The Scandinavian Army, part of the Scandinavian Union's Defence Forces an amalgamation of four national defence forces, came to being in 2205 at the formation of the Scandinavian Union. Since then, they have been moulded into a remarkably effective force of moderate size.
Captain Harri Palo had ordered the command post to be set up in a small wadi, just five kilometres from the objective. Aside from Palo, the commanding officer of the Third Platoon of the SSG, or the Special Reconnaissance Group, the command post consisted of a signals sergeant and another sergeant from the SRE, the Special Rescue Unit, whose specialty was the rescue of hostages or prisoners of war. This could really qualify as both, Palo thought: the Berberan Front for National Liberation, one of the many liberation-slash-bandit groups working in Berbera, had taken twenty-eight Scandinavian aid workers hostage, and were holding them in a training camp ten kilometres inland from the Berbera-Mauretania border.
The aid workers had been taken from the Mauretanian side of the border, and the BFNL demanded a huge monetary ransom along with military equipment for their safe return. Fortunately some of the aid workers carried clandestine personal beacons - a standard anti-kidnap measure in dangerous places like this - so that their final place of imprisonment had been discovered quickly.
It was clear that Scandinavia would never take that offer, and Mauretania, long a target for the BFNL's raids, would not do so either. The big brass had authorised a rescue attempt, but the Mauretanian Army had no units trained to do POW rescues. Their government had been kind enough to allow the Scandinavians to do the mission themselves. Enter the SRE, Palo thought.
Near the BFNL's camp, a tiny desert village of half a dozen buildings, a Scanavia Night Owl microdrone circled, providing Palo with real-time intelligence he was monitoring on the signals sergeant's equipment. There were other eyes as well: his SSG had been manning an OP near the village for three days. There were about fifteen bad guys in there, intelligence said, armed with small arms and light support weapons.
The rescue attempt was scheduled to go ahead in a few moments. Thirty men, eighteen from the SSG and ten from the SRE, waited in cover for Palo's go; four helicopters waited just across the Mauretanian border to pick the hostages and the SRE troops out, while the SSG would exfiltrate on foot to another point where they would be extracted.
The Night Owl's electronic thermal eyes saw three bright shapes outside: one on top of a lookout tower, two more walking the beat. These were not trained soldiers, Palo reminded him, more like thugs with assault rifles, but that didn't mean they didn't have security measures. For that reason, the SSG would hit every building at the same time while the SRE took down the prison.
"Golf and Romeo units, this is Golf Lead. Stand by, stand by for Omega." Palo could see the snipers aim their suppressed weapons at the three visible guards. "Go! Go! Go!"
On the display screen, three white heat shapes suddenly crumpled where they stood, killed by almost inaudible sniper fire. More heat shapes suddenly appeared from underneath anti-thermal camouflage netting just a few hundred metres from the camp. They spread into orderly groups on the move. Each group found their target house and stormed them, vanishing from the thermal imager's screen. Palo's pulse quickened. Thirty seconds passed, then sixty, then ninety. Finally, a welcome voice came over the radio: "This is Romeo Lead, Sunrise, repeat, Sunrise!"
The hostages were safe. Palo could breathe again. He switched to overall mission frequency. "Papa, this is Golf Lead, Sunrise, repeat, Sunrise!"
"Copy that, Golf Lead. We're coming." The dustoff helicopters were only a few seconds away.
"Golf units, Lead. Say status, over."
"Lead, Golf Ten, resistance neutralised, over." That was the voice of Lieutenant Andresen, Third Platoon's second in command. "Looks like we got a bad guy brass here. Had a bunch of printouts with him, plus disks. We're picking it all up, hope the Berberans and the Mauretanians can use it. Golf Ten out."
The welcome sound of the helicopters passed overhead and in the Night Owl feed Palo could see them land. Heat shapes were loaded into them, and as soon as each helicopter was full, they took off and headed west, back to Mauretania. "Papa One Zero to Golf Lead, we're heading home. Good job, lads. Out."
"Golf units, start extraction. Rendezvous point Alpha. Lead out." Palo looked at his CP crew. "Let's pack it up, lads. We're done here." They would still have to travel to the RV point, but for the moment, they were safe.
