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Crown Princess Victoria visits defence forces in -21˚C

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden has braved freezing winter temperatures to visit her country’s armed forces. The Crown Princess visited the Army Hunters Battalion and the Armed Forces’ Winter Unit on Wednesday. Both of this companies are a part of Norrbotten’s regiment I 19 in the far north of Sweden.

During her visit, the Crown Princess met with soldiers who are currently undergoing basic education at the Army Hunters Battalion. She also attended a review of the battalion’s tasks and activities. Out in the snow, the Crown Princess got a tour on an observation site. The heir to the Swedish throne also had the opportunity to drive the snow-scooters that are part of the hunting battalion’s equipment.

The temperatures during the Crown Princess`s stay was as far down as 21˚C. Photo: Mattias Hellgren / Försvarsmakten / The Swedish Defence Forces

The winter unit has, among other things, the task of educating Swedish associations to work in wintry climates with the cold, wind and snow. The training takes place in Boden and Arvidsjaur and also attracts foreign defence forces wanting to learn how to handle the cold temperatures.

The Army Ranger Battalion is an elite light infantry unit trained to carry out reconnaissance missions and direct action behind enemy lines. Since 2007 the battalion also has a mountain leader platoon which specialises in operations in and around mountainous and alpine terrain. The Army Ranger battalion have deployed to Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Mali. The mountain leader platoon has also been involved in search and rescue operations domestically.

The Crown Princess during the visit. Photo: Mattias Hellgren / Försvarsmakten / The Swedish Defence Forces

In recent years, Crown Princess Victoria has visited the armed forces several times. On 11 January she visited the Royal Swedish Life Guards and the 13th Security Battalion.

In her future role as Queen of Sweden, Victoria will have a special role in defence, becoming the nation’s top military commander. The Swedish Royal Family has a long tradition of both attending the military themselves and visiting them often. Victoria’s younger brother, Prince Carl Philip also has a Swedish military education, and since 2015 has a been Major in the Swedish Navy and was trained at the Amphibious Battalion at Vaxholm Coastal Artillery Regiment as a combat boat commander.

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