Swedish Armed Forces
The Swedish Armed Forces (Swedish: Försvarsmakten) is a Swedish Government Agency responsible for the maintenance and operation of the armed forces of Sweden. The primary task of the Swedish Armed Forces is to train, organize and deploy military forces, domestically and abroad, while maintaining the long-term ability to defend the country in the event of war. The Armed Forces consists of three service branches; the Army, the Air Force and the Navy. Since 1994 the three branches are organized in one unified Government Agency. However, they maintain their separate identities through the use of different uniforms, ranks, and other service specific traditions.
The Supreme Commander is a four-star general or flag officer that is the agency head of the Swedish Armed Forces, and is the highest ranking professional officer on active duty. The Supreme Commander in turn reports, normally through the Minister for Defence, directly to the Government of Sweden, which in turn answers to the Parliament of Sweden. The King of Sweden was, before the enactment of the 1974 Instrument of Government, the de jure commander in chief, but currently only has a ceremonial role in the Armed Forces as the head of state.
Sweden's military forces were for over a century built upon the concepts of conscription and territorial defence, supporting the longstanding national policy of non-alignment. Until the end of the Cold War nearly all men reaching the age of military service were conscripted. In the summer of 2010, peacetime conscription was abolished, to be replaced with an all-volunteer army. The transfer to the new system is planned to be fully completed in 2018.
Units from the Swedish Armed Forces are currently on deployment in Afghanistan (as part of ISAF) and in Kosovo. Moreover, Sweden contributes military observers to various countries and serve as the lead nation for an EU Battle Group approximately once every three years.
Information[edit | edit source]
- Active Duty Personnel: 27,400
- Reserve Personnel: 20,746
- Home Guard: 22,000
- Budget: $11,180,960,000 (1.6% of GDP)
- Supreme Commander: General Sverker Göranson
- Minister of Defence: Karin Enström
- Director General: Peter Sandwall