The King speaks to soldiers from the Second Rifle Company. Photo: Mikael Wallentin Åström/FS 20/the Swedish Armed Forces
The King opened Camp Monitor in Shibirghan during his visit to the Swedish ISAF security force last week.
The King had been looking forward to his visit to Afghanistan. Just over a year ago, Crown Princess Victoria visited the Swedish contingent. "I've been looking forward to coming here to Afghanistan and finding out about the Swedish operation," said The King in his speech at Camp Monitor. "I've been impressed by the work you are all doing, which I have enjoyed seeing. It has also been interesting to find out about your everyday lives, which I understand from various discussions and information are extremely difficult and leave you exposed to danger. "I, together with the people of Sweden, stand behind you in your vital work and our continued operations here in Afghanistan. I hereby declare Camp Monitor open." The King has been given a broad overview of the Swedish operation in Afghanistan, which he described as complex but with the aim of trying to create stability and security in the country. "From what I understand, it has not been easy. Although it has been ongoing now for a number of years, this cooperation is being deepened on all fronts, not only between the forces that are here, but also in terms of what is most important: cooperation, mutual understanding and trust in each other, with the Afghan forces that you have to work together with, on a broad front, throughout the country." Camp Monitor's helicopter landing site makes it possible to quickly evacuate personnel who need medical care by helicopter. "Medical care with a little more dignity than before; that in itself is important for better security," said The King. Major Ulf Ahl, Commander of the Second Rifle Company, agrees: "If something happens, soldiers should be confident that help is close at hand. The faster we can get full-scale medical services here, the better. And at the same time we support other ISAF units at the front-line operating base here with helicopters." During The King's trip, he also visited the Head of Regional Command North Major General Markus Kneip, soldiers and officers at PRT Mazar-e Sharif, Camp Northern Lights, the logistics unit and the Swedish helicopter corps at Camp Marmal. Text: Mikael Wallentin Åström, FS 20, the Swedish Armed Forces ISAF was established at the end of 2001, and works under a mandate from the UN Security Council and an agreement between the ISAF security force and the Afghan Government. Its headquarters are in Kabul. Find out more about Afghanistan and ISAF here. Find out more about The Crown Princess Couple's visit to Afghanistan in 2010 here.