Information Systems Operations Manager (EDPO)

I was responsible for Operation Management for IT/IS systems and SatCom for the contingent in Afghanistan and served at Camp Nordic Light, Mazar-e Sharif in northern Afghanistan. I was there between February to May, 2013 

Commanding Officer, Colonel Michael Claesson

He was commanding officer of the 24th Swedish contingent (FS 24) of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) as well as tactical commander of the multinational Task Force Northern Lights, Regional Command North of ISAF in Afghanistan. December 2012–May 2013


Sweden began to contribute militarily to ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) at the turn of the year 2001/2002. Initially, the task was to support security in the region around the capital, Kabul.

When the operation came to apply to the whole of Afghanistan, Sweden contributed personnel to a group led by Great Britain in Mazar-e-Sharif. In March 2006, Sweden took over the leadership there with security responsibility for four provinces in northern Afghanistan, a responsibility that has been gradually handed over to the Afghan authorities.

In 2013, a new transformation took place when the Swedish contribution entered into a collaboration together with Norway, Finland and Latvia and formed NB TSU, Nordic-Baltic Transition Support Unit. This collaboration was dissolved on 10 May 2014.



At most, around 1,000 Swedish soldiers and officers were part of the force, and a total of more than 7,000 worked at the Swedish base, Camp Northern Light, until 2014.

On June 26, 2014, the base was handed over to the Afghan state. From September 2014, the Swedish contribution consisted of around 50 people, the majority of whom were grouped at the Camp Marmal airbase outside Mazar-e-Sharif. The mission then was still to support the government of Afghanistan in achieving security in the country.

The NATO effort Resolute Support Mission, RSM, began at the turn of the year 2014-15 in connection with the end of Isaf, the International Security Assistance Force.


The NATO operation Resolute Support Mission (RSM) began at the turn of the year 2014-2015 in connection with the end of the multinational operation ISAF, in which Sweden contributed. The entire effort consists of approximately 12,000 men and women, but has gradually decreased during 2020 as the task has changed. In 2021, the effort will end.

The Swedish contribution to the RSM consisted of 15 people, mainly staff personnel for the multinational staff grouped at Camp Marmal outside Mazar-e Sharif in northern Afghanistan. Some of the staff served in Kabul.

The primary mission was to support the Government of Afghanistan in maintaining the security of the war-torn country’s civilian population, through mentoring of the Afghan security forces.

Following the US announcement of a military withdrawal from Afghanistan, NATO will end the Resolute Support Mission in 2021. Swedish military personnel will therefore leave Afghanistan by September at the latest in close cooperation with Germany and NATO.

The formal and final decision to end the Swedish contribution to the effort was taken by the government.

The operation ended on May 15, 2021, with the Swedish flag being lowered during a ceremony at the operation headquarters in Kabul, and the last personnel from Afghanistan landed in Sweden on May 25.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Capital:                     Kabul
Official languages: Pashto Dari
Population:              39,232,000
Ethnic groups:        42% Pashtun
                                  27% Tajik
                                    9% Hazara
                                    9% Uzbek
                                    4% Aimaq
                                    3% Turkmen
                                    2% Baloch
                                    4% Other

Officially the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central Asia and South Asia. Referred to as the Heart of Asia.

It is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south, Iran to the westTurkmenistan to the northwestUzbekistan to the northTajikistan to the northeast, and China to the northeast and east.

Occupying 652,864 square kilometers (252,072 sq mi) of land, the country is predominantly mountainous with plains in the north and the southwest, which are separated by the Hindu Kush mountain range. 

Kabul is the country’s largest city and serves as its capital. According to the World Population review, as of 2021Afghanistan’s population is 40.2 million. 

Mazar-e Sharif and Swedish former Camp Northern Lights

Mazar-e Sharif

Mazar-i-Sharīf (/məˈzæri ʃəˈrf/ mə-ZARR-ee shə-REEFDari and Pashtoمزار شریف), also known as Mazar-e Sharīf or simply Mazar, is the fourth-largest city in Afghanistan by population, with an estimated 500,207 residents in 2021. It is the capital of Balkh province and is linked by highways with Kunduz in the east, Kabul in the southeast, Herat in the southwest and TermezUzbekistan in the north. It is about 55 km (34 mi) from the Uzbek border. The city is also a tourist attraction because of its famous shrines as well as the Islamic and Hellenistic archeological sites. The ancient city of Balkh is also nearby.

Camp Northern Lights (CNL)

Camp Northern Lights (CNL) was a military installation in northern Afghanistan, located in the southeastern part of Mazar-e Sharif. From 2006-2014, CNL was the headquarters of PRT Mazar-e Sharif – the Swedish part of ISAF. Today, the facility is handed over to the Afghan state.

Bild: KluddNiklas.

Bild: KluddNiklas.