Swedish Army

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Swedish Army
Armén
Armén vapen bra.svg
Coat of arms of The Swedish Army
Founded 1521; 497 years ago (1521)
Country Sweden Sweden
Type Army
Part of Coat of Arms of the Swedish Armed Forces Swedish Armed Forces
March "Svenska arméns paradmarsch"
Engagements Swedish War of Liberation
Danish Count's Feud
Great Russian War
Northern Seven Years' War
Livonian War
Russo-Swedish War (1590–1595)
War against Sigismund
Polish War
De la Gardie Campaign
Ingrian War
Kalmar War
Thirty Years' War
Torstenson War
First Bremian War
Second Northern War
Second Bremian War
Scanian War
Great Northern War
Hats' Russian War
Seven Years' War
Gustav III's Russian War
First Barbary War
War of the Fourth Coalition
Finnish War
War of the Sixth Coalition
Campaign against Norway
War in Afghanistan
2011 Libyan civil war
Commanders
Chief of Army Karl Engelbrektson

The Swedish Army (Swedish: Svenska armén) is a branch of the Swedish Armed Forces whose main responsibility is land operations.

History[edit]

Organization[edit]

The peace-time organization of the Swedish Army is divided into a number of regiments for the different branches. The number of active regiments has been reduced since the end of the Cold War. The regiment forms training organizations that train the various battalions of the army and home guard.

The Swedish Armed Forces recently underwent a transformation from conscription-based recruitment to a professional defense organisation. This is part of a larger goal to abandon the mass army from the Cold War and develop an army better suited to modern maneuver warfare and at the same time retain a higher readiness. Since 2014, the Swedish army has had around 50,000 soldiers in either full-time or part-time duty, with eight mechanized infantry battalions instantly available at any time and the full force of 71 battalions ready to be deployed within one week. The regular army consists of 8 mechanized maneuver battalions, 19 support battalions of different kinds including artillery battalions, anti-aircraft battalions, combat engineer battalions, rangers, logistics battalions and 4 reserve heavy armored battalions and 40 territorial defense battalions. The battalion is the core unit but all units are completely modular and can be arranged in combat teams from company to brigade level with different units depending on the task. There are a total of 6 permanent staffs under the central command capable of handling large battlegroups, 4 regional staffs and 2 brigade staffs.

Leadership[edit]

Until 1975 the Swedish monarch was the formal head of the army. In 1937, the staff agency Chief of the Army (Swedish: Chefen för armén, CA) was created to lead the army in peace time. Following a larger reorganization of the Swedish Armed Forces in 1994, CA ceased to exist as an independent agency. Instead, the post Chief of Army Staff (Swedish: Chefen för arméledningen) was created at the then newly instituted Swedish Armed Forces Headquarters (Swedish: Högkvarteret, HKV).

In 1998, the Swedish Armed Forces was again reorganized. Most of the duties of the Chief of Army Staff were transferred to the newly instituted post of "Inspector General of the Army" (Swedish: Generalinspektören för armén). The post is similar to that of the "Inspector General of the Swedish Navy" (Swedish: Generalinspektören för marinen) and the "Inspector General of the Swedish Air Force" (Swedish: Generalinspektören för flygvapnet), later renamed to "Inspector of the Army" (Swedish: Arméinspektören). In 2014, the Chief of Army (Swedish: Arméchefen, AC) position was reinstated.

Chiefs of the Army[edit]

Maj. Gen. Karl Engelbrektson is the current Chief of Army.

Chiefs of Army Staff[edit]

Inspectors General of the Army[edit]

Inspectors of the Army[edit]

Chiefs of Army[edit]

Active regiments[edit]

Swedish soldiers during a training exercise.

Swedish Army regiments are tasked with training conscripts and Home Guard troops. Additionally each regiment can mobilize in times of crisis or war operational battalions for the army's rapid reaction organization. The currently active regiments and their main peacetime subordinate units are:

  • Life Guards (LG), in Stockholm
    • Stockholm Command Staff
    • Armed Forces International Centre (Swedint)
    • Armed Forces Dog Service Unit (FHTE)
    • Armed Forces Music (FöMus)
    • Dalregementsgruppen (DRG), trains and supports the Home Guard in Dalarna County
      • Dalarna Battalion (17. hvbat), in Falun
    • Gävleborgsgruppen (GABG), trains and supports the Home Guard in Gävleborg County
      • Gävleborg Battalion (18. hvbat), in Gävle
    • Livgardesgruppen (LGAG), trains and supports the Home Guard in Stockholm County
      • Attundaland Battalion (23. hvbat), in Kungsängen
      • Stockholm Battalion (24. hvbat), in Kungsängen
      • Taeliehus Battalion (25. hvbat), in Kungsängen
      • Järva Battalion (26. hvbat), in Kungsängen
  • Göta Engineer Regiment (Ing 2), in Eksjö
    • Engineer Battalion, trains the troops of the 21st and 22nd engineer battalions
    • Field Works School
    • Norra Smålandsgruppen (NSG), trains and supports the Home Guard in Jönköping County
      • North Småland Battalion (33. hvbat), in Eksjö
  • Life Regiment Hussars (K 3), in Karlsborg
    • Training companies, train the troops of the 31st light and 32nd reconnaissance battalions
    • Armed Forces Survival School
    • Örebro-Värmlandsgruppen (ÖVG), trains and supports the Home Guard in Örebro and Värmland counties
      • Värmland Battalion (19. hvbat), in Karlstad
      • Sannahed Battalion (20. hvbat), in Örebro
  • Skaraborg Regiment (P 4), in Skövde
    • Training unit (KFE), trains the troops of the 41st and 42nd mechanized battalions, 18th battle group, 1st heavy transport company, and 2nd brigade reconnaissance company
    • Skaraborgsgruppen (SKG), trains and supports the Home Guard in Västra Götaland County
      • Kinne Battalion (38. hvbat), in Skövde
      • Kåkind Battalion (39. hvbat), in Skövde
    • Bohusdalgruppen (BDG), trains and supports the Home Guard in Bohuslän and Dalsland
      • Bohusläns Battalion (40. hvbat), in Skredsvik
  • Air Defence Regiment (Lv 6), in Halmstad
    • Air Defence Battalion, trains the troops of the 61st and 62nd air defence battalions
    • Hallandsgruppen (HAG), trains and supports the Home Guard in Halland County
      • Halland Battalion (45. hvbat), in Halmstad
  • South Scania Regiment (P 7), in Revingehed
    • Training companies, train the troops of the 71st light mechanized and 72nd mechanized battalions
    • Skånska Gruppen (SSK), trains and supports the Home Guard in Skåne County
      • South Scania Battalion (46. hvbat), in Revingehed
      • Malmöhus Battalion (47. hvbat), in Malmö
      • Scania Dragoon Battalion (48. hvbat), in Helsingborg
      • North Scania Battalion (49. hvbat), in Hässleholm
  • Artillery Regiment (A 9), in Boden
    • Artillery Battalion, trains the troops of the 91st and 92nd artillery battalions
    • Artillery Combat School
  • Norrbotten Regiment (I 19), in Boden
    • Norrbotten Tank Battalion (Pbat / I 19), in Boden, trains the troops of the 191st and 192nd mechanized battalions, and 3rd brigade reconnaissance company
    • Army Jäger Battalion, in Arvidsjaur, trains the troops of the 193rd Jäger Battalion
    • Armed Forces Winter Unit (FMVE), in Boden and Arvidsjaur
    • Lapplandsjägargruppen (G 66), trains and supports the Home Guard in the northern and eastern part of Norrbotten County
      • Lapland Jäger Battalion (10. hvbat), in Kiruna
      • Border Jäger Battalion (11. hvbat), in Kalix
    • Norrbottensgruppen (G 63), trains and supports the Home Guard in the southern part of Norrbotten County
      • North Bothnia Battalion (12. hvbat), in Boden
    • Västerbottensgruppen (G 61), trains and supports the Home Guard in Västerbotten County
      • West Bothnia Battalion (13. hvbat), in Umeå
    • Fältjägargruppen (G 22), trains and supports the Home Guard in Jämtland County
    • Västernorrlandsgruppen (G 23), trains and supports the Home Guard in Västernorrland County

Operational units[edit]

The Swedish Army formed a Rapid Reaction Organisation (Insatsorganisation in Swedish) in 2014. Under the organisation the training regiments of the Swedish army would be able to form two combat brigades and a number of independent combat battalions within a few days. This plan, however, was considered by the Supreme Commander to be impossible due to the economic situation at the time.[1]

In 2013, the Armed Forces issued a statement saying that the reorganisation would only suffice for a reasonable defense of Swedish territory for one week.[2] The force was to include the following units:[3]

As of 2017 the Army's units of the Rapid Reaction Organisation are:

  • Life Guards (LG), in Kungsängen
    • 10th Life Guards Battalion (10. livbataljonen)
      • Staff and support company, life guards company, life guards mounted squadron, cavalry mounted squadron
    • 11th Military Police Battalion (11. militärpolisbataljonen)
      • Personnel protection company, 2x military police companies, staff and support platoon, investigative team
    • 12th Light Mechanized Battalion (12. lätta mekaniserade bataljonen)
      • Staff and support company, 3x Patria AMV mechanized companies, logistic company
    • 13th Security Battalion (13. säkerhetsbataljonen)
      • Functions squadron, security squadron
  • Life Regiment Hussars (K 3), in Karlsborg
    • 31st Light Battalion (31. lätta bataljonen)
      • Staff and support squadron, 3x rifle squadrons, logistic squadron
    • 32nd Intelligence Battalion
      • Functions squadron, 2x reconnaissance squadrons, parachute Jäger company
  • Skaraborg Regiment (P 4), in Skövde
    • 2nd Brigade Staff (2. brigadstaben)
    • 18th Battle Group (18. stridsgruppen), on Gotland
      • Staff and support company, Stridsvagn 122 tank company, CV90 mechanized company, logistic company
    • 41st Mechanized Battalion (41. mekaniserade bataljonen)
      • Staff and support company, 2x Stridsvagn 122 tank companies, 2x CV90 mechanized companies, logistic company
    • 42nd Mechanized Battalion (42. mekaniserade bataljonen)
      • Staff and support company, 2x Stridsvagn 122 tank companies, 2x CV90 mechanized companies, logistic company
    • 1st Heavy Transport Company (1. tung transportkompaniet)
    • 2nd Brigade Reconnaissance Company (2. brigadspaningskompaniet), equipped with CV90
  • South Scania Regiment (P 7), in Revingehed
    • 71st Light Mechanized Battalion (71. lätta mekaniserade bataljonen)
      • Staff and support company, 3x Patria AMV mechanized companies, logistic company
    • 72nd Mechanized Battalion (72. mekaniserade bataljonen)
      • Staff and support company, 2x Stridsvagn 122 tank companies, 2x CV90 mechanized companies, logistic company
  • Norrbotten Regiment (I 19), in Boden
    • 3rd Brigade Staff (3. brigadstaben)
    • 191st Mechanized Battalion (191. mekaniserade bataljonen)
      • Staff and support company, 2x Stridsvagn 122 tank companies, 2x CV90 mechanized companies, logistic company
    • 192nd Mechanized Battalion (192. mekaniserade bataljonen)
      • Staff and support company, 2x Stridsvagn 122 tank companies, 2x CV90 mechanized companies, logistic company
    • 193rd Jäger Battalion, in Arvidsjaur
    • 3rd Brigade Reconnaissance Company (3. brigadspaningskompaniet), equipped with CV90
  • Artillery Regiment (A 9), in Boden
    • 91st Artillery Battalion (91. Artilleribataljon)
      • Staff and logistic battery, 3x Archer batteries, sensor battery
    • 92nd Artillery Battalion (92. Artilleribataljon)
      • Staff and logistic battery, 3x Archer batteries, sensor battery
  • Göta Engineer Regiment (Ing 2), in Eksjö
    • 21st Engineer Battalion (21. Ingenjörbataljonen)
      • Staff and logistic company, 2x engineer companies, machine/bridging company
    • 22nd Engineer Battalion (22. Ingenjörbataljonen)
      • Staff and logistic company, 2x engineer companies, machine/bridging company
  • Air Defence Regiment (Lv 6), in Halmstad
    • 61st Air Defence Battalion (61. Luftvärnsbataljonen)
    • 62nd Air Defence Battalion (62. Luftvärnsbataljonen)
Army Rapid Reaction Organisation Units 2017

Additionally the following Armed Forces's establishments provide units for the Rapid Reaction Organisation:

  • Command and Control Regiment (LedR), in Enköping
    • 10th PSYOPS Unit (10. PSYOPS-förbandet)
    • 11th Command and Control Battalion (11. ledningsplatsbataljonen)
      • 3x Staff companies, public affairs/ interpreter/ combat camera company
    • 12th Signal Battalion (12. sambandsbataljonen)
      • Staff company, 2x signal companies, signal reinforcement company
    • 13th Electronic Warfare Battalion (13. telekrigsbataljonen)
  • Logistic Regiment (TrängR), in Skövde
    • 1st Logistic Battalion (1. logistikbataljonen)
    • 2nd Logistic Battalion (2. logistikbataljonen)
    • 1st Traffic and Movement Control Company (1. trafik- och transportledningskompaniet)
  • Armed Forces Medical Center, in Gothenburg
    • 1st Hospital Company (1. sjukhuskompaniet)
    • 2nd Hospital Company (2. sjukhuskompaniet)
    • 1st Medical Reinforcement Company (1. sjukvårdsförstärkningskompaniet)
    • 2nd Medical Reinforcement Company (2. sjukvårdsförstärkningskompaniet)
  • National CBRN Defence Centre (SkyddC), in Umeå
  • Armed Forces Technical School, in Halmstad
    • 1st Maintenance Battalion (1. teknikbataljonen)

If activated the two brigades of the Rapid Reaction Force would be formed with the following units:

  • 2nd Brigade[4]
    • 111th Staff Company
    • 42nd Mechanized Battalion
    • 71st Light Mechanized Battalion
    • 191st Mechanized Battalion
    • 21st Engineer Battalion
    • 61st Air Defence Battalion
    • 91st Artillery Battalion
    • 1st Logistic Battalion
    • 2nd Brigade Reconnaissance Company
  • 3rd Brigade
    • 112th Staff Company
    • 41st Mechanized Battalion
    • 72nd Mechanized Battalion
    • 192nd Mechanized Battalion
    • 22nd Engineer Battalion
    • 62nd Air Defence Battalion
    • 92nd Artillery Battalion
    • 2nd Logistic Battalion
    • 3rd Brigade Reconnaissance Company

Equipment[edit]

Territorial Defense Forces[edit]

The Territorial Defense Forces/Home Guard (Hemvärnet) consists of 40 battalions with a total of 22,000 men. Many of the soldiers have served abroad in the various missions of the regular army.[5]

Size[edit]

Between the introduction of universal conscription in 1902 until the start of World War II, the army was usually maintained at a consistent strength of 100 000 men, with two-thirds of the force being conscripts for two years. From 1942 onwards, the Swedish government embarked upon a massive and ambitious militarization program in which conscription was strictly enforced and compulsory service was extended for three years. This combined with propaganda about conscription being a part of social duty and defending the Swedish principle of Folkhemmet, led to an army a size of about 700 000 active duty soldiers in late 1945. Since the late winter of 1945 the size of the army was slowly decreased as entire reserve battalions and brigades were gradually demobilized, and by late 1947 the size of the army was around 170 000 soldiers and was planned to stabilize at such a quantity of personnel.

However, due to the rise in tensions between the East and West over the political landscape of Europe, the threat from the Soviet Union in 1949 and 1950, coinciding with the start of the Cold War, led to a return to the militaristic policy by the Swedish government. From 1950 until around 1976 the size of the army was at an average of 250 000 soldiers with a peak of 400 000 active duty soldiers during the late 1950s and early 1960s. The mandatory period of service during this period was 22 months for non-educated conscripts and 14 months for college educated ones, with 30 years in the reserve and 30 days of reserve service obligation per 18 months. The compulsory service period included 2 months of basic training and 3 months of advanced occupational training. The rules were badly enforced, but dodging the draft was punishable with a year of imprisonment and the refusal of state social welfare benefits. Only in 1976–77 was there a change in policy where the compulsory service period of all conscripts was reduced and equalized at 14 months.

During the 1980s the size of the army was around 180 000 soldiers and was slowly increased as time progressed until around 1988. The end of the Cold War led to a massive restructuring of the Swedish Army. Every year after 1988, the Army discharged around 40 000 conscripts and recruited only 20 000, so that by 1995 the size was down to 80 000 soldiers. Around this time the compulsory service obligation was further reduced to 10 months, reserve service became more flexible, and changes made in enforcement so that forceful enforcement became withdrawn as policy. By 2004 the size of the Swedish Army was down to 60 000 soldiers, and in 2013, three years after the end of conscription, the size was at an all-time low of just 16 000 soldiers, though the army plans to reach a level of 50 000 professional soldiers by 2020, mostly through a large media campaigns.

Recruitment[edit]

From the 17th century until 2010, the Swedish Army recruitment was based upon Prussian-style conscription. All personnel were drafted as conscripts for a year of national service, after which the unit the soldier trained with was put in reserve. Upon completion of conscript service with sufficient service marks, conscripts are eligible to apply for commissioned officer training, NCO/Warrant Officer or from 2007 stay in the Army as a professional private, mainly to be employed in the Nordic Battle Group. The army has employed soldiers for UN service on short time contracts since the 1950s for service abroad.

From July 2010 until March 2017, the Swedish Army was an all-professional fighting force. March the 3rd, the Swedish government reinstated national service. In 2017, around 13,000 men and women are to sign up for the draft, and of them 4,000 will be selected for national service starting January 2018. The government stated that the number of conscripts may increase in response to foreign events.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sondsson, Eva (26 January 2011). "Ofolkligt försvar". Sundsvalls Tidning (in Swedish). Retrieved 21 December 2016. 
  2. ^ Wallberg, Peter (10 January 2013). "Politiker till attack: Vill ha mer än en veckas skydd". Sydsvenskan (in Swedish). Retrieved 21 December 2016. 
  3. ^ "Försvarsmaktens delårsrapport 2011" (PDF) (in Swedish). Swedish Armed Forces. 2011-08-12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 
  4. ^ Sjögren, Anne-Lie (14 April 2016). "Krigsförbandschefer samlade" (in Swedish). Swedish Armed Forces. Retrieved 4 December 2017. 
  5. ^ "Rikshemvärnschefens brev till hemvärnspersonalen, dec 2009" (PDF) (Press release) (in Swedish). Home Guard. December 2009. Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  6. ^ "Sweden brings back military conscription amid Baltic tensions". BBC News. 2 March 2017. Retrieved 13 March 2017. 

External links[edit]