It can be said that the Scandinavian Army was forged in war. During the Twilight War, only Sweden of the four nations managed to avoid large-scale conflict. Norway and Denmark were part of NATO and as such, subject to the full depredations of war which included everything from ground combat to tactical nuclear strikes. Finland's neutrality was violated by both NATO and Russia in June-July 1997: first the American 10th Mountain Division attempted to cross Lapland on their way to the Kola Peninsula, and after they were brought to a halt, the Russian formations attempted to pursue them back to Norway. Both attempts were fought to a standstill in a series of bloody battles around Ivalo.
After the war, the national armies were concerned with rebuilding the society and bringing order back to the countries. All nations had to fight marauders and remaining "hard cases" of the opposing armies, while military police was called to maintain order in the cities. This period saw the beginnings of what would become the Scandinavian Union and its Defence Forces, when Finland and Sweden launched joint operations against pirates in the Baltic Sea.
Only a small unit of Scandinavians took part in the Arabian War, and this was done to secure the shipments of oil to the Nordic countries. Norway, although a major producer of oil, had been heavily devastated by the Twilight War, and until Norwegian oilfields could be restored, external supplies had to be arranged. The Scandinavian unit, a composite medical and security force drawn from four countries, served for the duration of the conflict; a motorised reconnaissance force also took part in the later part of the war as a mobile "fire brigade" to provide security for the rear area.
Following the Arabian War the nations of the future Union concentrated on working in the near areas. A joint Scandinavian peacekeeping force operated in the Ukraine after the Russo-Ukrainian War. From this period, there are reports that small units of Scandinavian special forces offered support and training for Estonians during their squabbles with Russia. Although there were Russian claims that "a number of nearby countries" had provided this kind of supports, the claims could not be proven by Moscow.
The start of military unification began in the latter part of the 21st century with a number of projects aimed at standardising the Nordic countries' weapons, communications and training. Much of the weapons produced post-2100 were in fact standardised to the extent that in case one nation required resupply, the other nations could do this from their own stocks and without the need for calling abroad for supplies.
The Nordic Defence Agreement of 2110 was another important stepping stone on the path to the SUDF. Signed by Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden (Iceland decided to stay out), the NDA stated that an attack on any of the member countries would be an act of war against all signatory parties. This agreement boosted the Scandinavian clout in the northern European arena: no longer could a hostile nation "divide and conquer" a Nordic country without intervention from the others. The NDA formed the basis for the talks in the last quarter of the century when the Scandinavian Union was being prepared.
The SUDF was officially formed in 2205, at the formation of the Scandinavian Union, as the amalgamation of national defence forces. It took a few years to come to a common stance on the structure, formation and strength of the force, but in 2210 the SUDF was considered to be fully operational and battle-ready. Some national brigades were disbanded during this time and new multi-national regular forces raised; in order to preserve history, many of the new battalions took on the traditions of the older regiments and brigades, so that for instance the modern 72nd Mechanised Infantry Battalion (7th Armoured Brigade) carries the traditions of the original Royal Ostrobothnian Regiment founded in 1626. This was done to placate the traditionalists of the SUDF, which argued that the history and honours of the national forces should be carried over to the new unified force.
In the last century, the Scandinavian Army has seen little combat, save for occasional conflicts during peacekeeping missions, but they have continued to train for war. The regular units of the Army train hard to fight easy, and they are considered by outside observers to be very capable on the field.
Peacekeeping is a major forte of the Scandinavians. In the last decades, they have been deployed in almost all corners of the world, most recently in Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. They also saw a brief period of deployment in Flanders after the War of German Reunification and in South America after the Third War of the Rio de la Plata.
Most recently, the threat of the Kafer has brought the Scandinavian Army to their first war-fighting campaign: a combat force has been deployed to Beta Canum Venaticorum, where it fights on the German continent to clear the Ludwigsberge Mountains from the Kafer stay-behinds and stragglers.
