We were contacted by one of our readers regarding Swedish SOF and are glad to provide this brief glimpse of the Särskilda Operationsgruppen. Thanks to Mat for nudging us for this piece and hats off to our Swedish SOF brothers for their contribution on making the world a bit safer.
- In 1994 the unit Särskilda Skyddsgruppen(Special Protection Group, SSG) was founded though the units exsitence wasn’t made public until 1997. There were several reasons why the SSG was formed: One was the threat of foreign special forces, which were intended to kill the senior military and civilian officials(for example politicians). The SSG was designed to perform operations with existing military regiments did not have the skills to carry them out. The other was in the early 1990s, the missions of the Swedish army were much more complex and sensitive than before.
- In 2002, Afghanistan, the SSG contributed to security and personal protection of the Afghan king, Mohammad Zahir Shah, returning from exile in Italy. The SSG along with other Special Operations Forces also trained Afghan military personnel.
- On November 25, 2005, four SSG operatives were wounded during a reconnaissance mission in northern Afghanistan. Of the wounded, Jesper Lindblom died due to his injuries on December 9, 2005 and Thomas Bergqvist died after having been airlifted to a hospital in Europe.
- In 2008, SSG and SIG were deployed to Chad, to prepare for the Swedish contribution of marines to EUFOR.
- The two previous Spec Ops units, Special Protection Group (SSG) and the Special Reconnaissance Group (SIG) were consolidated into one unit in 2011.
- They are known to use women in Intelligence roles.
- The Swedes have seen combat in Afghanistan (two known casualties) and apparently have units deployed in North Africa.