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[quote][size="4"][b]Preparations for General Election Continue[/b][/size]

[b]Stockholm, SWE[/b] - With Sweden's first general election since independence from Germany due to begin in a week's time, candidates are getting in their last shots as the hours count down towards Friday's election. A lot of the past few days has been spent on a late-coming topic to the political clamor, which is the fate of the Aaland Islands, originally a Finnish community that has been governed by Germany for some time now. Although the Aaland Islands have been formally released to independence with Sweden, a number of islanders have been left scratching their heads over representation in the new government. A number of islanders, including a number of prominent members of the Aaland Islands dozens of communities, have been pushing for the islands to become a semi-autonomous, self-governing region, overseen by Sweden itself.

Fredrik Ericsson, who has been serving as the Chairperson for the Interim Ruling Council, has championed a full integration between the Aaland Islands and Sweden, making the islands a municipality of Sweden itself, and not allowing the islands a "special autonomous status". Ericsson commented on his position earlier this week; "While the Aaland Islands did enjoy a semi-autonomous status when governed by Finland at the beginning of the century, it would be, in my own opinion, distasteful to lobby for such a status. Sweden was granted a gift by Germany to be able to declare its independence, an independence that was won through peaceful hard work and debate. Community leaders from the Aaland Islands participated in this work, an action we are grateful for, but this does not entitle or afford the Aaland Islands a higher status in our newly-independent nation."

While Ericsson's Swedish Democratic League (Center-Left), as well as Christian Nyquist's Swedish Socialist Front (Social-Democratic), and Gustav Lindholm's Swedish Conservative Union (Center-Right), have all been generally in favor of Ericsson's stated position on the Aaland Islands, there has been one chief competitor that has kept islanders protesting. The Order of Falkenberg (Conservative/Far Right), led by Yves Sturmheld, has pressed for municipalities to have more governing power over their internal affairs, and a semi-autonomous status granted to the Aaland archipelago. While some political analysts have dismissed Sturmheld's views as mere political maneuvering to garner more votes, Sturmheld and his party have shown a favorable view on a very decentralized government, with municipalities having much more flexibility in their governance. Sturmheld withheld open comment to the press after Ericsson's comments earlier this week, but it is doubtful his position on the Aaland archipelago will shift from their current views.

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[i]An artist's concept of the Aaland Bridge and Tunnel Connection, an infrastructure project that has been put forward by Christian Nyquist and the Swedish Socialist Front.[/i]

At stake in the upcoming elections and their aftermath is an infrastructure project that could connect the Aaland Islands with mainland Sweden, which has been championed by the Swedish Socialist Front, and a project which has garnered support from the SDL and Ericsson. To undertake such a connection, a combined bridge-tunnel system, akin to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel motorway in the former United States, would be built across the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia. Voters going to the polls on Friday will be given an option to give a vote of confidence, as well as a vote of general approval for the funding of what would be a massive project. Both the Order of Falkenberg and the Swedish Conservative Union have been disdainful of the infrastructure project, the latter considering it a waste of funding altogether, while the former believing it is "too early" for the project to be undertaken at such cost.

On top of issues concerning the reinstatement of the Swedish Monarchy as the Heads of State, as well as the expansion of the Swedish Armed Forces, a proactive foreign policy, and trade/economic policies, the general election has seemingly just added another issue to consider at the ballot box. The question over the Aaland Islands may drive a heated debate however, depending on the outcome of the elections. With the structure of the government itself at stake in these elections, these first general elections for Sweden will not only mark an important step into the realm of democracy, but a step towards determining the fate of future Sweden itself.[/quote]

Edited by TheShammySocialist
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[quote][size="4"][b]Liberals and Social Democrats lead rout of Right-wing Parties[/b][/size]

[IMG]http://en.rian.ru/images/16064/08/160640875.jpg[/IMG]

[i]It is expected that the legislative business at the Riksdag will be dominated by liberal politicians for the duration of the government elected, with victory of the SSF and SDL.[/i]

[b]Stockholm, SWE[/b] - The conclusion of Sweden's first election has been telling; the Swedish Democratic League, led by the Interim Chairman of the Swedish Independence Council, Fredrik Ericsson, has notched a large victory over its' competitors. Ericsson, with the support of the Swedish Socialist Front, has declared a coalition government, with the Swedish Democratic League winning a large chunk of votes, at forty-six percent. The Swedish Socialist Front added to the SDL's lead, by lending its liberal cohorts its own share of twenty-six percent of the vote to form the coalition. The Swedish Conservative Union notched up nineteen percent of the vote, which analysts contribute its' poor showing in the election to instability in the parties' campaign platform in the last few days of the election.

The Order of Falkenberg, representing the interests of the far-right, were able to gather up eight point five percent of the rest of the votes, up by three percent in some polls that said the Order would end up with less than five percent in final tallies. The Orders' success was clearly contributed to by the poor showing of the SCU, which began to try to draw further votes by changing its stance on the issue of autonomy for the Aaland archipelago, a late but certainly hot topic during this general election. The SCU also alienated moderate voters by suggesting its discontinued support of many infrastructure projects that could assist in boosting the economy in many municipalities that are suffering from unemployment. Moderate right voters, as well as independents gave a clear showing for the liberal parties, contributing heavily to the success of the parties of the left.

Swedish voters overwhelmingly supported the continued municipality status of the Aaland Islands, with no special autonomous status being granted, as well as giving general support for the project to build a rail and road link between the mainland and the archipelago. Ericsson lauded the election results, stating that this general election was not only a "great moment in modern Swedish history", but also one that ensured that the transition to democracy was now complete. The Order of Falkenberg, while stating it was "pleased" that the election was organized in a timely fashion, has called for a ballot recount and is currently in dispute of the elections. "There is clear voter fraud that has occurred during these first elections, there is no way that the left performed the way it did without inside help," declared Yves Sturmheld, the leader of the Order of Falkenberg. The Order was only able to garner votes from the Falkenberg area, as well as parts of South Gothenberg, as well as a few points from the Aaland Islands.

[IMG]http://blu.stb.s-msn.com/i/98/E346CA0CA157EF84DC4C5C04982.jpg[/IMG]

[i]Afforded a coalition majority by the Swedish Socialist Front, Fredrik Ericsson has been appointed to the position of Prime Minister.[/i]

Despite the accusations from Sturmheld, the independent exit polls provided by multiple non-governmental organizations have pointed to data that the left's victory is fathomable, and appears to be legitimate. Political analysts have attributed Sturmheld's accusations to maneuvering to create a solid block of accusation, and possibly draw domestic and international doubts on election results. The Swedish Elections Committee, a temporary council drawn from a number of prominent communities, including the legal community, as well as the faculties of political science and history from a number of universities, has begun to look into Sturmheld's accusations, but are calling the results of the election legal. If the dispute continues, the issue could become the first settlement to be resolved by the Swedish High Court, which was also voted into office in yesterday's election. The makeup of the court is split almost evenly, with six historically liberal court judges, and five historically conservative court judges.

"Yves Sturmheld can continue to dispute the election results, but we have business to attend to in Stockholm. This country needs responsible leadership, disputing results because of the poor showing put forward by a political party that puts forth a weak party platform, is not the responsible leadership we need. Its time to put aside the election rivalry, its time to begin the real work," commented Ericsson, when asked about Sturmheld's accusations.[/quote]

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[quote][b]News Brief - Parliament Approves Funding of Swedish Armed Forces[/b]

[b]Stockholm, SWE[/b] - In a late vote last night, the [i]riksdag[/i] appropriated defense funding and granted creation of the Swedish Armed Forces. The armed forces sworn task will be to "uphold the interests, sovereignty, and integrity of the Swedish nation, both at home and abroad".

All parties were in favor of the measure, although there was some haggling over the size of allocated funding for the creation of the armed forces. This pushed the vote into the later hours of the evening, but it was a successful vote nonetheless. Funding has been appropriated for all three branches of armed services, and a schematic for increased military spending has been agreed upon by majority over the coming years.