The official language of the Scandinavian Army, as well as that of the Scandinavian Union, is Swedish. Practically every Scandinavian is at least bilingual (they speak their native language and Swedish - Swedes, on the other hand, learn another Scandinavian language) and the primary/comprehensive school system stresses language studies, which means that most of them speak English, French or German as well.
In practical matters, many of the national service units, which draft from local areas, are heavily bilingual - it's not unheard of to hear Swedish and Norwegian spoken in the training garrisons of Northern Finland.
The military Swedish of the 24th Century features heavily on adapted terms: for instance, the term for a machine gun is now maskingevär , not the old kulsprute (literally "bullet sprayer"!)
The official national term for the Army is Skandinaviska Armén, while the entire SUDF is the Skandinaviska Unionens Försvarsmakten.
The Scandinavian war-fighting doctrine is centred on the defence of the nation, not a widespread use of troops on foreign soil. For this purpose, the SUDF was created with the dual regular/national service components. While a number of regular troops allow a standing high-readiness combat force with overseas deployment capability, the larger numbers of reservists serve ideally in home defence - after all, a soldier fighting for his home fights the hardest.
The Rapid Readiness Command's divisions and brigades are the first line of defence, along with the Air Force. They are to protect the mobilising forces (in case of a surprise attack) and to serve as the key mobile forces during war. The National Service Command's mechanised brigades are equally capable of defence and offence, and they form the keystone around which the BK brigades operate.
Scandinavian formations are patterned on the age-old principles of fire and manoeuvre. "Manoeuvre" in this case is provided by mechanised and armoured forces, the vehicles of which have been designed for operations in Scandinavian terrain, while "fire" is provided by a large amount of artillery. Divisional artillery groups include rocket launchers configured for battlefield missiles with 200+ km ranges, designed to take the fight into the enemy rear areas, while tube artillery and 130mm rocket launcher provide immediate support for the fighting brigades.
A further word on defence doctrine: Scandinavia strives to be neutral in world affairs. The politicians would prefer talking to fighting, and so far this has been successful: the last bout of fighting between Rajasthan and Punjab, for instance, was mediated to an end by Scandinavian and Polish negotiation group. This, however, does not prevent Scandinavia from using her military if she feels her interests are at stake. The deployment of forces to Svalbard during the squabble with Russia in 2286 is an example, as is the use of special forces to rescue 28 Scandinavian aid workers from Berbera in 2298.
The Scandinavian Union Defence Forces are based partly on regular troops and partly on national service. At draft age (19) every Scandinavian youth is screened, and some 15% are selected for national service based on their aptitude, initiative and willingness. Although some nations could find this "Army lottery" distasteful, most of the young men and women choose to undergo their national service - home defence is a trait very much alive in Scandinavia. Those that are not drafted are given a few months' course in some strategically beneficial training: medical services are a particular favourite.
National service lasts for 15 months for a basic infantryman, while those with more specialised skill requirements, plus those trained as reserve NCOs, serve for 18 months. During their service, the soldiers are paid a "daily wage", which is not too impressive but enough to support the soldier in the garrison. However, the real perk is not the money, but the various training programmes and certificates issued by the Defence Forces.
Some of these certificates would be expensive or difficult to enter in in civilian life. The SUDF courses tend to be more thorough than equivalent civilian courses, and as such military-issued certificates are held in high regard. Some of these "Army blue card" skills include electrical engineering, computer and data-processing, HGV driving licences and first-aid/medical skills.
When they leave their service, the national service soldier is war-posted to one of the brigades or specialised formations (usually until their 35th year). This system ensures that while at peacetime, the Army consists of the five regular brigades plus 17 training brigades, the mobilisation of first-line reservists would bring the total fighting strength to 22 brigades, a very respectable force.
The reservists conduct refresher training every year (usually a week or so) to maintain their skills.
Försvarsmaktens Specialuppdragskommando (FSK)
The FSK (Defence Forces Special Missions Command) consists of units under direct Defence Staff control in peacetime. They are not part of any brigade or division. All FSK units are regular forces.
The SSG is Scandinavia's equivalent for the British SAS. It is composed of eight platoons, each of 20 soldiers, and they are responsible for long-range reconnaissance, sabotage, and similar missions. In recent times, some rumours of the SSG being used for "unattributable" operations have been raised (mostly by the yellow press).
