Sweden has two special forces teams- the Special Protection Group, Särskilda Skyddsgruppen or SSG and the Special Reconnaissance Group, Särskilda Inhämtningsgruppen or SIG. Both units report to the ministry of defense and are under the direct command of the Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces. There are plans underway to merge the SSG and the SIG into a single unit by 2011.
The SPG became active in 1994 whereas the SIG was established much later in 2006. The Swedish Army became more active during the years of the Cold War, at which time service in the military became mandatory. The Swedish Army serves the people of Sweden and has also been deployed globally. Recently, the SPG was deployed to Afghanistan to support the ISAF, a NATO group. The SSG and the SIG were both deployed to Chad, as part of Sweden’s contribution of marines to EUFOR.
How To Become A Member Of The SSG & SIG
While the SSG is comprised of officers from all 3 military branches- the army, the navy and the air force, they are primarily from the Coastal Rangers, Airborne Rangers and Parachute Rangers. The selection process is extremely arduous and challenging.
Men are mostly drafted into the Swedish army, although there have been a considerable number of female volunteers over the past several years. The standards and challenges for female applicants is the same as it is for male applicants. The average age of the operatives is 30 years.
Swedish Special Forces Training
Basic recruit training takes more than 12 months and includes VIP Sveriges lagar protection, parachuting and scuba diving. SSG officers also get receive special weapons training, sniping training, and training in first aid. Training is generally conducted in foreign countries with many joint exercises with the special forces of those countries.
What Are They Best At?
Their goal is to be neutral in times of war. They are trained to protect the territory, defend their country and assist civilians. They also deploy troops for international peace missions. The SIG are especially trained for reconnaissance and clandestine surveillance with the aim of gathering intelligence on any individuals or activities of strategic significance. The SIG undertakes delicate, dangerous missions that require them to move undetected inside hostile areas.
Weapons Of The Sweden
Weapons are unknown.
The SSG has been active in Afghanistan and Kosovo. They have also been active in anti piracy in Operation Atlanta and have been deployed for peacekeeping in Sudan and Chad.
There are many units established in the Swedish Army, but only 2 that are ready for instant deployment. The Home Guard and the First Regiment are ready for instant deployment.