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Mar 11 2024

Swedish flag raised at NATO Allied Maritime Command

Northwood, UK – the Swedish flag was raised in front of the Atlantic Building, NATO Allied Maritime Command in Northwood, UK on Monday, as Sweden became the 32nd member of NATO.

Presiding over the ceremony was the Commander MARCOM, Royal Navy Vice Admiral Mike Utley.

I could not be more pleased to welcome Sweden to the NATO family, Sweden is one of NATO's closest and most highly valued partners, sharing the same values and facing many of the same challenges as NATO Allies. Our naval forces have trained together for many years, and I have no doubt membership of NATO will boost transatlantic security and reinforce our Baltic Allies. It will also significantly enhance our posture in the High North

Also in attendance was the Chief of the Swedish Navy, Rear Admiral Ewa Skoog Haslum. 

“I am so proud to be here today to witness the hoisting of the Swedish flag at NATO Allied Maritime Command HQ,” she said. “Sweden has been one of NATO’s most active and committed Partners for many years. Our Navy in particular has trained and exercised extensively alongside the Alliance, bringing advanced capabilities, which already have proved interoperability with NATO forces.”

For Swedish personnel working in the headquarters, this was an important day.

Northwood, UK – The Swedish flag was raised in front of the Atlantic Building, NATO Allied Maritime Command in Northwood, UK on Monday, as Sweden became the 32nd NATO member. Flag-raising ceremony had the participation of the Chief of the Royal Swedish Navy, Rear Admiral Ewa Skoog Haslum and the Swedish Ambassador to the UK, Mr. Stefan Gullgren.   

“Membership of NATO will have a very large impact on naval integration in the Baltic Sea,” said Swedish Navy Officer Lt Cdr Marcus Bengtsson. “Global developments, from the Red Sea to the Baltic Sea, affects us all. Sweden, with its maritime capabilities, will definitely contribute to a stronger NATO, but I also know that NATO membership will make Swedish Maritime efforts stronger.”

Sweden has already been making a vital maritime contribution to the Alliance, consistently demonstrating its commitment to European and transatlantic security through various collaborations and contributions to the NATO Alliance, particularly in the maritime domain.

As a NATO Partner, Sweden has actively participated in NATO-led maritime operations and exercises. During 2023, these included Dynamic Move, Neptune Strike, Dynamic Mercy, BALTOPS and Steadfast Jupiter. Sweden’s contribution to these exercises included naval assets and expertise, enhancing collective defence and interoperability among Allied forces. Swedish naval units frequently engage in joint exercises with NATO Allies in the Baltic Sea and North Atlantic, fostering cooperation and coordination in addressing common security challenges.

Sweden boasts a modern and capable navy equipped with advanced vessels and submarines, and a naval force known for its professionalism and proficiency.

Sweden’s advanced maritime surveillance systems, such as radar networks, maritime patrol aircraft, and underwater sensors, provide valuable intelligence and situational awareness to NATO forces operating in the Baltic Sea region. By sharing information and conducting joint patrols with NATO Allies, Sweden makes a vital contribution to the collective understanding of maritime activities, including potential threats from adversaries.

The Swedish Navy possesses the expertise and resources necessary to conduct a wide range of maritime operations, including anti-submarine warfare, mine countermeasures, and maritime interdiction. In the Baltic Sea region, Sweden has maintained Maritime Situational Awareness (MSA), provided underwater warfare capability with its submarines, and regularly cleared historic unexploded ordnance from previous conflicts, making the seas safer for all shipping.

As a littoral state in the Baltic Sea region, Sweden plays a crucial role in ensuring maritime security and stability in this strategic area. The Baltic Sea serves as a vital transit route for both commercial shipping and military vessels, making it susceptible to various security threats, including maritime piracy, illegal trafficking, and potential military provocations. Sweden's maritime surveillance capabilities and patrolling activities help monitor and safeguard the Baltic Sea, contributing to NATO's efforts to deter aggression and maintain freedom of navigation.

Story by Public Affairs Office at MARCOM

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HQ Allied Maritime Command
MARCOM Records Centre
Information Management Branch
Northwood HQ, Atlantic Building
Sandy Lane, Northwood HA6 3HP
United Kingdom

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