Until the military can effectively coordinate defense, the Swedish Home Defense Forces, made up of local constabulary and militia/security units, will form the nexus of Sweden's defense. The only currently operational military force, that could be used abroad or home defense would be the 1st Infantry Brigade also known as the [i]Valhalla[/i] Brigade, a fast-reaction air-mobile unit whose four battalions are scattered at various strategic locations across the country.[/quote]

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[quote][b][size="4"]Swedish Economic Activity on the Rise[/size][/b]

[IMG]http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/aa325/VictorDeltaRomeo/Volvo_Torslanda_factory_large.jpg[/IMG]

[i]Swedish Automotive Giant Volvo announced the creation of as many as two thousand new jobs at its plant in Gothenberg.[/i]

[b]Gothenberg, SWE[/b] - Despite the current recession that many economic analysts still claim Sweden is weathering, positive economic news continued to pour in across the country, which pushed markets up yesterday for the eighth consecutive day in a row. Consumer confidence continues to gain steam, and it is currently pegged at seventy-two percent in a national study by the Stockholm School of Economics and Gothenberg University which released its findings in last night's evening news. Unemployment is slowly being slashed for the third month in a row, with the national unemployment rate currently fixed at eleven percent, and it is projected to fall another percentage by the close of the year.

Automotive Giant Volvo has reported continued employment gains, with a full two thousand new jobs at its plant in Gothenberg alone, the entirety of Volvo has seen a two hundred percent employment spike since the beginning of the year. Volvo has announced it has garnered hefty contracts from the Ministry of Defense, but would not comment on the contents of the contracts, but analysts have pointed to the possibility of Volvo building tactical transports, as well as heavy trucks and prime movers. Volvo has also been contracted by a number of construction equipment companies for heavy machinery, including trucks, front-end loaders, and other large construction machinery. Volvo has also begun marketing abroad for foreign contracts to sell heavy construction machinery to foreign customers. The company has also reported that it is working extensively on low-emission hybrid vehicles, incorporating extensive use of fuel cells and electricity, rather then traditional internal combustion gasoline-powered engines.

Volvo's chief Swedish automotive and transportation systems rival, Saab, has reported significant earnings, especially from its own defense contracts that were just put forward through the defense ministry. Given Saab's extensive aerospace experience, it is believed that it will be the primary procurement option for Sweden's aerospace defense community. The company has made formal plans for a large aircraft factory near Karlstad, which will accompany already three existing plants that either produce aircraft, or parts for aircraft. It is believed that the company is expanding to be able to construct large aircraft, which could range from airliners to military transport aircraft. Saab has also been selected to design the newest addition to the rails of Europe, and will be designing and procuring high-speed train engines for the rail system.

[IMG]http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/aa325/VictorDeltaRomeo/image003.gif[/IMG]

[i]One of the large boring machines used for the construction of the Aaland Islands rail and traffic bridge and tunnel link.[/i]

In addition to Sweden's automotive and defense industries gearing up, infrastructure projects have received their first promised funding payments from the Swedish Treasury, including a new improved rail link that will connect Stockholm with Gothenberg with express service. The double-track project is expected to be completed within the next year and a half, using existing rail lines as well as constructing new ones where needed. Nordlink, the company which holds a monopoly on Swedish passenger services, has said that it expects a one hundred percent increase in passengers over the next year. The company has also boasted that the express train from Stockholm to Gothenberg could traverse the route in less than three hours, and Nordlink's chief executive committee has stated that it is "excited" at the possibility of adding services into foreign countries.

In addition to a new rail link between Stockholm and Gothenberg, construction on the Aaland Islands bridge and tunnel link began in Sweden, north of Stockholm at Grisslehamn, where a giant tunnel boring machine began to submerge into the ground. In the middle of the Gulf of Bothnia, a massive project is underway to create an artificial island using dredged material, as well as rock material brought from the mainland. The artificial island is expected to be about eight miles off the coast of Skeppsvik, where the beginnings of the first section of a massive bridge is beginning to take shape, which will connect with the artificial island and fulfill the bridge-tunnel link. It is expected that the link to the Aaland Islands will take as many as four or five years to complete, and could create eight thousand jobs directly and indirectly.[/quote]

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[quote][b][size="4"]Swedish Armed Forces continue Formation[/size][/b]

[b]Gothenberg, SWE[/b] - Defense Minister Theo Nyquist submitted a public press release yesterday detailing the continued expansion of the Swedish Armed Forces, as details continue to emerge on the extensive defense contracts being laid out by the Defense Ministry. Nyquist reported that a total of five brigades, including one mechanized brigade and one air cavalry brigade, are now reporting for active duty at various posts around the country. Marine Brigade [i]Jormungand[/i], which is in the final stages of its training north of Gothenberg, is expected to be ready for active duty by the end of the week, raising the number of available combat brigades to a total of six, or a total of around seventy-two thousand combat effective soldiers. Theo Nyquist, brother of Christian Nyquist, the leader of the Swedish Socialist Front and current Minister of International Affairs and Trade, has said that the number of combat brigades could be as high as "twenty to twenty-five" in total.

The delay in the formation of some armored units has been the delayed procurement of the first tanks, which has forced the troops of at least two armored brigades that are forming to use outdated Strv 103 main battle tanks as training platforms. Despite the delay in procurement, Volvo and the Defense Ministry in a joint statement reported about a week ago that they are working out production specifics together, and late addition requests made by the defense ministry had forced the delay of some production batches. Nonetheless, both parties remained optimistic, and the government took responsibility on its own for the late requests for additions to the tanks' requirements, but is saying that this move has done nothing to compromise the security of the Swedish Homeland.

Husqvarna AB has reported that all production lines at its armory in Huskvarna are running smoothly, and that its defense contract with the government has given a much-needed boost to the defense contractor's profits for the year. The company is expected to be able to add a total of two hundred new jobs due to government contracts, which helped pushed the companies' stock value up yesterday at the market. Husqvarna AB, a subsidiary division of Husqvarna, the prolific outdoor equipment manufacturer, has been suffering from low sales amongst civilian sportsmen, and has said that it is "very excited" from the prospect of being able to work once again with the Swedish Armed Forces and procuring it with the "best firearms and small arms that Scandinavia can produce".

[IMG]http://images5.fotki.com/v80/photos/1/133612/995495/Strv_103_2107_frr-vi.jpg[/IMG]

[i]It is reported that training for armor units is being conducted using outdated Strv-103 Main Battle Tanks, due to a production delay in procuring replacements for the venerable "S-Tank" by Volvo.[/i]

The Swedish Air Force and Navy have also put forward contracts to both Saab Aerospace and Karlskrona AB respectively as well, to accompany the build up of ground forces with a relatively comparable build up of aircraft and ships. Swedish Air Force Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Karl Andersson has noted that the Swedish Air Force could see the procurement of well over a thousand aircraft in total, up from a strength of only about one hundred aircraft of all types at the moment. Saab Aerospace has noted that it is expanding manufacturing facilities, and also seeking overseas contracts if at all possible, which could be very well made a reality with rumors circulating about a possible diplomatic bloc of Scandinavian or North European countries. Sweden's top naval operations officer, Rear-Admiral Gustav Jung has reported that the first batches of recruits graduated last week, and for the time being, will be serving with the Swedish Coast Guard in lifesaving and sovereignty enforcement operations until major warships can be procured.[/quote]

Edited by TheShammySocialist
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[quote][size="4"][b]Coast Guard Units Participate in Constabulary Operations off Turku[/b][/size]

[IMG]http://www.specialoperations.com/Navy/Patrol_Coastal/Mk_V_with_PC_small.jpg[/IMG]

[i]One of three recently-completed patrol boats, the SNS [b]Norrstrom[/b], is currently participating in Operation Northern Lights, a sovereignty mission aimed at enforcing law and order in the multitude of islands and islets off Turku, Finland.[/i]

[b]Mariehamn, SWE[/b] - With the ground contingent of Operation Northern Lights withdrawn from the Finnish mainland, following an exchange of statements with the Slavorussian Government, the Swedish Navy and Swedish Coast Guard have begun sovereignty patrol missions with the assent of the Russian government. A number of Coast Guard and Naval assets deployed from the mainland to Mariehamn over the last week, including two of the Navy's three heavily-armed patrol vessels. Also included in the transfer of boats were five medium-endurance cutters, all carrying helicopters for aerial support, reconnaissance, and interdiction operations, as well as fifteen medium response boats. While most of the larger vessels are based out of Mariehamn, the response boats have taken up residence in various small towns along the eastern shore of the Aaland archipelago.

