"Interesting to see how similar we think"
Olof Stärnevall is a captain in the Swedish Navy and is studying the first year at the Higher Joint Command and Staff Programme. He was one of 320 Swedish and Finnish students who participated during the Training Event Joint Operations, TEJO 23. This was organized by the Swedish Defence University in collaboration with the Finnish National Defence University.
Olof Stärnevall found the exercise very confusing, at first. "However, after working with the Finnish colleagues on the joint exercises, the concept of 'joint' became clearer."
Stärnevall noted that there were few Naval officers in the small group, but that “we were able to contribute through our experiences from the Navy. I was involved as a staff member, and led some small working groups. The most challenging aspect was probably to understand NATO abbreviations and see how their relevance. Sometimes it was also difficult to understand what the end product would be, however we tried to solve the tasks to the best of our ability. It was fascinating when the penny finally dropped and you understood the context".
I leave with a deeper understanding of the operational framework regarding the importance of objectives and assessments.
Olof Stärnevall adds that it was very instructive to collaborate with his Finnish colleagues. "It was also fun and interesting to see how similar we think and are trained. It is likely we will encounter each other in future NATO collaborations, and it is of course a great advantage to have contacts in the Finnish Armed Forces".
"What I take with me from these two weeks is actually the cooperation with the Finnish colleagues and a deeper understanding of the operational framework regarding the importance of objectives and assessments. This was a very good way to learn – I can't think of a better way."
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