For the first time since the height of Cold War, Sweden called up 22,000 reservists for an exercise of a scale not seen in almost 44 years.
A total of 40 battalions are carrying out nationwide snap drill maneuvers to ramp up military security at a time NATO is deploying thousands of troops at Russia’s doorstep.
Sweden mobilized all 40 Home Guard battalions in an unprecedented exercise that has not been held since 1975. The drills marked the National Day of Sweden, celebrated on June 6.
Sweden does not share a border with non-NATO member Russia, but Russia operates a naval base just across the Baltic Sea the Kaliningrad enclave.
The main task of the Home Guard is to fulfill secondary military roles, such as patrolling and guarding important infrastructure objects, while the standing army is engaging an enemy at the front lines.
Stockholm announced last year it would reintroduce compulsory military service as early as this summer, seven years after it was abolished.
Last September, Sweden held massive Aurora 17 war games with the participation of foreign troops predominantly from NATO countries. Sweden is not a member of NATO and sees itself as a “neutral” country.
The Defense Post.com / AA Magnum Military News 2018.