Fallskärmsjägarna

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Fallskärmsjägarna (FJS)
Insignia
Active 1952–present
Country Sweden
Branch Swedish Armed Forces
Type Special Operations
Role Long range reconnaissance, sabotage and tactical diversion
Size Classified
Part of 32.Underrättelsebataljonen
Garrison/HQ Karlsborg, Västergötland
Motto "Vilja, mod och uthållighet" – "Will, Courage and Perseverance"
Commanders
Current
commander
Classified

Fallskärmsjägarna (English: "Parachute Rangers"), also known as Fallskärmsjägarkåren (English: "Parachute Ranger Corps"), is a Swedish military special operations unit.

The unit is based in K3 Karlsborg at the Fallskärmsjägarskolan (Parachute Ranger School, commonly known as FJS).

History[edit]

Fallskärmsjägarskolan (FJS) was created in 1952 by Captain Nils-Ivar Carlborg and modelled after the German and British post–World War II airborne commando forces such as the Parachute Regiment and the Special Air Service (SAS), with the objective to create a highly mobile force which had the flexibility to operate behind enemy lines and carry out long range reconnaissance missions to passively gather military intelligence.[1]

Organization[edit]

FJS is organized under Livregementets husarer at K3 but under the command of Överbefälhavaren, the Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces. K3 is also the home of the Air-mobile Battalion (LBB or Luftburen Bataljon in Swedish), airmobile infantry similar to the US 101 Air Assault Division and the Swedish Army's Special Forces unit, the Särskilda operationsgruppen, but there is no official coordination of training or operations between these units. Recent reorganizations of the Swedish armed forces have given the unit a more international profile, although details of foreign engagements remain classified.

Around 2001, the Swedish armed forces organized a new special forces unit, called FJS IK, or Fallskärmsjägarskolans Insatskompani, which consisted of contracted former FJS conscripts for international deployment. In 2002, FJS IK were deployed to Afghanistan, and in 2003, FJS IK were deployed alongside Särskilda skyddsgruppen (SSG) in Congo during Operation Artemis. In 2006 FJS IK was renamed Särskilda Inhämtningsgruppen (SIG), which along with SSG made up Sweden's special forces. These two units were later amalgamated into Särskilda operationsgruppen. Their operations and structure are classified. The unit recruits primarily commissioned officers from units across the armed forces. Public information on SOG is extremely limited although according to the information on the Swedish Army website, it is claimed that they master every aspect of intelligence gathering.[2]

Operations and training[edit]

FJS's operational field of expertise is in intelligence gathering deep inside enemy controlled territory and have secondary duties in sabotage and tactical diversion.[3] The unit has special training in Arctic warfare and can sustain operations for extended periods (in excess of one month) deep inside enemy territory without resupply or support from other parts of the armed forces. Main mode of deployment is by parachute but the unit can also be deployed via helicopter and boats. The small and agile 8-man team operate in autonomous squads trained for long term independence and autonomy. Each squad consists of a squad leader and a deputy squad leader, a sniper, a demolitions expert, a medic and a communications expert. If required for the mission, an interpreter may be assigned to the unit to handle local civilian interaction or interrogations.

The unit today is formed of permanent military staff who have completed basic military training and who are in many cases commissioned officers. In the past the unit was made up of both conscripts and career officers but its configuration was changed between 1990-2000. Recruits today are required to be either commissioned, tactical or specialist officers who must have served in the Swedish Armed Forces for at least one year prior to applying to the unit or must have completed their military service in the Parachute Regiment or in one of the Swedish Armed Forces ranger units prior to their application [1]. Fallskärmsjägarna no longer provides Basic Military Training. The complete training program lasts for 12 months (previously 15) and is a very condensed and demanding program. It is considered to be the most physically and mentally demanding training programs within the Swedish Armed Forces. Selection to the unit is one of the toughest in the Swedish army, including a two-day pre-selection and three induction weeks in addition to the regular armed forces recruiting process.[4] The unit also recruits commissioned officers from other military units which have to undergo a rigorous selection program and training, culminating in the “Eagle March”. The Eagle March is preceded by a number of squad tasks after which the units are deployed via parachute and set out to complete a 60–70 km march with a 30 kg combat pack in rough terrain followed by a ~10 km individual navigation test-course carrying combat gear and weapons. The march and navigation test must be completed within 24 hours and without being captured in order to "graduate" as a Fallskärmsjägare. Note that "The Eagle March" must be successfully completed by all military personnel serving at FJS once a year. Commissioned officers wishing to serve at FJS must pass a special program known under the code-name "0231" ending with the march to be eligible for the service. Successful candidates who complete the march within the prescribed time frame is awarded the "Golden Eagle". Candidates who successfully complete the training program may receive a position within the unit. The Golden Eagle is not the unit's insignia but a qualification badge (utbildningstecken) awarded to those who complete the FJS training course. A candidate can at any time during the course (and in particular during the induction weeks) be separated from the unit and sent home or transferred to other units in case standards are not met. Injuries are common and injured candidates are frequently given the opportunity to come back the following year if desired.

International Involvement[edit]

FJS have been involved in low intensity conflicts under UN flag, notably Kosovo and Bosnia, where they served as the intelligence platoon to KFOR, primarily working with human-based intelligence gathering (“HUMINT”)[5] and also in Afghanistan as support for the International Security Assistance Force as well as in Congo.[6]

Insignia[edit]

The golden eagle badge - M/51-60

The unit’s insignia (förbandstecken) is a parachute circumscribed by laurel leaves. This is worn on a maroon beret, which is awarded after the first parachute jump. The maroon beret is common headwear for parachutists in the western world's armed forces. The individual sign of having passed the unit’s training course, which culminates in the Eagle March, is the Golden Eagle in metal which is worn on the left hand breast pocket on the dress uniform or as a patch on the right sleeve of the M/90 field uniform. The eagle is considered the real mark of a Fallskärmjägare as it is only given to those who completed the training course, whereas the beret with the insignia is worn after having completed the first parachute jump. The eagle can be worn on uniforms in any unit as it is an award for completed training whereas the insignia shows the affiliation to a particular army unit.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]