The SRE is the Army hostage rescue team. Although their mission is primarily one of POW rescue and CSAR during wartime, at peacetime they are responsible for heavy-duty counterterrorism and hostage rescue missions. There are two 20-man platoons in the SRE, one responsible for ground operations (the "Green Platoon") and one responsible for maritime operations (the "Blue Platoon"). Collectively the SRE is often called Group Gemini for their yearly big exercises (Exercise Gemini).
Special Reconnaissance Group (Specialspaningsgrupp, SSG)
The BK (Rapid Reaction Command, literally "Readiness Command") is the regular force of the Scandinavian Army.
3rd Division (HQ Helsinki)
*) Part of the Amphibious Corps, not the Army. However, since Amphibious Battalions are infantry, they have been included here.
The National Service Command is responsible for training the conscript portion of the Scandinavian Army. Each country's conscripts are undergo their service in a training unit in their country (a soldier fighting for his home fights the hardest).
These brigades are not full-strength units. Instead, they are to be brought to full strength by mobilisation of reservists. They are the first-line reserve force.
*) Part of the Amphibious Corps, not the Army. However, since Amphibious Battalions are infantry, they have been included here.
**) These are Life Guard units, principally trained in MOUT operations in defence of the national capitals. They also share honour guard duties, such as welcoming visiting heads of state to the city they are based in. Many of the Scandinavian countries had more than one guards unit; their traditions and honours were passed on to the battalions in the newer units. For instance, the Amalienborg Guards consists of three battalions, the Royal Life Guards, the Queen's Life Regiment and the Prince's Life Regiment; the traditions of the fourth guard unit, the Guard Hussars, are now carried by the 31st Armoured Battalion.
The Hemvärnet (Home Guard) is an organisation for reservists and volunteers (those who do not wish to join the Army proper, but wish to do something for their country). At mobilisation, the Hemvärnet would be formed into local defence companies and battalions, mostly equipped with obsolete weapons.
Division and Brigade Level
The brigade is the largest tactical unit in Scandinavian Army doctrine. A brigade is designed to be capable of independent operations without divisional support, and as such they are rather robust.
Each armoured or mechanised brigade has three fighting battalions (usually one armoured battalion and two mechanised infantry battalions), an artillery battalion, and a logistics battalion, which are supported by company/squadron-sized units of engineers, anti-tank troops, air defence assets, etc. Reserve infantry brigades replace the anti-tank company with an anti-tank battalion (they have no organic armoured units).
A division is composed of two (or more) brigades. They also muster an extra air defence battalion, a two-battalion divisional artillery group and a divisional support group.
Battalion Level and Below
The Scandinavian Army sees the battalion as the basic tactical unit to make war (the brigade is the largest tactical unit). The Army battalions are "pure" organisations, which often cross-attach companies to create battalion task groups. For instance, an infantry battalion task group, assigned to assault a village, would have three infantry companies, plus a squadron of tanks from the brigade's tank battalion. Likewise, an armoured battalion task group moving to engage an enemy armoured force would consist of three tank squadrons and an attached company of infantry.
Regardless of their status (Rapid Reaction Command, National Service Command, Reserve Command) a battalion has a similar organisation. The difference is mainly in equipment.
Equipped with either the German LkPz-IX HBT or the domestic Kyrassier tracked MBT. Armoured battalions are composed of a HQ squadron and three armoured squadrons. The HQ Sqn contains four command tanks (two pairs), an air defence troop and a maintenance troop (with recovery vehicles, etc.) while each fighting squadron has thirteen tanks (three four-tank troops and a command tank). The total number of tanks in an armoured battalion is 43.
Mechanised Infantry Battalion
Mechanised infantry battalions are equipped either with the British Templer hover IFV or the domestic Karbinier tracked IFV. A mechanised infantry battalion has a small tactical HQ, a HQ company with signals, maintenance, medical and supply and air defence platoons, plus three infantry companies - there is no fourth (support) company because the organic IFVs provide them with both integral anti-tank and anti-personnel fire.
