Original Article – unt.se
by by Astrid Iselidh
Posted on 2012-12-22 16:52
Have you recently felt a group of bodyguards in your vicinity protecting an important person? Probably not, as Leo Strand has spent the past few weeks with training a foreign military unit in elite protection services. An important aspect in practices has been to inconspicuously blend into public places.
Over the past four weeks twelve men from South-East Asia remained in the Uppsala region to undergo advanced training in protective services in a war environment. The twelve men constitutes a military special operations unit in their homeland and their professional commitments are of such a nature that they cannot appear in the newspaper.
Leo Strand, founder and head of school of an international training company, ISA Academy, traveled to Sweden solely to carry out the training. Then in late November, he and the special forces unit stayed on a farm outside Uppsala and carried out exercises both in and outside the city, and it was for practical reasons, they ended up right here.
– We have trained on, the way we have done it on the realism, we would not have been able to do in their home country. Uppsala is a wonderful city and here we have had access to everything from narrow streets to practice on to plenty of Swedish culture. In addition, they wanted to prepare for a winter climate.
The foreign Special Forces unit arrived in Sweden just before the first snow came, and they had time to carry out training in winter driving before it was time to run on true winter road conditions. According to Leo Strand the Special Forces guys had made a good research before arrival, and was therefore aware of the miserly few sunshine hours as was to be expected and the cold.
“There were people in the group who had never experienced colder temperatures than +21 degrees Celsius. So for those the -27 degrees Celsius sub zero temperatures came as a shock, and we had to upgrade some equipment and attire.”
Working in snowy environments have not been training goals, but the weather has inevitably led to new arctic operations related know-how for the unit, for example, not to use oil in the weapons because the oil freezes, and not to get snow on the weapons. Leo Strand emphasizes that considerable emphasis has been placed on human values and social relations during the training. And in various urban environments, as in the library and in the parking garage under Ikea, the special forces unit conducted low profile escort services without being noticed, which means that they have learned to blend in among the people, while they have had to protect a person’s life.
– The public should not see that there is a protective detail, and I don’t think many people have reacted to it has been a strength of 12 men around them when we found ourselves in different places in Uppsala, Leo Strand says with a smile.