"With Finland falling into anarchy and no central government, I couldn't take my ship and crew out until they showed up," said a fisherman from the community of Sottunga, jutting his thumb over at one of the response boats which has taken up residence in the port. "I feel safe taking my trawler out now, I know the Coast Guard or Navy is only a radio call away."

"We will not allow any chaos that erupts due to the collapse of Finland escape and threaten the Aaland Islands, that is completely unacceptable, and we will maintain a strong land, sea, and air presence until that threat of violence or criminal activity is abated," said Coast Guards spokeswoman Ilsa Reebeck. "As dictated by the Slavorussians, we will be allowed to maintain a presence for as long as needed off Turku, and we will remain there until the need is gone for good."

Operation Northern Lights has provided an opportunity for inter-service branch coordination, and given naval and coast guard crews their first taste of real operational deployment. The operation has also given ground forces a chance to practice coordination with the maritime services as well, as the Swedish Army continues patrols along the coastlines of the various islands of the Aaland archipelago. The operation has also highlight some deficiencies as well, one of them being the lack of Swedish naval vessels and the Swedish navy's continued reliance on the Coast Guard to perform basic sovereignty patrol operations. Although the Swedish Navy is still in the process of training personnel and procuring vessels, naval critics have been quick to point out that the Navy needs to be able to provide ships and services in littoral, shallow-water operations, which may prove to be a problem given the current planning of the navy's future fleet of ships.

"As underlined by this recent campaign, littoral operations, in so-called 'intercoastal waterways' and 'brown-water conditions', are becoming a large part of a modern navy's duties, in support of, or even leading constabulary operations. The Coast Guard is the only service that will be able to provide these services in this region, but if Sweden's future navy is forced to perform similar operations on foreign shores, it could be at a disadvantage," commented Lieutenant Anna Hamilton, an assistant professor at Sweden's Naval Academy.

Hamilton went on to say the current schematic for Sweden's Navy is deficient in littoral operations, and she has been pushing for more attention to this "important facet of operations" for modern naval forces. Sweden's Defense Ministry has stated after a meeting with Hamilton earlier yesterday that it could be revising some requirements for its future surface fleet, and will be trying to "correct deficiencies that have developed from the Northern Lights operation". Karlskrona AB's dockyard in Halmstad, which provided an accelerated construction of the navy's current patrol boats, and is to provide future construction of smaller naval vessels, has said that it has been in contact with Hamilton, and is currently modifying designs for a corvette-sized vessels which could fulfill the role of littoral operations overseas with the fleet.

"We're in the business of problem-solving, small naval vessels need survivability as well as sophistication, which can be hard to provide in this day and age given the multiple conventional and asymmetric threats we face in warfare," commented Halmstad's lead shipwright, Tomas Knorr. "We are confident we will be able to provide a vessel that fits with Lieutenant Hamilton's line of operational thinking that will be approved by the Ministry of Defense."[/quote]

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[b]Swedish Parliament Offices[/b]

Christian Nyquist and Theo Nyquist looked out the window at the crowds around the Parliament Offices, and across the river at the [i]Riksdag[/i], which had swelled over to well-over five thousand individuals over the past few hours alone. The duo were brothers, and a strong voice in Swedish politics, with Christian, the older of the two, the leader of the Swedish Socialist Front. Theo was the parties' treasurer and was held in probably just as much regard as his brother, they were both outspoken, and were not afraid to say what was needed to be said. They had earned the respect of the current Prime Minister, Fredrik Ericsson, throughout the first general elections, and now served in his cabinet.

"It had to be your Ministry that had the leak," said Theo, looking over at his older brother.

"I realize that, Theo," grumbled Christian, as he took off his glasses and slid his hands over his face. "Ericsson is not going to be pleased with this."

"You know as well as I am the potential hazards of joining such a pact, we both knew that, and we advised against it, now the people know about it," nodded Theo, looking across the river at the SSF and SDL banners. The protesters were chanting and marching, but were all doing so lawfully, and there was a light police presence about the area, with standby units ready to assist. But it was fairly clear that these protests were going to remain peaceful.

"We need to address this as soon as possible, damage control must be made, I will take responsibility for the leak, it had to come out of my personal staff and international strategy team," nodded Christian, as he took out his mobile.

"I'll speak with Holm about backtracking the leak on your staff for you," offered Theo, referring to the Minister of the Interior.

"That'll be much appreciated."

"What are you doing?"

"I got our Prime Minister into this mess, I'm going to try to get him out of it," stated Christian, as he began quickly typing out an email to Ericsson's aide.

"He's going to face political backlash for even attending that summit," said Theo, grimacing as he looked at his brother.

"It was an invitation to attend the talks, nothing has been agreed to, or else I would have been informed. Attending a summit is one thing, the real backlash will come if we were to sign something, especially with the recent political actions of a certain neighbor, who is potentially unpredictable, and could potentially pose a threat to our security. I tried to tell him before he left this was a potentially bad idea," nodded Christian, as he finished the email, and sent it, along with a picture of the crowds. "Hopefully, he will understand the brevity of the situation."

Edited by TheShammySocialist
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[b]Classified Transmission
Swedish Admiralty to the Office of the Prime Minister[/b]

"With the general approval of the Swedish [i]Riksdag[/i], the Swedish Navy has begun the procurement of its seagoing fleet, which will give it the capabilities needed to operate overseas and in regional waters at a high standard of competency. The vessel designs chosen for the Swedish Navy all have their own purposes, and are designed to operate in both the littoral combat aspect of the Baltic Sea, while maintaining the capability for standard blue-water projection missions. This gives the Swedish fleet an almost unmatched degree of flexibility, and is expected to contribute to any success the Swedish Armed Forces meet in the future.

For standard littoral operations, the navy currently has in its possession three [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclone_class_Patrol_ship]River-class Patrol Boats[/url], which will be supplemented by a further fifteen [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamina_class_missile_boat][i]De Geer[/i]-class Missile Boats[/url]. Also to supplement littoral operations, Karlskrona AB - Halmstad Division, in charge of construction work on the [i]De Geer[/i]-class Missile Boats, will participate in the construction and outfitting of nine [url=http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/aa325/VictorDeltaRomeo/usafsgdmmc1.gif][i]Huldra[/i]-class Littoral Combat Ships[/url], licensed and slightly modified copies of a United Federation of the East design. Giving further muscle to littoral combat missions as well as contributing to blue-water capabilities will be the seven frigates of the [url=http://www.shipbucket.com/images.php?dir=Never%20Built%20Designs/Great%20Britain/GB%20FFG%20UCL%202004_%20Future%20Surface%20Warship%201.gif][i]Stockholm[/i]-class[/url], a frigate designed with combat modularity in mind.

For blue water operations, forming the backbone of the Swedish Navy's projection forces will be the seven guided missile destroyers of the [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atago_class_destroyer][i]Gustav II[/i]-class[/url], providing a variety of services to the Swedish fleet, from cruise missile strikes, to area denial operations, to escort duties. Heavier strike and defense capabilities for the blue-water fleet will fall to four arsenal ships of the [url=http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/aa325/VictorDeltaRomeo/ArsenalShipUpgraded.png][i]Odin[/i]-class[/url], while the six cruisers of the [url=http://www.shipbucket.com/images.php?dir=Alternate%20Universe/GB%20CG%20Global%20Cruiser_%20Type%2045%202%20AU.gif][i]Uppland[/i]-class[/url] will provide a strong escort and aerial defense coordination for Sweden's aircraft carriers. All of these preceding vessels will be the responsibility of Karlskrona AB's Gothenberg and Falkenberg Division facilities.