A mechanised infantry company consists of a small company HQ (OC, 2IC, three snipers, three radiomen, and two medics) plus three infantry platoons.
The platoons in turn consist of a platoon HQ (leader, platoon sergeant, signalman, medic) and three eight-man sections (28 men per platoon plus 10 vehicle crewmen).
"Infantry" covers both light infantry (jägare) and the motorised infantry units of the reserve brigades and Life Guard units. Light infantry tend to have their own transports (helicopters, tiltwings and aircraft being the most common) while motorised infantry has wheeled and tracked personnel carriers (no IFVs).
An infantry battalion consists of a tactical HQ, a HQ company, three "line" infantry companies and a support company. The HQ company has signals, medical and supply platoons (motorised units add a maintenance platoon).
Each infantry company (lettered A to C) consists of a small company HQ and three infantry platoons. The platoons in turn consist of a platoon HQ (leader, platoon sergeant, signalman, medic) and three eight-man sections (28 men per platoon; motorised units have 10 vehicle crewmen as well).
The support company (D) contains nine 80mm mortars, six anti-tank teams and six machine guns kitted for the MMG (sustained fire) role. The support companies of parachute battalions and various life guard units further add a combat walker platoon of 25 CWs.
Amphibious battalions are basically similar to infantry battalions. Their HQ company consists of a signals platoon, a medical platoon, a supply platoon, a boat maintenance platoon and a reconnaissance platoon of attack divers.
However, the fighting power comes from three Coastal Ranger companies. These soldiers are Scandinavia's equivalent to the Royal Marine Commandos, being trained for not only light infantry operations and amphibious missions, but also for small-unit actions in the enemy rear. A Coastal Ranger company has a HQ and three eight-man sections; for small unit operations, each section is usually split into two four-man teams.
The battalions have their own deployment small craft (assault boats, rubber boats, kayaks), but for larger operations they use Navy hovercraft.
Artillery Battalion (Brigade)
A brigade artillery battalion consists of a HQ battery and four firing batteries, two of which have 6 self-propelled 165mm howitzers each, and two with four 130mm multiple-launch rocket systems each.
Artillery Battalion (Divisional Artillery Group)
There are two kinds of divisional artillery battalion, one of each is found in the DAG. The first battalion has a HQ battery and four firing batteries of six 165mm SP howitzers each; the other has a HQ battery and three firing batteries with MLRS vehicles configured for tactical battlefield missiles.
The Rapid Reaction Command is the all-regular portion of the Scandinavian Army, and the one most likely to see action. It consists of two divisions (the 3rd and the 9th) and an independent parachute brigade. The main purpose of the Rapid Reaction Command is to provide the heavy manoeuvre element in national defence, while the mechanised units of the National Service Command act as defensive and secondary manoeuvre forces. Another important function for the Command is to provide troops for service abroad: the Scandinavian Union has a law that prohibits sending conscripts or reservists abroad unless they volunteer for it. This includes peacekeeping/peace enforcement duties as well as interventions.
The 3rd Division is the organisational element for the northern and eastern forces of the Rapid Reaction Command. It is composed of two armoured brigades, a divisional artillery group, a divisional anti-aircraft battalion and a divisional support battalion.
7th Armoured Brigade
The 7th Armoured Brigade is equipped with the domestic Strv 7 Kyrassier ("Cuirassier") tracked main battle tank and the Strv 10 Karbinier ("Carbinier") IFV. The 7th Armoured Brigade is located at Sodankylä, and it trains for arctic warfare in close terrain, such as the Norwegian mountains and northern/northeastern Finland; it is the only Rapid Reaction Command brigade equipped with the tracked equipment. It is composed of a recce squadron, an armoured battalion, two mechanised infantry battalions, an artillery battalion, an anti-tank company, an engineer company, an air-defence company and a logistics battalion with medical, maintenance, transport and supply companies. The 7th Armoured is located in Sodankylä, Finland.
