The appointment took place at the most recent army conference. Army Chief Karl Engelbrektson promoted Colonel Rickard Johansson, who is also Commandant of the Land Warfare Centre, to Brigadier General.
"To get this task and this post is not just a great honour, but it also comes with quite a lot of responsibility. With the current situation, where the dark clouds gather at the horizon, I must prepare for the worst case scenario, and take on a lot of responsibility", says the new Commander of the army division, and continues:
"This is something that I value every single day that I go to work, and that I have been forced to live with in previous operations. I must be able to live with the consequences of the decisions that I make."
In the Defence Resolution for 2021-2025, the Swedish Riksdag has decided to increase the number of army brigades from two to four.
A brigade is comprised of approximately 5 000 members of staff, including all the necessary weapon systems and capabilities for the army to strike against an adversary on Swedish territory: tanks, artillery, air defence, engineer units, C2 units, logistics/transports and intelligence.
In order to command several army brigades a senior command level is required namely the division. The Chief of Division is a Brigadier General, supported by the Division Staff (approximately 90 people).
During the major exercise this coming spring, the Armed Forces Exercise Aurora 23, the 1st Division will have an initial capability to command the brigades. The capability is to be fully developed by 2025.
The Army Chief's choice to also make Division Commander Rickard Johansson Commandant of the Land Warfare Centre, is due to the task of the Land Warfare Centre to develop the division, and the task of the Division Commander to control and command the centre in a war organisation.
"The Commandant of the Land Warfare Centre can in this case both make demands and be responsible to follow up the outcome. With other words, to have the mandate to point out what needs to be corrected during the ongoing development process, as well as to give commands to the army staff or to the units to adjust things, in order to reach the war targets, set up by the army", says newly appointed army division commander, Brigadier General Rickard Johansson.