Civil Servants Performing with Distinction in Sweden

BALTDEFCOL personnel continue their participation in the multinational Combined Joint Staff Exercise (CJSE) 2013 in Sweden. A major objective of this large, multiple headquarters exercise is to deepen understanding between the military and civilian players. This year, over 70 civilian actors – representing a wide range of government, media and UN agencies – are participating alongside their military colleagues.

BALTDEFCOL’s own five members of the Civil Servants’ Course are also actively employed in the exercise, filling key Political and Legal Advisor positions. These challenging billets require them to provide daily briefings to the commanders and give guidance and advice to planning and operations staffs. Jaano Vija, Anda Mende, and Marius Alekna are key players within their respective directorates in Enköping. Additionally, Liana Naujalytė is working at the Air Component Headquarters in Uppsala and Andres Ideon with the Maritime staff at Karlskrona.

The complex and challenging scenario for the exercise, set in a fictitious country torn by civil war and ethnic tensions, highlights the need for the military to support the long term political resolution of the conflict, and for the civilians to understand the abilities and limitations of the military. While this level of mutual trust is desirable, it is understandably difficult to achieve in practice. Didzis Nimants commented, “We still have differences between the UN political advice on the long term direction of the campaign and the military need for short term tactical actions, but the level of mutual understanding is improving every day.”

Harmonisation of the different planning methodologies and even the technical language of civilians and the military are critical in real world operations. The relationships and understanding built into CJSE13 will certainly prove extremely valuable when many of the players meet on operations in the future. The hope is that through exercises like this those tensions can be resolved in the peaceful Swedish countryside, and not in a hostile future battlespace.

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