Sweden’s War Preps Continue as National Guard is Mobilized
Russ Chastain 06.07.18
We recently reported on the national distribution of what’s essentially a prepper pamphlet to everyone in the country of Sweden, urging them to begin storing food and water and reminding them to always resist invasion and to never, ever surrender. And now they’ve gone one step farther in war preparedness by reportedly mobilizing all 40 battalions of its Swedish Home Guard in an “unannounced preparedness exercise.”
The force being mustered is pretty much the Swedish version of the USA’s National Guard.
The Home Guard – National Security Forces (Swedish: Hemvärnet -– Nationella Skyddsstyrkorna) is a military reserve force of the Swedish Armed Forces. It was formally established on May 29, 1940, during World War II upon popular demand. While originally composed of former militia groups, today it comprises half of the Swedish Army, thus constituting the basis of the territorial defense of Sweden.
The Swedish National Home Guard consists mainly of local rapid response units, numbering 17,000 of the 22,000 total Home Guard strength, organized in 40 battalions, with 23 associated auxiliary defense organizations
Here’s a translation of the announcement from their website:
For the first time since 1975, the Armed Forces carry out an unannounced emergency preparedness control of the entire Hemvärnet. All staff around Sweden who are part of one of the 40 home war battalions and who have the opportunity to attend the evening of 5 June and during the national day will be in charge of service. The alarm is ordered by the Armed Forces and participation in the exercise is voluntary.
‘We are committed to strengthening Sweden’s defense and increasing our operational capabilities. This is a way to do it. This exercise is great in several ways. We are testing the emergency chain for almost half our intervention organization, we have not done since 1975,’ says Micael Bydén, the commander.
Initially, staff -– from north to south –- will be contacted and invited to stand for service. Thereafter, relations will begin to solve tasks, such as protection, guarding and patrolling. During the national day, home care personnel will be seen in many places around the country, from ports and airports to streets and squares. Since it is a voluntary exercise, the Armed Forces can not force anyone to settle, but the chief commander shows great confidence in his staff.
The first such exercise in 43 years. Wow. But it does lose some of its ‘oomph’ when you read that “participation in the exercise is voluntary.” Kinda squashes the sense of urgency, don’t you think? But it’s part of a process, and that process is the ongoing rebuild of its military after decades of letting it languish.
The exercise is part of Sweden’s national effort to rebuild its Cold War Total Defence strategy in response to an increasingly belligerent Russia.
In the event of an invasion, Sweden’s Home Guard is responsible for protecting the core functions of the Swedish state, guarding government agencies, airports, or ports, so that the professional army is free for front-line duties.
Although it’s voluntary, Sweden’s Supreme Commander Micael Bydén said it’s pretty dang important — and that he hoped for 50% participation:
‘This is an extremely important exercise,’ Bydén said. ‘That an organisation which is close to half of our war organisation, which has these important duties across the whole country, which they need to be able to carry out at short notice — as Supreme Commander, of course I need to have confirmation that it all works.’
‘I expect I’m going to get that confirmation this evening and tomorrow,’ he said.
The exercise was voluntary and the Bydén hoped that roughly half of the country’s 22,000 home guard volunteers would turn up.
‘Home Guard soldiers are extremely loyal and I hope of course that as many as possible choose to take part in the exercise,’ he said in a statement. ‘The Home Guard’s duties to protect and guard are fundamental to the ability of the rest of the Swedish Armed Forces to defend Sweden.’
He says they’re not worried or paranoid — just trying to be prepared.
‘It’s not about going around and being worried. It’s about being conscious of what is happening and trying to understand it, taking in as much information as possible,’ he said. ‘We’re doing our part here in the Swedish Armed Forces, and you should see this as a completely natural step. An important step.’
Nothing wrong with prepping.