For amphibious warfare, the responsibilities will be split between the four amphibious assault vessels of the [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wasp_class_amphibious_assault_ship][i]Resolute[/i]-class[/url], and the amphibious transport docks of the [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Antonio_class_amphibious_transport_dock][i]Storm[/i]-class[/url]. These vessels, along with the four [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_Elizabeth_class_aircraft_carrier][i]Breitenfeld[/i]-class aircraft carriers[/url], will be constructed Karlskrona AB's Stockholm Division, which has three shipbuilding facilities in the Stockholm metropolitan area.

Karlskrona AB's Home Division, based at Karlskrona itself, will be responsible for the procurement of the Swedish submersible fleet, which is expected to comprise eight [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohio-class][i]Fafnir[/i]-class Ballistic Missile Submarines[/url], with an option for four to be configured as guided missile submarines. For nuclear attack submarines, the Swedish navy will rely on ten [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Seawolf_%28SSN-21%29][i]Hengist[/i]-class submarines[/url], and twelve [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_212][i]Torstenson[/i]-class diesel submarines[/url], the latter ideal for usage in littoral as well as forays into limited blue-water operations.

Along with these acquisitions, it is expected that with additional funding, the navy will also provide vessels for its auxiliary fleet, which will provide services for both the Swedish Navy and Coast Guard. Additional vessels will include sealift, container, dry-cargo transports, as well as replenishment vessels, repair vessels, oceanic survey vessels, surveillance vessels, and other required vessels. Priority orders have been granted to diesel submarine and littoral vessel construction orders, as well as the construction of amphibious transport docks."

Edited by TheShammySocialist
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[b]Classified
Swedish Air Force Planning Division to the Office of the Prime Minister[/b]

"With the approval of the [i]riksdag[/i] of continued procurement financing, the Planning Division has authorized Saab Aerospace to begin the design of a new series of strategic stealth bombers, which will be officially known as the [url=http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-G5oyJFORg-Q/TgSnm40qW7I/AAAAAAAABQk/4jAcUNcpqGo/s1600/10%2B-%2BPAK%2BDA%2Bor%2BPAK-DA%2Bnext%2Bgeneration%2Bstrategic%2Bbomber.jpg]SAB 101 [i]Dragon[/i][/url]. This will complement aircraft being procured from the defense contract with the United Federation of the East, which includes four squadrons of F-1 Quantum Block 1 Fighters, which will be officially renamed as SAF-1 [i]Ukonvasara[/i] fighters, and F-68 Multirole Fighters, which will be officially renamed the SAF-68 [i]Mjolnir[/i].

Domestic production of aircraft will also include the procurement of the still-in-development XSAF-44 [i]Gungnir[/i] MANTA fighter, and a supplemental design, the SAFB-22 [i]Járngreipr[/i] fighter-bomber, which will share common components with the XSAF-44. To retain a strategic reserve of aircraft, the Air Force is mothballing existing airframes, including JAS-39 [i]Gripen[/i] fighter aircraft, as well as [i]Rafale[/i] aircraft, which will be kept in climate-controlled conditions, as well as being used for training missions. These aircraft will be retained to be able to be fully operational for the frontline within twenty-four hours of requested service.

Also included in the air forces' future procurement process will be the production series of SAT-400, including variants that will be able to perform airborne gunship operations, EW/PsyOps roles, air-to-air refueling, SEAD operations, and other vital roles. Strategic airlift operations will be handed to a production run of SAT-17 [i]Globemaster[/i], and small number of SAT-225 heavy strategic airlifters, all to be produced by Saab Aerospace's Heavy Aircraft Division at Karlstad. Other heavy aircraft include the impending arrival of AWACS aircraft from a defense contract with the UFE, which includes licensing to build eight further AWACS aircraft, as well as two ultra-high level observation platforms that are being procured in the same contract. A production run of SAR-8 [i]Extender[/i] heavy air-to-air refeulers and SAR-330 medium air-to-air refuelers will supplement the abilities of the SAT-400 aircraft. SARC-135 aircraft to be procured will provide a multi-mission platform that will be able to support a multitude of intelligence and reconnaissance-gathering missions on the strategic level. SAC-8 Aircraft will provide theater and tactical commanders with real time data to be able to enhance and assist with air and ground cooperation and battle management.

It is expected that two-thirds of the ordered aircraft will be available for service within the next eight to twelve months, and contracts will be fully completed within the next thirty months."

Edited by TheShammySocialist
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[quote][size="4"][b]Surprise Victory for Swedish Nationalists[/b][/size]

[b]Malmo, SWE[/b] - The Swedish Nationalist Coalition, the name for which the SDL-SSF coalition has now adorned itself with in the aftermath of the leaks about a potential "Nordic Council", has scored an unforeseen victory in its new goal of reuniting Sweden. With the sudden collapse of the government of Germany, Sweden has regained much of its former territory, all of its northern provinces, save for one city which has pledged allegiance to a new government known as the "Northern Federation". Also flying the Swedish flag this morning, was the city of Malmo, Sweden's third city, and the gateway to Denmark, over the Oresund Bridge, which has been secured on both sides by Swedish security forces.

Although Sweden's original counties of Kalmar and Gotland remain in the hands of Kurland, and the two counties remain a new objective for the coalition government, the recent development over ownership of northern Sweden and the farthest southern tip of Sweden has made the atmosphere optimistic. The collapse of Sweden's involvement in the Nordic Council talks, which were undertaken in secret away from the public eye, cast a shadowier light on Fredrik Ericsson's premiership, despite his still satisfactory supporting numbers. Most citizens have turned their attention away from the last weeks' leak and subsequent political demonstrations, to this new development, which has seemingly blown life into the sails of the Nationalist Coalition's agenda.

"I can say that Sweden's reunification with her long-lost provinces is a wonderful development for this nation, that is still gearing up for an economic expansion explosion. With access to new sources of wealth, energy, and raw materials, we have been just given new life to our economy. All in all, I believe that, after attending the Nordic Council talks, those who wanted to be a part of the Council had two viewpoints, there were two opposite sides in what [i]would[/i] have been a pact. Until ambiguity can be ensured, I believe that a common Nordic vision should be put on hold for the time being," said Ericsson, at a rally outside the Swedish [i]riksdag[/i] building following the announcement of annexation.

"This is a great day for our country, the Lion of the North has awoken once again, Sweden has risen from its long slumber. We will continue to roll up our sleeves, and continue to muddy our hands doing the hard work to ensure this country is once again the great, unified nation, that once graced Scandinavia," remarked MP Aden Dawkins, the younger member of parliament, and a rising political star and activist in the Gothenberg district.

Some questions have been raised over the sudden seizure of the Oresund Channel Bridge between Malmo and Denmark, but the government has claimed that it is a matter of security, and that the bridge will remain in Swedish hands until the security of it can be ensured. It has been noted that many Danes have affiliation with the Norwegians, and it is expected that the Norwegians will see to the security of Denmark, but there has been no comment from the Norwegian government as of yet. Until then, or until the government decides otherwise, it is expected that military forces will remain posted at the Danish entrance to the Oresund Channel Bridge.[/quote]

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[quote][size="4"][b]Rising SCU Politician forgoes Public Service Exemption[/b][/size]

[IMG]http://www.filmsy.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/01/ewan-mcgregor-kurt-cobain-movie-1-17-07.jpg[/IMG]

[i]Aden Dawkins, currently Gothenberg's 3rd District Member of Parliament, waived his right to public service exemption yesterday.[/i]

[b]Stockholm, SWE[/b] - In a surprise move yesterday, Aden Dawkins, the youngest member of parliament, from the third district in Gothenberg, waived his right to forgo conscription service due to his status as a public servant already. Under the Public Service Exemption, certain individuals, and age groups, are allowed to waive mandatory conscripted service with the Swedish Armed Forces. Dawkins graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and Law, with Honors from both faculties, and was a popular political activist when he attended Gothenberg University, and played an integral part in organizing and lobbying for Gothenberg University's Swedish Independence Summit, which culminated in the request by Fredrik Ericsson and the Interim Ruling Council to grant Sweden independence.

