Saab and the Swedish Armed Forces work together in skills provision. As a Saab employee, there are therefore several opportunities for also serving in the military on a part-time basis, an opportunity that Marcus Zakrisson takes advantage of.
“My brigade reconnaissance company was charged with gathering detailed information on, for example, the opposition's concentrations, strengths and operations so that senior officers could make decisions thereafter. At times, we've been extremely busy with pure combat intelligence,” says Marcus and describes engagements with opposition forces.
Trident Juncture is based on a so-called article 5 scenario, with Norway being attacked by a foreign power and NATO and partners, including Sweden, coming to Norway's aid.
Talking to end-users
“Part of the attraction with personnel exchange is the opportunity to gain direct feedback from the end-users of our products. How do they use the systems? Are they sufficiently robust? Are the menus comprehensible? During Trident Juncture I've been able to go and talk with soldiers from several countries currently using products and systems from Saab, and my department in particular. I now have some ideas about how certain things could be modified from our side,” Marcus explains, who works in the Vehicle Electronics product area at Saab.
Trident Juncture is an extensive exercise both when it comes to participation and geographical scope. “Spectacular” is the word Marcus uses. More than 50,000 persons have participated of which 2,200 were from Sweden troops from Swedish armed forces, with large parts of Norway serving as the exercise terrain. This scope enables participating units to interoperate, train and utilise systems and tactics in a more realistic manner than in smaller exercises.
“I’ve learned quite a bit from a purely military standpoint,” says Marcus. “It's always like that after an exercise. As a leader, I’ve strengthened my opinion on the importance of mission tactics and being able to trust subordinates and colleagues, when you need to make fast decisions without having a complete picture of what's going on. And then it's always nice to see Saab’s products in action, such as our radar, field hospitals and personal equipment. It helps to understand the big picture in what you're doing, as well as the operational context. It’s good that we're participating – Saab in the field – and it's invaluable for our future development.”