Not only internationally - special units defend Sweden too

Their number and working methods are top secret. Likewise their skills, actions and training locations. However, it is now clear that the Swedish Armed Forces' special units have trained on Gotland.

Prickskytt med observatör från Särskilda operationsgruppen (SOG). Specialförband.
Prickskytt med observatör från Särskilda operationsgruppen (SOG). Specialförband.
Sniper with observer from the Special Operations Task Group, SOG. Photo: Jimmy Croona/Försvarsmakten
Operatörer från Särskilda operationsgruppen (SOG) under helikoptertransport på Gotland där de övar nationellt försvar. Specialförband.
Operators from SOG during helicopter transport on Gotland, where they are training national defence. Photo: Jimmy Croona/Försvarsmakten

"The Defence of Sweden is one of the special units' absolutely vital tasks," says Urban Molin, Brigadier General and chief of special forces management.

From west of Mazar-e Sharif to Visby. Last week the Armed Forces' special units performed a large exercise on Gotland as part of a shift in focus towards national defence.

"Defending Sweden is one of the highest priority tasks for the special units. It is an area that we must develop and practice, which is what we have just done. Our training task here was to manage an unforeseen event that requires our unique accessibility and special military skills, including rapid cooperation, the gathering of intelligence and preparations for combat," says Urban Molin.

An important part of the exercise was to collaborate with other parts of the Armed Forces such as the Home Guard, as well as with other authorities such as the police.

"In this way we can contribute to building up capacity in other parts of the Armed Forces and with other authorities. For example, we can provide the Home Guard with increased capacity in advanced fire control and medical care. At the same time, our personnel learn many important lessons from the Home Guard, who know the area well, have many contacts and can detect deviations from normal daily life. The most important experience from this exercise is that, once again, we see how crucial it is to be familiar with the conditions prevailing in the area where the special units are expected to operate. Cooperation with other partners is vital for the special units to solve the tasks we face," says Urban Molin.

Much of what the special units do is under strictest secrecy. Nevertheless, the special forces' chief emphasises that they communicate as much as possible about their activities.

"We are aware of our responsibility to report as much as we can about our activities to the Swedish people. But we will never be able to disclose all the details, since our opponents must not know our strengths and skills. On the other hand, it is clear that our cooperating partners during the week, such as the Home Guard, will be given feedback on how they and we can become even better in such situations. It is only together that we can defend Sweden," says Urban Molin.