Dawkins is expected to be commissioned as a junior officer in the Swedish Army, given his experience from serving with the reserve training officer program at Gothenberg University, which provides college students with training to go on to be officers in the Swedish Armed Forces' Reserve. Defense Minister Theo Nyquist has commented that he is "surprised" by the move, and had expected Dawkins to waive his mandatory military service due to his membership in parliament. Nyquist went on to note that it was admirable that Dawkins, although a member of the Swedish Conservative Union, is a well-respected politician who "performs his parliamentary duties with vigor and sharpness".

Dawkins' political skill is not without background, he is the son of the abdicated Amir of Timuridia, Sham Timur, who appeared to leave his political life behind to take on the life of a full-time father, while still managing International Logistics giant, Dawkins International. Aden Dawkins has a full citizenship in Sweden, due to his birth in the country after his mother moved to Sweden after leaving school in London. Dawkins' mother, respected bioweapons defense researcher Doctor Robyn Barker, reportedly died in the line of duty investigating a biological weapons lab in Western Pakistan, when an accident culminated in the release of weaponized anthrax that led to her eventual death. Aden returned to Sweden after time in seclusion to attend university, having worked in Dawkins International Logistics from the age of sixteen, with his father.

While Dawkins was not able to be reached for comment, his chief of staff answered media questions for the young politician-turned-soldier, "Aden felt that despite his service to the people of Gothenberg and Sweden overall as a member of parliament, he should not have to forgo mandatory service with the Swedish Armed Forces. Mr. Dawkins strove to become a member of parliament because he felt that he could serve the best interests of the people of Gothenberg, now he feels that he is still obligated to fulfill the service to his country as a soldier. Nothing more. I have spoken with the leadership of SCU, who have all applauded Mr. Dawkins' decision, and support him."

When asked about Dawkins' waiving his right to not have to serve Sweden in a military role, Prime Minister Ericsson commented quickly, "I have always admired Mr. Dawkins' political vigor and activism, he is a respectable opponent in parliament, by deciding to serve as an officer in our armed services, my respect can only grow for him." Some political analysts have attributed Dawkins' decision to gain further political clout, but given Dawkins' history as an activist, taking his services to Sweden in stride, most feel that his decision was made by genuine motivations to serve Sweden as more than just a politician.[/quote]

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[center][size="4"][b]Official Statement from the Government of Sweden[/b][/size]

[IMG]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/4/4c/Flag_of_Sweden.svg/200px-Flag_of_Sweden.svg.png[/IMG][/center]

"With the collapse of Germany official and the movements of other Northern European nations to secure former German territories, Sweden officially declares sovereignty over the islands of the Oresund, Ven and Saltholm. In an effort to ensure continued stability and security of the solitary land route link in Scandinavia from Denmark, and therefore, Northern Europe, the government of Sweden declares the Oresund Bridge and Tunnel system to be the responsibility of Sweden. A border checkpoint at the far end of the Oresund Bridge-Tunnel system, at the exit in Copenhagen, will provide customs and security checks for travelers planning to traverse this magnificent structure.

On this note, we grant recognition to the German 'successor' state, this new Northern Federation that has holdings dotting the entire globe."

[i]Christian Nyquist
Minister of International Affairs and Trade[/i]

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"We thank Norway for their understanding in this matter of security, the Oresund itself will be considered an international channel, and any ship traversing it will be granted free passage through it. Security of vessels traversing the Oresund will be the responsibility of both the Kingdom of Norway and Sweden, and efforts will be made to coordinate between our two countries in enforcing the security of vessels in this strait."

[i]Christian Nyquist
Minister of International Affairs and Trade [/i]

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[quote][b]Government Press Release - Opening of Lappland Special Projects Research Zone[/b]

[b]Lulea, SWE[/b] - In a press conference today in Northern Sweden, Interior Minister Benjamin Holm has announced the opening of the Lappland Special Projects Research Zone, which is to encompass two divisions split between two sites in the Lappland Province. The Kiruna Spaceport is currently being reopened and expanded with increased government funding that was approved in last night's session of parliament. In the same vote, the parliament created the Lappland Special Projects Research Zone, which will govern the Kiruna facility, as well as a weapons testing range in the uninhabited region northwest of Kompelusvaara. Officially known as the Lappland Weapons Range, the future facility will be used for weapons research and testing, prior to deployment in the armed services.

As much as two hundred square kilometers have been cordoned off by the project, which will provide a secretive, secure facility for experimental projects to take place with limited civilian interference. While the government maintains that it will do its best to ensure that transparency is kept with the public, it has noted that some experimental weapons and systems should be kept classified until they can be released. Infrastructure contractors in the Lappland Province will be able to create as many as one thousand positions with the construction of these new facilities, at least temporarily, and may be able to retain five-hundred positions for maintenance and upkeep.

The Swedish National Police, along with the Swedish Defense Ministry will be in charge of security for the Lappland Weapons Range, whose surrounding regions will be monitored for human activity and trespassing. It is expected that the Kiruna Spaceport will be appropriated funding for five new launch pads of varying sizes, in addition to the current two already in place at the facility. Given the lack of adequate launch facilities until this point, a number of aerospace contractors and electronics giant Ericsson have all issued statements lauding the acquisition of Kiruna, and look forward to being able to use a domestic launch facility for their products once the launch facility is given a full inspection.[/quote]

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"And you can assure me that security has been kept tight for these last few, might I say [i]crucial[/i] months?" asked Fredrik Ericsson, as he tapped the manila envelope in front of him, before looking up at the two men sitting across from him at the oak meeting table. Ericsson was flanked by Defense Minister Theo Nyquist on the right, and Interior Minister Benjamin Holm on the left, as they sat looking at the two scholarly-looking gentlemen.

"Yes sir, the Special Protection Group has kept this entire operation completely classified for the last few months," nodded Doctor Karl Branting, glancing at his cohort, Doctor Johan Larsson on his right.

"Can you confirm this, Captain Strindberg?" asked Theo Nyquist, after taking a sip of water and directing the meetings' attention to a Swedish Army officer, seated a few seats down from Branting and Larsson.

"Sir," nodded Strindberg, standing up, as was customary with Swedish military personnel when they were addressed, "My security detail, including plainclothes operators, have not identified any breaches of security on campus, nor have any rumors been spreading. Our uniformed personnel are able to pass their duties off as being part of the reserve officer training program, which assists the campus police in security measures, including scientific research. Since Uppsala is a prestigious scientific center of research, the guarding of various labs is not outside the realm of reality."

"Thank you Captain," nodded Ericsson, before turning his attention back to Branting and Larsson. Strindberg gave a sharp nod, and took his seat again crisply.

"All precautions have been taken, Prime Minister, to ensure that news of this research has been kept out of the public eye, it will be up to your government when to release the existence of our research," said Larsson.

"It will be released when we test said research," said Holm, looking at Ericsson, then back at Larsson.

"I leave those tests up to your discretion, Benjamin, but I need assurances that the tests will not damage the biodiversity or ecology of the Norrlands region, nor cause harm to ground water sources," said Ericsson, turning to look at Holm.

"My aide has been working with Uppsala's geology department, and has been able to locate a number of promising sites for drilling and testing of weapons ranging as high as four to five megatons," interjected Branting, giving Ericsson a confident nod.

"And they are aware of what these locations are for?" asked Ericsson, affixing Branting with a firm stare.

"Sir, the geologists were briefed by two of my operatives in a secure location at the armed forces facilities outside Uppsala," said Strindberg, standing up and addressing Ericsson.

"Thank you, Captain," nodded Nyquist, before turning back to Branting and stating, "Can these tests be undertaken within the next two weeks with a one-hundred percent degree of success?"

Larsson looked at Nyquist, then Ericsson, considering his answer, before responding, "All nuclear tests run the risk of runaway chain reactions or even the device 'fizzling', a term which we use for a failed fission or fusion reaction without the weapon actually detonating at its full potential. Of course the runaway chain reaction is always dependent on how extensive the device is in terms of stages and the like, that being said, it is my recommendation that the test be limited to a weapon with a yield of around four-to-five hundred kilotons, before testing anything of sizable magnitude."

"Noted, Doctor."

"Then I'd say that if you can prepare an underground test chamber, then yes, it is possible that one of the developed weapons from the Uppsala University's Jalla Research Annex, which are currently being housed at air forces' facility at Uppsala, can certainly be tested within the fortnight," declared Larsson, looking confidently at Ericsson, who turned to Holm.

