"This day is very important for the Regiment, these pieces are a big part of our identity as a regiment and as gunners," said the Commanding Officer of the Artillery Regiment, Colonel Johan Pekkari.
The month could not have started any better for the Artillery Regiment. After several years of planning, preparation, production and tests, the day with the capital D has arrived. The Archer artillery system was handed over by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration to the Armed Forces and the Artillery Regiment.
During the day's handover ceremony, the invited guests and staff at the unit were given the opportunity to see a demonstration involving the firing of two Archer guns. The day continued with a ceremony where several speeches highlighted the fact that the day represents a big milestone for the Armed Forces, where the Archer itself is the world's most modern artillery system and will therefore mean a lot for the regiment. Among those in attendance at the handover ceremony was the chief of staff Swedish army, Major General Anders Brännström. During his speech he thanked BAE Bofors and FMV, the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration, who made the trip possible. The chief of staff also took the opportunity to emphasise the importance of this day when he as chief of staff Swedish Army, and in turn the Commanding Officer of the Artillery Regiment, received these priceless pieces.
"February 1st, 2016, will always be remembered as a day of celebration. It was a long-awaited day."
The number of people involved in the Archer project is immeasurable. Many contributors at the unit, from industry, at FMV and elsewhere can pat themselves on the back on a day like this. Lieutenant Tomas Wessén is one of many at the Artillery Regiment who has familiarised himself with the piece. Tomas Wessén is currently a platoon commander in the artillery platoon and has looked forward to the delivery of the series of pieces.
"This is an important day as it is only now that we can start to establish a procedure and conduct exercises with the series of pieces."
Although the handover ceremony was an important milestone in the Archer project, this cannot be seen as a conclusion. It is a case of proceeding with and completing the deliveries of the series of pieces, whereby deliveries will be made throughout 2016. When the Artillery Regiment has received the entire series of pieces, there will be a total of 24 at the unit.
"The focus for the Artillery Regiment will now be on getting as much power and capacity from the Archer pieces as we possibly can. Materials, staff and completed operations are what create this capacity," concluded Major General Anders Brännström.
The Commanding Officer of the Artillery Regiment, Colonel Johan Pekkari, added:
"These pieces are essential for developing the capacity to operate in an artillery battalion and for developing warfare capability. I'm really looking forward to the future with the Archer pieces."