The Home Guard is designed to operate across the entire conflict scale – from providing peacetime assistance to society in times of crisis, to armed struggle in wartime. The Home Guard is part of the Swedish Armed Forces and comprises nearly half of the Swedish Armed Forces’ body of personnel.

The Home Guard units are modern combat units with a main responsibility to protect, guard and monitor Swedish territory and also provide support to society in times of crisis. In this way, the Home Guard units provide a territorial base for the defence and protection of Sweden.

Home Guard units

The Home Guard consists of stand-by units with advanced and adequate equipment. The most common types of units are guard companies and task force companies. Guard companies are stationary units that operate locally, whereas task companies are mobile tactical units with more advanced tasks. The task force companies move by means of tanks, cross-country vehicles and specially equipped minibuses. They are thereby able to concentrate their efforts where they are needed most.

The Home Guard also solves tasks along the Swedish coasts by means of shipborne units and intelligence companies that gather intelligence through reconnaissance and surface surveillance. There are also CBRN platoons, traffic platoons, pioneer platoons and grenade launcher platoons. With joint communications and command and control systems, interoperability with other Swedish Armed Forces units is achieved. Their readiness times are very short and measured in hours, not days or weeks.

Support to society

Should Sweden be hit by natural disasters, large-scale accidents or exposed to other threats against society, the Home Guard stands prepared to assist the police, the rescue services and other authorities. In forest fires, flooding, pandemics or searches for missing people, the Home Guard units provide an extra resource. Every year, the Home Guard conducts a large number of such support operations.

A more modern, more efficient Home Guard

The Home Guard is constantly developing. The equipment is gradually becoming more advanced, the soldiers are getting younger and the demands put on the Home Guard are constantly increasing. New units with new capabilities are formed. The Home Guard intelligence companies are tasked with gathering intelligence through reconnaissance and surface surveillance. They are supported by the Home Guard air squads. Home Guard battalions with naval tasks operate along the Swedish coasts and in the archipelagos.

The Home Guard also has more than 25 Home Guard military bands. In total, the Home Guard units comprise approximately 21 000 men and women all over the country.

Development, responsibility and a sense of community

All who serve in the Home Guard are volunteers. Instead of employment, a contract is signed on serving a certain number of days per year, in training and exercise. Most of the volunteers have completed military service or basic military training. There are also many specialists (medical orderlies, dispatch riders and dog handlers) without previous military experience. They are trained by volunteer defence organisations and subsequently posted in Home Guard units. All applicants to the Home Guard must undergo security vetting. Serving in the Home Guard provides an opportunity for personal growth, individual responsibility and offers a unique sense of community.