"Its your call, Benjamin," said Ericsson, putting his hands together.

Holm just nodded, "Project [i]Northwind[/i] is a go. I will prepare relevant data and test site analysis, and the device will be tested by your final approval, how you intend to release the information and when, is up to you, Prime Minister."

"Very well."

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[b]Classified
Swedish Air Force Planning Division to the Office of the Prime Minister[/b]

"In the interest of developing a domestic-produced, high-quality multirole stealth fighter which can perform at acceptable standards against contemporary aircraft, Saab Aerospace has submitted the [url=http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/aa325/VictorDeltaRomeo/Possible6thGen.png]XSAF-9 [i]Wargaz[/i][/url] for government testing. Saab Aerospace has begun the construction of two prototypes that will be available for flight within the next two months, at which time the prototypes will be able to give demonstrations of integrated technology.

Saab has stated that it expects the [i]Wargaz[/i] to be able to perform at a level superior to that of the SAF-44 fighter aircraft currently being deployed by the air force at the moment."

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[quote][b]News Brief - Nuclear Testing Underway at Lappland Special Projects Zone amid Increased Military Exercises[/b]

[b]Stockholm, SWE[/b] - Seismographs of the Swedish Geological Division went haywire at approximately three o'clock yesterday afternoon, but this was no earthquake; the government quickly released a statement within ten minutes that the Swedish Defense Ministry has officially tested its first nuclear weapon. The weapon was later reported to have produced a yield of about 500 kilotons, but the military stated that the test yield was deliberately kept on the lower side of Sweden's now new nuclear capabilities. The test was undertaken underground, in what the defense ministry is calling a "carefully selected site" to "avoid contamination of ground water sources and limit ecological damage".

At an evening press conference, which was aired across the nation, Prime Minister Ericsson answered questions and defended the government's decision to build, test, and ultimately deploy nuclear weaponry. "This is a matter of national security, while Sweden's ballistic missile shield, which is reportedly under synchronizing and development phase, and has some capabilities at this moment, without nuclear weapons to be able to assure a correct response, the ballistic missile shield is only one side of the equation when dealing with nuclear threats. Many nations across the globe have nuclear weapons, and we have seen wars in the past where nuclear weapons were used at an alarming rate. While Sweden would like to not have to rely on these weapons, and we consider any use of these weapons as a last resort, we have the security to guard them, and we now have the capability to deploy them against threats who should use them against us." Ericsson would not answer questions over the overall strategy and use of the nuclear capabilities that Sweden now possesses, which security analysts say, is the norm for national leaders, so as to not reveal strategy and use of the weapons to possible opponents should war come.

The development and testing of Sweden's first thermonuclear device comes amid an uptick in recent military exercises which have been going on across the nation, including the deployment of some of the newest vessels in Sweden's fleet. A surface action group departed Gothenberg forty-eight hours ago, and there has been no comment by what the vessels are doing, but the military did say that the vessels were participating in "military exercises in the Atlantic". The Swedish Army and Air Force have begun holding joint combined-arms exercises in Blekinge Military District, which involved units from a total of six brigades. The Swedish Air Force contributed a total of two air groups to the exercises, which marks some of the largest ground and air exercises the Swedish Armed Forces have been involved in since their inception.[/quote]

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[quote][b][size="4"]Frontier Brigades Reinforce Northern Border[/size][/b]

[IMG]http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/aa325/VictorDeltaRomeo/Helikopter3FotoKentNorberg090119WEBB.jpg[/IMG]

[i]A ski patrol prepares to return to base after another successful sovereignty enforcement patrol along the Swedish-Finland Border.[/i]

[b]Lulea, SWE[/b] - The wind whips into your face across the frozen runway, only exacerbated by the rotors of the helicopters which have been taking off and landing here, across the frozen plain, troops can be seen through the light snow as they make their way into heated hangers. This is the scene at Naval Air Station Lulea, the southern bivouac for Operation [i]Winter Guardian[/i], the deployment of Frontier Brigades [i]Norbotten[/i] and [i]Jamtland[/i] to Sweden's border with Finland. The government only officially announced the operation yesterday, as part of an effort to ensure the security of the Swedish nation, as the government in Finland continues to form, and has yet to undertake democratic elections. The government officially has yet to recognize the Finnish government as official stewards of its' people, one of the reasons being the lack of democratic elections in the country.

As part of an effort to ensure that Sweden's borders are not penetrated by international crime or smuggling, the government announced the deployment of portions of the two frontier brigades in order to ensure that law and order in the region was met. Although the border is patrolled and monitored by elements of the Swedish National Police's Borders and Customs Division, the onset of winter has plagued border security with a lack of aerial transportation, and manpower. The frontier brigades, well versed in winter patrols and operations, are well equipped also to operate in the harsh Arctic environment, and have begun routine patrol operations, as well as assisting in criminal interdiction. All patrols have been accompanied by members of the Borders and Customs Division, which are more then happy to have the extra support.

"They're really friendly, they're weekend warriors of sorts that have been called up to perform the job they volunteered for, we couldn't ask for a better set of men and women to help us out," stated Lulea Border Division Manager Erich Hamilton, after coming in from a routine helicopter flight surveying the border.

[IMG]http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/aa325/VictorDeltaRomeo/87907018_ca3364e900.jpg[/IMG]

[i]An SUH-60 helicopter patrols along a road running the length of the Swedish-Finnish border, helicopters have been employed extensively in Operation [b]Northern Guardian[/b], many using thermal imaging systems to watch for potential illegal activity and crossings of the border.[/i]

"You can pretty much expect the brigades to have their units rotated in and out of the region for the rest of the winter," remarked Defense Minister Theo Nyquist, when asked about the operation at a press conference yesterday. "Let me make this clear though, the Swedish government is deploying these troops in a capacity to aid the civil authority, this is a move to ensure the integrity of our borders, and the Swedish Home Army is well up to that task. We ensure that the Swedish Borders and Customs Division has the lead in this operation, and the overall managing of the brigades is left up to my colleague, Minister Holm, over at the Interior Ministry."

Defense analysts have noted that [i]Northern Guardian[/i], in its deployment of almost two full brigades of the Home Army, is a strong commitment of resources for just aiding the civil authority, and have noted that the additional deployment of portions of the brigades' artillery and anti-aircraft weaponry remains to be inconsistent with such missions. Defense analysts digress, however, that the Swedish Armed Forces have been using the operation to better train all of its units, which could explain the inclusion of the heavier support elements. International affairs analysts have said that by handing the mission parameters up to the Interior Ministry, the Swedish Government has officially established the mission as one of ensuring sovereignty and enforcing the rule of law, and should not be construed as a hostile move.

"What can I say? I like having them around, if not for the added security, then at least to give me some extra business," said one elderly woman, running a small coffee shop on the outskirts of Lulea.[/quote]

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[quote][size="4"][b]Referendum Confirms Restoration of Swedish Monarchy[/b][/size]

[IMG]http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/aa325/VictorDeltaRomeo/ste_princess_mad_6358489-430x286.jpg[/IMG]

[i]Despite allegations of poor leadership towards the monarchy in the last inception of the Swedish State, the royalty still remains highly popular throughout the country, and yesterday's referendum confirms that popularity. Above, Caroline, Heir-Apparent to the throne, arrives to meet with Prime Minister Ericsson in Stockholm.[/i]

[b]Stockholm, SWE[/b] - A controversial referendum that Sweden went to the polls yesterday confirms the ascension of Queen Caroline to the throne, a decision that has been almost half a year in the making. Debate about the monarchy's return was a hot election topic, but took a back seat to other issues such as the state of the economy and district sovereignty and authority. The House of Bernadotte itself stayed out of much of the debate, preferring to take a democratic stance on the matter, and insisted that the citizens of Sweden elect whether or not the monarchy be re-established. Allegations of the monarchy's poor leadership the last time Sweden was independent led the [i]riksdag[/i] and the Interim Ruling Council to muddle over the topic for several months, only recently taking an interest in reaffirming the monarchy.

