO International Military Staff visits Sweden to discuss ways to enhance cooperation

  • 09 Jun. 2015 - 10 Jun. 2015
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  • Last updated: 17 Jun. 2015 11:52

Air Marshal Sir Christopher Harper, Director General of the NATO International Military Staff (DGIMS) visited Sweden from 9-10 June 2015. Visiting both Ronneby Air base and Stockholm, the Director General commended Sweden for being a pro-active and effective contributor to international security, for its continued contributions to multilateral and NATO missions and expressed how valuable a partner Sweden was to NATO.

Director General of the NATO International Military Staff , Air Marshal Sir Christopher Harper meets with Chief of Defence Staff of the Swedish Armed Forces, Lt Gen Dennis Gyllensporre

While in Stockholm Air Marshal Harper took the opportunity to meet with the Chief of Defence Staff of the Swedish Armed Forces, Lt Gen Gyllensporre with whom he discussed the potential development of practical cooperation on airspace management measures in the Baltic. They also discussed methods that might enhance coherence between Swedish and NATO exercise programmes. 

During his visit to Ronneby Air Base, Air Marshal Harper was briefed on Sweden’s Air Policing mission, Baltic co-operation and discussed the ongoing and future exercise programme between NATO and Sweden. As he toured the facilities at the Air Base, Sir Chris expressed admiration for the operational capability of Sweden’s armed forces and their positive impact on international security efforts.  He also explored the heavy demands that such an operational tempo places on servicemen and women, and their families, and how these pressures can be mitigated. 

After receiving a briefing from the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Air Marshal Harper commended Sweden’s strong engagement and continued support to NATO – led operations.  These past and current operations such as Operation Unified Protector, ISAF, the peacekeeping force in Kosovo and the Resolute Support Mission, have allowed for increased interoperability between the Swedish Armed Forces and NATO. Sweden’s involvement in NATO-led operations and missions has also paved the way for enhanced opportunities for Sweden which were offered within the Partnership Interoperability Initiative‘s Enhance Opportunities Platform launched at last year’s NATO Summit in Wales.

The Director General of the International Military Staff went on to highlight Sweden’s important contribution to training the forces of NATO partner countries particularly in peacekeeping, through the Defence Education Centre SWEDINT, which has been formally recognized by NATO as a Partnership for Peace Training Centre.

Lastly, Air Marshal Harper praised Sweden’s strong engagement and effective contributions to global crisis management and defence and security capacity building: “Sweden is a great force for good. She is a considerable contributor in security and defence sector reform and is clearly keen to be involved in NATO’s future defence capability building efforts”, Air Marshal Harper concluded.