The Swedish Armed Forces faced a large number of challenges in 2008. One of the most important was to continue restructuring and to maintain increasing international ambitions despite financial cutbacks.
The demands placed on the Swedish Armed Forces by the Swedish parliament and government have largely been met, but at a cost of lower goals in training activities. A number of units have not been able to perform large-scale exercises, with the exception of the Nordic Battlegroup rapid response force that was on standby the first six months of the year.
There has been a strong focus on developing the Nordic Battlegroup at several units. This force has also been highly significant in the Swedish Armed Forces´ transformation towards a more mission-based approach.
The Swedish Armed Forces have made a high quality contribution to international missions in line with parliamentary resolutions. Swedish units have been deployed in Afghanistan, Chad and Kosovo. During the course of the year, the Swedish Armed Forces also started planning a new naval mission off the coast of Somalia.
The Swedish Armed Forces have continued development on the system for personnel provision. In line with the defence committee and national service committee thinking, this has included planning for an all voluntary force. The Swedish Armed Forces have also worked intensively on developing and strengthening financial management and control.
These changes, together with the proposals the Swedish Armed Forces presented to the government on 30 January 2009, will enable the creation of an organisation and strike capability in line with the increasing demands of the state authorities.
Despite a turbulent twelve months, the Swedish Armed Forces have laid solid foundations for continued development.