Caroline, Duchess of Smaland and Scania, who has been the head of the Bernadotte Household for only a few years now, has been selected for duties as Queen. Given her sister's fallen leadership, Caroline has done much to restore the house's reputation. Through work with various charities throughout Europe, she was able to recoup some of the lost reputation that the House incurred upon itself over Sweden's ill-advised expedition against Finland. Caroline's Chief Aide confirmed that the heir-apparent lauded yesterday's democratic referendum, and "personally thanked the citizens of Sweden for giving the House of Bernadotte another chance to perform as the Heads of State".

The poll went overwhelming to the restoration of the monarchy, with nearly ninety percent of the voting population turning out for the short referendum, and a staggering eighty-eight percent of respondents voting in favor of the restoration. The House of Bernadotte released statement, saying that the heir-apparent, soon-to-become Queen, will use her position to continue her charity work, as well as assist in governmental affairs, and work as an emissary through the Ministry of International Affairs and Trade.[/quote]

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"By order of the Ministry of Defense, the Air Force approves the stationing of twelve SMQ-10 [i]Avenger[/i] unmanned combat air vehicles at NAS Lulea to provide proper air-to-ground surveillance and attack capabilities in support of deployed Swedish Home Army forces. The UCAVs will be put on daily rotations, with six aircraft in the air at all times, spread along the border of Sweden and Finland. The Ministry of Defense has also approved the deployment of two SARC-135 Strategic Reconnaissance Aircraft to Vindeln Air Force Base, which will fly on a daily rotating basis and remain on station to perform ELINT and SIGINT operations in Sweden's Norrlands Region."

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[i]"We now go live to coverage of a joint statement involving Interior Minister Holm, and Defense Minister Theo Nyquist at the [i]riksdag[/i]..."[/i]

The two Swedish Ministers stood behind podiums, with their respective ministry emblems in front of them, Swedish flags hung behind them, as arranged their notes, before Nyquist addressed the gathered reporters. Off to his left, a few military commanders stood, and to Holm's right, a number of men in crisp formal police uniforms were arranged, looking on quietly as the two began to talk.

"Thank you all for coming on such short notice, as many of you are aware, the recent developments in Scandinavia, with the outbreak of violence after a rash of arms proliferation in Norway, as well as the ongoing issue of a lack of a democratic government in Finland, are disturbing events that the citizens of Sweden have had to endure. The Swedish Ministries have been in a special closed-door meeting about this issue for the better part of this morning, we have spoken directly with the Prime Minister, and we are preparing our response," said Nyquist, kicking off the statement, before turning the floor over to Holm.

"As the Interior Ministry is in charge of ensuring the stability and keeping of law and order within Sweden in times of peace, my own ministry has already undertaken the task of organizing a joint civil-military operation aimed at ensuring the sovereignty and stability of Sweden's northern border with Finland, known as Operation [i]Northern Guardian[/i]. As for noon, local time today, that operation is hereby extended to include the border with Norway. Elements of the Swedish Home Army's [i]North Lappland[/i] Brigade, and the Swedish Army's [i]North Scania[/i] Brigade, the latter a regular armed formation, are currently being mobilized to ensure the security and safety of the border with Norway. Additionally, elements of the 556th Incident Response Brigade, Battalion 1116, and SIG will be deployed to support and respond to any incidents along the border. The crossing over the Oresund to Copenhagen from Malmo shall be closed for the next forty-eight hours, except to Swedish Security and military Forces, which will maintain the border crossing on the Copenhagen side of the Oresund.

The recent outbreak of violence over arms proliferation, especially allowing automatic assault weapons into the hands of criminals, in Norway is unacceptable, and the Swedish people will not be allowed to suffer the consequences of possible weapons spreading to this nation because of this shortsighted move. We are hereby reinforcing all border crossings with Norway with soldiers, who are well trained in constabulary operations, and will assist with the security of our borders. This increase in security will also include armed patrols along the Swedish-Norwegian border, involving soldiers on foot, in vehicles, and in the air. The Swedish Coast Guard and Navy will deploy extra vessels to ensure the integrity of our borders, and any ships that are searched in our contiguous zone that have weapons on board, will be detained and the shipper contacted, this zone shall include the Oresund Passage," stated Holm, as he looked around the group of gathered reporters firmly.

"Additionally, the Swedish government officially withdraws from the Nordic Council negotiations until further notice, given the recent regional instability. The Swedish Defense Ministry has authorized the use of force to capture or detain any suspects who may cross the border into Sweden illegally, and any threat of violence will be responded to with appropriate force. We apologize for delays in travel that this will cause ahead of time, but it is for the good of this nation. Thank you again for coming, and God Bless," added Nyquist, before stepping away from his own podium, Holm doing the same. Shouts and calls for questions echoed went unanswered, and camera shutters clicked, as the two exited from the press room.

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"Quite a sight," remarked Sergeant Ingrid Hamm, as the the SUH-101 Utility Helicopter roared over the long columns of military vehicles beneath. Ingrid looked over at her commanding officer, Lieutenant Erik Gotthard, who sat next to her, with the platoon sergeant sitting next to him.

"The entire III Corps of the Swedish Army is down there," said Lance-Corporal Johan Stenbock.

"And up here," added Lance-Corporal Erika Mannheim, nodding at a group of helicopters bearing the insignias of the [i]Orebro[/i] Cavalry Brigade, an air cavalry brigade attached to the III Corps.

"Plus two whole companies of Battalion 1120," nodded Stenbock, cradling his assault rifle in his hands. "I'm sure we'd be enough to make sure the Finns stay in line."

"I like the confidence, Corporal, but its not going to stop nearly a thousand tanks from rolling across the border should we be the only ones up there," remarked Gotthard, causing the platoon sergeant, Lutzen, to chuckle lightly.

"Exactly, which is why we have the air force to do that for us," grinned Stenbock, as two SAB-22 [i]Járngreipr[/i] Stealth Fighter-Bombers overflew the helicopters, streaking north.

"How much air support is the Defense Ministry giving us again?" asked Mannheim.

"Probably the whole air force, but I doubt we'd need it," chuckled Stenbock, looking out the window, vehicles and helicopters stretching for almost as far as one could see.

"Our official mission is to ensure the security of the border with Finland, not start a war, remember your briefing," remarked Ingrid, casting a stern look at Stenbock, she looked over at Gotthard, who lightly smiled, and nodded affirmatively at her words.

"Yes Sergeant," responded Stenbock, "Lord knows though, Sarge, if its a war that will happen, we're ready for it."

As Ingrid looked out the side door of the helicopter again, she still continued to be mind boggled, at the size and scope of the forces traveling north. As the helicopters tore into the night, other Swedish military forces would continue to position themselves. Satellite intelligence had confirmed what the SARC-135 Strategic Reconnaissance SIGINT aircraft had already detected; the massive deployment of armored forces to the Swedish-Finnish Border by Finland. In response, the Swedish government had "quietly" mobilized the entire III Corps, which began advanced deployments to Northern Sweden to shore up the two Frontier Brigades already on the border. Supplementing the III Corps was the 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Expeditionary Unit, which would be deployed on board the HMS [i]Defiance[/i] to Lulea. Additionally, the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Unit was hurriedly deployed to the Aaland Archipelago, to shore up two regiments of the [i]Aaland[/i] Brigade, the Expeditionary Unit would also bring additional troops from the Swedish Home Army's Coastal Brigade [i]Uppland[/i].

The Swedish Navy was not left out of the deployment, deploying the littoral combat ships HMS [i]Huldra[/i], HMS [i]Draugr[/i], and HMS [i]Erlking[/i], as well as the frigate HMS [i]Lulea[/i], destroyer [i]HMS Charles XI[/i] to Lulea, with the amphibious transport dock, HMS [i]Defiance[/i] and nuclear attack submarine, [i]Saxnot[/i]. Two further littoral combat ships would be forward deployed to the Aaland Archipelago, as well as one frigate, the cruiser [i]Sodermanland[/i], three diesel submarines, and another amphibious transport dock, the [i]Cyclone[/i]. The rest of the Baltic Fleet, mostly patrol boats and diesel submarines, would be scattered along the coastline at strategic points of interest to ensure the integrity of Sweden's waters should conflict arise.