7th Armoured Recce Squadron
35th Armoured Brigade (Pansarbrigad 35)
The 35th Armoured Brigade is equipped with the German LkPz-IX hovertank and the Templer hover-IFV; in Scandinavian service, the Templer's turret is replaced with the one fitted on the Karbinier IFV for interoperability. The brigade consists of a recce squadron, one armoured battalion, two mechanised infantry battalions, an artillery battalion, an anti-tank company, an engineer company, an air-defence company and a logistics battalion with medical, maintenance, transport and supply companies. The 35th Armoured Brigade is located at Kouvola, Finland.
35th Armoured Recce Squadron
3rd Divisional Artillery Group (Divisionsartillerigrupp 3)
A divisional artillery group consists of two battalions, one of which is equipped with heavy self-propelled howitzers, the other with mobile rocket launchers with tactical battlefield artillery missiles. The DAG is responsible for supporting the brigades with long-range fire and eliminating high-value tactical targets such as HQs, air defence units and supply depots with missiles. The 3 DAG's units are located at Sodankylä and Kouvola.
14th Heavy Artillery Battalion
3rd Divisional Air Defence Battalion (Divisionsluftvärnbataljon 3)
A divisional air defence battalion consists of a headquarters battery, with radars, comm centres and maintenance units, plus three firing batteries. The missiles used are mounted on the chassis of the Strf 10, and the missiles are LM 12 Ugglan long-range SAMs. The mission of the air defence battalion is to provide the brigades and division rear areas with long range air defence capability. The 3 DAD Battalion is located at Kouvola, Finland.
3rd Divisional Support Group (Divisionstranggrupp 3)
A divisional support battalion consists of a support battalion, an engineer battalion and a logistics battalion. The support battalion has military police, military intelligence, signals and medical companies; the engineer battalion has three companies of engineers; and the logistics battalion has a maintenance company, a transport company and a weapons support company (with weaponsmiths, etc.). The 3 DSG's battalions are located at Sodankylä, Kouvola and Lahti, respectively.
10th Support Battalion
The 9th Division is the main organisational element for the Rapid Reaction Command in the southern and western areas.
3rd Armoured Brigade (Pansarbrigad 3)
The 3rd Armoured Brigade is one of the two hovermobile armoured brigades in the 9th Division. It is is located at Haderslev, with some elements at Aalborg.
3rd Armoured Recce Squadron
12th Armoured Brigade (Pansarbrigad 12)
The 12th Armoured Brigade is the second armoured brigade of the 9th Division. It is located at Skövde, Sweden, with smaller units located at Kristianstad.
12th Armoured Recce Squadron
9th Divisional Artillery Group (Divisionsartillerigrupp 9)
9 DAG is located at Aalborg, Denmark (15th Heavy Artillery Battalion) and Kristianstad (27th Heavy Rocket Artillery Battalion).
15th Heavy Artillery Battalion
9th Divisional Air Defence Battalion (Divisionsluftvärnbataljon 9 )
9 DAD Battalion is located at Haderslev, Denmark.
9th Divisional Support Group (Divisionstranggrupp 9)
The 9 DSG's battalions are located at Aalborg, Haderslev and Kristianstad, respectively.
11th Support Battalion
5th Parachute Brigade (Fallskärmsjägarbrigad 5)
The 5th Parachute Brigade is the rapid deployment force of the Rapid Reaction Command. Composed of three light infantry battalions, the brigade is designed to be "strategically mobile", meaning it can be deployed anywhere in the Scandinavian Union (including the "outremer" areas of Greenland, Iceland and Svalbard) to reinforce a particularly threatened axis. Although lacking the tactical battlefield mobility and heavy firepower of the armoured brigades, they make up for it with a large number of antitank missile launchers and the support of both Army Aviation gunships and the tactical aircraft of the Scandinavian Air Force.
The brigade is actually a parachute commando brigade; indeed, the troops are called fallskärmsjägare ("parachute rangers") for their distinctive elite light infantry status. The In addition to their training as light infantry, all troops (from the fighting soldiers to cooks) undergo the Ranger commando course at Karlsborg and the Arctic Training course at Sodankylä. This means that they are extremely versatile, capable of traditional infantry operations of offence and defence, and also patrol, reconnaissance and sabotage training.
