Swedish Armed Forces

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The Swedish Armed Forces (Swedish: Försvarsmakten) is a Swedish Government Agency (Swedish: Myndighet) responsible for the operation of the armed forces of the Realm. The primary task of the agency is to train, organize and to deploy military forces, domestically and abroad, while maintaining the long-term ability to defend the Realm in the event of war. The Supreme Commander (Swedish: Överbefälhavaren), a 4 star general- or flag officer is also the head of said agency, and he is the highest ranking professional officer on active duty. The Supreme Commander in turn reports to the Minister for Defence.

There are three service branches: the Army (Swedish: Armén), the Air Force (Swedish: Flygvapnet) and the Navy (Swedish: Marinen), all of whom are since 1994 part of the same agency.

Sweden's military forces was for over a century built upon the concepts of conscription and territorial defence, supporting the longstanding national policy of non-alignment. Until the end of the Cold War nearly all men reaching the age of military service were conscripted. In summer 2010 peacetime conscription ceased, to be replaced with contracted personnel altogether. The transfer to the new system will be fully completed in 2018.

Units from the Swedish Armed Forces are currently on deployment in Afghanistan (ISAF) and Kosovo. Moreover, Sweden contributes with military observers in various countries and serve as the lead nation for an EU Battle Group approximately once every three years.

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