Swedish Army

The Swedish Army (Swedish: svenska armén) is the land force of the Swedish Armed Forces.

Swedish Army
Armén
Armén vapen bra.svg
Coat of arms of the Swedish Army
Founded1521; 500 years ago (1521)
CountrySweden Sweden
TypeArmy
Part ofSwedish Armed Forces
March"Svenska arméns paradmarsch"
Anniversaries14 January[1]
EquipmentList of Swedish Army equipment
Engagements
WebsiteOfficial site
Commanders
Chief of ArmyKarl Engelbrektson
Deputy Chief of ArmyLaura Swaan Wrede
Chief of the Army StaffDag Lidén
Notable
commanders
Gustavus Adolphus
Charles X
Charles XII
Curt von Stedingk

HistoryEdit

 
Depiction of the Kalmar War. The conflict, lasting from 1611 to 1613, was fought between Denmark–Norway and the Kingdom of Sweden.

Svea Life Guards dates back to the year 1521, when the men of Dalarna chose 16 young able men as body guards for the insurgent nobleman Gustav Vasa in the Swedish War of Liberation against the Danish-dominated Union of Kalmar, thus making the present-day Life Guards one of the world's oldest regiments still on active duty.

In 1901, Sweden introduced conscription.[2] The conscription system was abolished in 2010, but reinstated in 2017.[3]

OrganisationEdit

The peace-time organisation 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 defence 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 mechanised maneuver battalions, 19 support battalions of different kinds including artillery battalions, anti-aircraft battalions, combat engineer battalions, rangers, logistics battalions and 4 reserve heavy armoured battalions and 40 territorial defence 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.

LeadershipEdit

Until 1937 the King was the formal Head of the Army, and until 1974 of the Armed Forces at large. In 1937, the Chief of the Army position and headquarters staff (Swedish: Chefen för armén, CA) was created to lead the Army in peacetime. Following a larger reorganisation of the Swedish Armed Forces in 1994, CA ceased to exist as an independent agency, and all of the Armed Forces was centralized under the Supreme Commander (ÖB). Instead, the post Chief of Army Staff (Swedish: Chefen för arméledningen) was created at the then newly instituted Swedish Armed Forces Headquarters (HKV).

In 1998, the Swedish Armed Forces was yet 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.

Active regimentsEdit

 
Swedish soldiers during a training exercise.

Swedish Army regiments are tasked with training conscripts for the operational battalions of the army's rapid reaction organisation. The Gotland Regiment is the only regiment, which also trains Home Guard troops. The currently active regiments and their main peacetime subordinate units are:

Operational unitsEdit

The Army formed a Rapid Reaction Organisation (Insatsorganisation in Swedish) in 2014. Under the organisation the training regiments of the 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.[5]

In 2013, the Armed Forces issued a statement saying that the reorganisation would only suffice for a reasonable defence of Swedish territory for one week.[6] The force was to include the following units:[7]

