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Aurora 23 – a major international exercise

Aurora 23 is the largest exercise conducted by the Swedish Armed Forces in Sweden in over three decades. About 26,000 soldiers from 15 different countries take part in it.

In addition to Sweden, Austria, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States participate. Of the international partners, Finland, the United States and the United Kingdom account for the the largest troops.

The exercise area covers almost whole of the Southern Sweden, including the maritime areas. The exercise will take place from April 17th to May 11th. 

In addition to the soldiers, Swedish civilian authorities will also participate in the exercise. The exercise is commanded by Swedish Brigadier General Stefan Andersson.

Training together with international partners is important for the security of the entire Baltic Sea Region

The security situation in all of Europe has changed because of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Sufficient military presence and exercises that maintain interoperability ensure our ability to meet the threat posed by Russia. From Finland’s perspective, the security of the Baltic Sea Region and Northern Europe requires an active presence of Finland’s partners and western military alliances, and through exercises, maintaining the readiness to fight side-by-side. Training together with international partners is important for the security of the entire Baltic Sea Region.  

Participation in exercise Aurora 23 is part of defence cooperation between Finland and Sweden. Within this framework, planning, weapons systems and the management of the countries' armed forces have been coordinated. At present, Finland and Sweden can conduct joint operations on land, sea and air. Joint exercises are part of everyday life in all branches of the armed forces. In exercise Aurora 23, this cooperation will be further developed.

Finland's and Sweden's decision to join NATO does not reduce the need for cooperation between the countries, but their interoperability supports NATO's Northern Dimension. Training in a multinational environment also improves readiness for national defence.