The Swedish Air Force, last but by far, not least, would redeploy the entirety of the 1st and 2nd Fighter Groups to Northern Sweden, and the 4th Fighter Group to Central Sweden from bases in Southern Sweden. Elements of the 1st Tactical Strike Group, and 66th Special Warfare Group would also be forward deployed to Northern Sweden, including aerial gunships and UCAV aircraft to supplement existing systems already in the region. The Swedish Navy's Fleet Air Arm Maritime Strike Group would deploy to Naval Air Station Lulea, while the 2nd Strategic Bombardment Group would position itself outside of Stockholm in Central Sweden to support operations should the need arise. Further aerial assets, including air-to-air refuelers, AWACS, JSTARS, and EW/PsyOps aircraft were forward-deployed or repositioned to support the massive mobilization now taking shape to ensure the integrity of Sweden's northern border.

The Defense Ministry, with the authorization of the Prime Minister, went to Strategic Condition 3 (STRATCON) - [b]FULL ALERT[/b], the Swedish Home Army issued the countries' reservists a twenty-four hour preparation alert. The units of the Swedish Army went to standby readiness orders, and the I Corps was issued orders to begin advanced deployments to forward support positions between the municipalities of Pitea and Skelleftea. In a little less then a day, the Swedish military had begun the deployment of over one hundred thousand men, and had begun or completed the repositioning of well over three hundred aircraft.

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[quote][size="4"][b]Unprecedented Opening Day at Kiruna Spaceport[/b][/size]

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[i]The last launch of the day; a satellite for the Swedish Defense Ministry lifts off from Pad 5 at Kiruna Spaceport.[/i]

[b]Kiruna, SWE[/b] - Yesterday, the government reopened the newly-built Kiruna Spaceport, with a literal bang. Only twenty-four hours before the facility was set to be reopened after having a massive expansion program build five new launch pads, giving the facility a total of seven, did the government unveil the opening days' festivities. Seven satellite launches were recorded yesterday at Kiruna, taking a sizable chunk out of the backlog of launch requests made to the facility. The government has acknowledged that as many as seventy satellites, as of forty-eight hours ago, are in the cue to launch at Kiruna, which will be seeing a steady use for the next couple years.

The Swedish Armed Forces, which does not reveal the mission specifics of its' satellites, has said that it has at least twenty satellites which are set to take to the heavens within the next twelve months. Defense analysts have said that the military 'probably' deploys a wide array of satellites and orbital vehicles, including surveillance satellites, as well as GPS and communications satellites. As the Swedish Armed Forces are the stewards of the Special Reconnaissance Group, which acts as Sweden's foremost intelligence agency, and is a uniformed part of the service, the military has the ability to sidestep civilian transparency laws over the funding of such orbital vehicles, which would force a similar civilian-run intelligence agency to reveal the purpose of its satellites under current law.

Electronics giant Ericsson has said it is ecstatic over the reopening of the Kiruna Spaceport, and looks forward to the partnership it has built with the launch facility's staff and scientists over the course of the year that the facility was shut down. Telecommunications giant ScanCOMM, which is partnered with Ericsson and provides a significant amount of satellite services including radio, phone, and television services, has said it is also glad to have Kiruna working again. ScanCOMM is expected to be launching as many as six new satellites within the next twelve weeks at Kiruna, and it has plans for more satellites as it expands service on an international level.

"For the sake of our nation's defense, as well as its communications industry, it brings me great pride and relief that Kiruna is back up to full operational status," commented MoD Theo Nyquist, when asked to comment on the reopening of the spaceport.

"The ability for Sweden to have its own autonomous launch facilities, and not have to rely on other countries for their own, is a step forward in our development as a nation. Given that this facility will provide our corporations with the autonomy to provide services overseas as well, we will be able to allow our own corporations to compete on the regional and global scale in telecommunications," commented Theo's brother, Christian, the Minister of International Affairs and Trade, when asked about the impending reopening of Kiruna.[/quote]

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[quote][size="4"][b]Defense Ministry Claims Operational Success; Swedish Forces Standing Down[/size][/b]

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[i]SUH-60 Helicopters bearing troops from the [b]Orebro[/b] Cavalry Brigade return to Central Sweden after the conclusion of Operational [b]Arctic Shield[/b].[/i]

[b]Karlstad, SWE[/b] - The troops from the III Corps returned home today after what Defense Minister Theo Nyquist is claiming to be an 'operational success', following a midnight combined arms strike against targets across Northern Finland. The Swedish Foreign Ministry confirmed statements by the government of the People's Republic of Finland, stating that the Finns had retired heavy armor forces away from the Swedish Northern Frontier after air and missile strikes damaged or destroyed a number of Finnish tanks, as well as struck the electrical grid and disrupted operations at the Kemi Regional Airport. The Swedish Admiralty issued a statement of recognition to the crews of the vessels that undertook their duties in the Gulf of Bothnia, despite the apparent risks involved, while the Swedish Air Force Command issued similar statements, recognizing both pilots and ground crews for their successful and professional execution despite the harried nature of the operation.

Troops which were mobilized from the I and III Corps have begun to trickle into their home bivouacs as early as last night, as news helicopter footage has shown aerial coverage of the long lines of military vehicles flooding south from the Northern Swedish Frontier. In their first operational deployment, the Swedish Army Operations Command commended its own forces for their 'professional demeanor', in handling what was a very hurried deployment to the northern frontier. The Swedish Army also announced the existence of another corps of armed forces yesterday, which is to be based in the Umea Area. Families and friends gathered in bases around Karlstad and the Vanern and Vattern Lakes region to welcome the units of the I and III Corps home, after their week-long deployment to the frontier.

The deployment of the [i]Jamtland[/i] and [i]Norrland[/i] Frontier Brigades, however, will continue for the next two months, noted Nyquist, albeit there were some draw-downs in the force numbers deployed to Northern Sweden. The Brigades were expected to be rotating their six total regiments for border patrol and security duties on a two-regiment on-duty, four-regiment off-duty basis. The Frontier Brigades' light infantry forces have been conducting border patrols in the remote regions generally north of the town of Pajala and Northeast of the town of Kiruna, where the manpower of the Swedish Home Army is needed. The Minister of Defense has noted that he has handed control back over to the Interior Ministry, and that the Interior Ministry's ongoing Operation Northern Guardian continues.

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[i]Operation [b]Arctic Shield[/b] marked the first deployment of the Swedish-built Leopard 2A9S, a heavily modified and improved version on the German Leopard 2.[/i]

International affairs critics have leveled several complaints at Sweden's international behavior during the entire operation, and a number of condemnations, including regional neighbors Slavorussia and Norway were quick to react to the strike. Sweden was not wholeheartedly condemned by all states, Ireland and Athens both offered moral support of the operation, and the United Federation of the East, Sweden's newest ally, leveled criticism against Finland and provided support to end the conflict. The Defense Ministry has acknowledged that Slavorussia's dogged involvement in a possible counter-strike against Sweden was not a "completely unforeseen" development.

Minister of International Affairs and Trade, Christian Nyquist said that Slavorussia and Finland both misconstrued Sweden's signals during the Operation, "Sweden made a straightforward and committed statement following the strikes, which put forward straightforward goals, which stopped at reducing Finland's offensive capabilities along the Swedish border. Both states responded to this as being an imperialistic move, or one that was a precursor to the invasion of Finland, believing that this was tantamount to a coming invasion. The fact that Sweden already backed down to Slavorussia no more than a year ago was completely forgotten, and the saber-rattling quickly began afterwards. The Finnish government's wholehearted attempt to paint themselves as innocent victims in this entire affair was childish and arrogant."

Nyquist also announced today that Sweden has granted recognition to the Finnish State, given Sweden's silence on the matter until this point. The MIAT has said that this will hopefully quell what appears to be 'virulent paranoia' that Finland believes Sweden 'out to get' Finland. The granting of recognition, with the approval of the Prime Minister, is expected to pass through the Swedish [i]riksdag[/i] tomorrow, amongst other legislative votes.[/quote]

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