As of 2021 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, two military police companies, staff and support platoon, investigative team
    • 12th Motorized Battalion (12. motoriserade bataljonen)
      • Staff and support company, three Patria AMV mechanized companies, logistic company
    • 13th Security Battalion (13. säkerhetsbataljonen)
      • Functions squadron, security squadron
  • Life Regiment Hussars (K 3), in Karlsborg
  • Norrland Dragoon Regiment (K 4), in Arvidsjaur
    • 193rd Ranger Battalion (193. jägarbataljonen)
  • Skaraborg Regiment (P 4), in Skövde
    • 2nd Brigade Staff (2. brigadstaben)
    • 41st Mechanized Battalion (41. mekaniserade bataljonen)
      • Staff and support company, two Stridsvagn 122 tank companies, two CV90 mechanized companies, logistic company
    • 42nd Mechanized Battalion (42. mekaniserade bataljonen)
      • Staff and support company, two Stridsvagn 122 tank companies, two CV90 mechanized companies, logistic company
    • 1st Heavy Transport Company (1. tung transportkompaniet)
    • 2nd Brigade Reconnaissance Company (2. brigadspaningskompaniet), equipped with CV90
  • South Scanian Regiment (P 7), in Revingehed
    • 71st Motorized Battalion (71. motoriserade bataljonen)
      • Staff and support company, three Patria AMV mechanized companies, logistic company
    • 72nd Mechanized Battalion (72. mekaniserade bataljonen)
      • Staff and support company, two Stridsvagn 122 tank companies, two CV90 mechanized companies, logistic company
  • Gotland Regiment (P 18), in Visby[4]
    • 181st Armored Battalion (181. pansarbataljonen)
      • Staff and support company, Stridsvagn 122 tank company, CV90 mechanized company, logistic company
  • Norrbotten Regiment (I 19), in Boden
    • 3rd Brigade Staff (3. brigadstaben)
    • 191st Mechanized Battalion (191. mekaniserade bataljonen)
      • Staff and support company, two Stridsvagn 122 tank companies, two CV90 mechanized companies, logistic company
    • 192nd Mechanized Battalion (192. mekaniserade bataljonen)
      • Staff and support company, two Stridsvagn 122 tank companies, two CV90 mechanized companies, logistic company
    • 3rd Brigade Reconnaissance Company (3. brigadspaningskompaniet), equipped with CV90
  • Artillery Regiment (A 9), in Boden
    • 91st Artillery Battalion (91. Artilleribataljon)
      • Staff and logistic battery, three Archer batteries, sensor battery
    • 92nd Artillery Battalion (92. Artilleribataljon)
      • Staff and logistic battery, three Archer batteries, sensor battery
  • Göta Engineer Regiment (Ing 2), in Eksjö
    • 21st Engineer Battalion (21. Ingenjörbataljonen)
      • Staff and logistic company, two engineer companies, machine/bridging company
    • 22nd Engineer Battalion (22. Ingenjörbataljonen)
      • Staff and logistic company, two engineer companies, machine/bridging company
  • Air Defence Regiment (Lv 6), in Halmstad
    • 61st Air Defence Battalion (61. Luftvärnsbataljonen)
    • 62nd Air Defence Battalion (62. Luftvärnsbataljonen)
  • Logistic Regiment (Trängregementet), in Skövde
    • 1st Logistic Battalion (1. logistikbataljonen)
    • 2nd Logistic Battalion (2. logistikbataljonen)
    • 1st Traffic and Movement Control Company (1. trafik- och transportledningskompaniet)
 
Army Rapid Reaction Organisation Units 2017

The following Armed Forces' establishments provide additional 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)
      • Three Staff companies, public affairs/ interpreter/ combat camera company
    • 12th Signal Battalion (12. sambandsbataljonen)
      • Staff company, two signal companies, signal reinforcement company
    • 13th Electronic Warfare Battalion (13. telekrigsbataljonen)
  • Armed Forces Centre for Defence Medicine, 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[8]
    • 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

EquipmentEdit

Home GuardEdit

The Home Guard (Hemvärnet) consists of 40 battalions with a total of 22,000 men. Many of the soldiers have served abroad with regular army units.[9]

Northern Military RegionEdit

The Northern Military Region is responsible for supporting Home Guard units in, Jämtland County, Norrbotten County, Västerbotten County, and Västernorrland County with training and administrative resources.[10]

Central Military RegionEdit

The Central Military Region is responsible for supporting Home Guard units in Dalarna County, Gävleborg County, Södermanland County, Stockholm County, Uppsala County, and Västmanland County with training and administrative resources.[11]

Southern Military RegionEdit

The Southern Military Region is responsible for supporting Home Guard units in Blekinge County, Jönköping County, Kalmar County, Kronoberg County, Skåne County, and Östergötland County with training and administrative resources.[12]

Western Military RegionEdit

The Western Military Region is responsible for supporting Home Guard units in Halland County, Värmland County, Västra Götaland County, and Örebro County with training and administrative resources.[13]

Gotland Military RegionEdit

The Home Guard battalion on the island of Gotland falls under the Gotland Regiment, which also commands the active 181st Armored Battalion.[4]

  • Militärregion Gotland, in Visby
    • Gotland Regiment (P 18), in Visby
      • Gotland Group (Gotlandsgruppen - GLG), in Visby
        • Gotland Battalion (Gotlandsbataljonen - 32. hvbat), in Visby

SizeEdit

The army on active service during most of the 20th century only consisted of conscript receiving their basic training (at the most one year for privates), and conscripts called up for refreshers (at the most one month for privates) with intervals of at least 4–6 years. During WWII smaller or larger parts of the wartime establishment were also called up for periodical stand-by duty (up to 6 months). The figures for total strength below refer to the total force which could be mobilised. 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 militarisation program in which conscription was strictly enforced and compulsory service was extended. The basic training for privates was set at 12 months, for future conscript sergeants intended to become platoon leaders (mainly sixth form graduates) 18 months, and for future conscript officers 24 months. These periods were gradually reduced, and the ranks were raised, until it was the same period for all conscripts shortly before national service was suspended in 2009. 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 that could be mobilised 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 demobilised, and by late 1947 the size of the army was around 170,000 soldiers who could be mobilised and was planned to stabilise 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 mobilisable soldiers during the late 1950s and early 1960s. The rules were badly enforced, but dodging the draft was punishable with imprisonment.

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. A number of previously disbanded regiments will also be re-raised (Dalarna Regiment, Västernorrland Regiment, Norrland Dragoon Regiment, and Bergslagen Artillery Regiment) with the Jämtland Ranger Regiment re-raised as a battalion of Västernorrland Regiment.

RecruitmentEdit

From the 17th century until 1901, Swedish Army recruitment was based upon the allotment system. In 1812, conscription was introduced for all males between age 20 and 25 to serve in the armed forces twelve days a year, increased in 1858 to four weeks per two years. The allotment system was abolished in 1901 and replaced with universal conscription for all males. 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. On the 3 March the 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.[14]

RanksEdit

Commissioned officer ranks

The rank insignia of commissioned officers.

Rank group General/flag officers Field/senior officers Junior officers Officer cadet
  Swedish Army[15]
                     
General Generallöjtnant Generalmajor Brigadgeneral Överste Överstelöjtnant Major Kapten Löjtnant Fänrik Kadett
Other ranks

The rank insignia of non-commissioned officers and enlisted personnel.

Rank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted
  Swedish Army[15]
                     
     
Menig 2 Menig 1 Menig
Regementsförvaltare Förvaltare Fanjunkare Översergeant Sergeant Överfurir Furir Korpral Vicekorpral Menig 4 Menig 3

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Idag fyller Livgardet och armén 500 år" (PDF) (Press release) (in Swedish). Swedish Armed Forces. 14 January 2021. Retrieved 16 March 2021 – via Mynewsdesk.
  2. ^ "Historia: Det svenska försvaret". Säkerhetspolitik.se. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  3. ^ Nilsson, Christopher (2 March 2017). "Värnplikten har återinförts i Sverige". Aftonbladet. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "Verksamhet på Gotland". Swedish Armed Forces. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  5. ^ Sondsson, Eva (26 January 2011). "Ofolkligt försvar". Sundsvalls Tidning (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 3 January 2017. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  6. ^ Wallberg, Peter (10 January 2013). "Politiker till attack: Vill ha mer än en veckas skydd". Sydsvenskan (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 3 January 2017. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  7. ^ "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.
  8. ^ Sjögren, Anne-Lie (14 April 2016). "Krigsförbandschefer samlade" (in Swedish). Swedish Armed Forces. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Rikshemvärnschefens brev till hemvärnspersonalen, dec 2009" (PDF) (Press release) (in Swedish). Home Guard. December 2009. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2010.
  10. ^ a b "Norra Militärregionens Utbildningsgrupper". Swedish Armed Forces. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  11. ^ a b "Mellersta Militärregionens Utbildningsgrupper". Swedish Armed Forces. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  12. ^ a b "Sodra Militärregionens Utbildningsgrupper". Swedish Armed Forces. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  13. ^ a b "Västra Militärregionens Utbildningsgrupper". Swedish Armed Forces. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  14. ^ "Sweden brings back military conscription amid Baltic tensions". BBC News. 2 March 2017. Archived from the original on 7 March 2017. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  15. ^ a b "Nya gradbeteckningar införs". Försvarsmakten. 2019-10-01. Retrieved 2019-10-02.

External linksEdit