The Brigade is composed of a parachute recce company (pathfinders), three parachute infantry battalions, an airmobile artillery battery (with 16 light 120mm guns), an engineer company, an anti-tank company (with 16 light Jeep-type vehicles with heavy anti-tank missiles), an air defence company (with 16 light vehicles with SAMs) and a logistics battalion. Each infantry battalion contains a platoon of Thor combat walkers in the support company, in addition to the normal equipment of an infantry battalion. The Recce Company also has a section of 8 combat walkers; reputedly trained in orbital drops as well as in normal parachute insertions.
Unlike the armoured brigades, the 5th Parachute Brigade is not under any division command. Instead, it is "retained" under direct command of the Defence Forces Staff.
5th Parachute Recce Company
70th Amphibious Battalion
The sole amphibious BK unit, the 70th Amphibious Battalion (Amf 70) is not part of a division, but is placed at the direct command of the Defence Forces Staff.
The battalion has been built up as a regular amphibious battalion: it has a tactical HQ, a headquarters company, three Coastal Ranger companies and a support company. Like any other light infantry battalion, their support company has a platoon of Thor CWs attached for direct support.
In peacetime, the 70th Amphibious Battalion's primary responsibility is training the other (national service) amphibious battalions. Their wartime mission is to either reinforce Iceland, Greenland or the Svalbard Islands, or spearhead the re-capture of the said places along with the paratroops and armoured forces. The battalion receives a hearty dose of arctic and mountain training (at Sodankylä and Lakselv, respectively) and is considered one of the finest cold-weather/adverse conditions units in Scandinavia, if not Europe. Aside from their own training, the 70th Amphibious Battalion also trains with the hover-mobile armoured brigades (the Scandinavian doctrine stresses joint operations in this regard) and with the British and Dutch Marines.
The Scandinavian Army has a fairly traditional rank structure, although the split between a regular and a national service force has imposed some differences to the nations using all-professional forces. Also, being the composite of four national armies with different ranks, some ranks from old have resurfaced and others have been replaced. The rank of "fältväbel", for instance, came from the old Finnish rank of vääpeli.
The finest national service soldiers are selected for Reserve NCO School; each training brigade typically has a school. Those completing the three-month course are promoted to corporals, and may be promoted to sergeant at the end of their service. Privates may be promoted to lance corporals.
In the rank table below one can see the term "rank block". This is a purely administrative term which basically tells what training and what schools a soldier has gone through.
The rank responsibilities are quite similar to other armies. Privates are the bulk of the fighting force (especially with the infantry), with lance corporals leading fire teams. A corporal or a sergeant is a section leader. Staff sergeants tend to be tank commanders or platoon NCOs. WO2s (fanjunkare) are company NCOs, and WO1s are battalion NCOs.
"Field officers" (second lieutenants, lieutenants and captains) are company officers, serving as platoon and company commanders as well as occupying specialty niches in a company. "Regimental officers" have undergone the Military Academy and often the Staff Command School, and serve on battalion and brigade staffs and command duties.
Rank Table for the Scandinavian Army
A soldier in the Scandinavian Army is issued three uniforms: two identical sets of camouflage clothes (typically known as "service" and "battle" dress) and a walking-out uniform.
The battle dress is composed of a camouflage-pattern jacket and trousers, combat boots and a high-threat helmet with a camouflage-pattern cover; the only insignia worn on this uniform are subdued rank insignia, worn on the left sleeve at bicep height. An inertial vest, of course in camouflage pattern, is worn in combat.
The service dress is identical to battle dress, but the helmet is replaced by a beret, and the rank insignia is complemented by an unit insignia and a MOS patch on the left sleeve of the jacket. A name tag is worn over the right breast. This is worn when in on garrison duty.
The walking out dress consists of a dark grey tunic, black trousers and light shoes. A collared light-grey shirt and a black tie are worn under the tunic. Black gloves are worn on hands. Headgear is a beret for enlisted ranks and NCOs, and a peaked cap for officers (although some officers, especially those of the 5th Parachute Brigade, prefer the beret here as well). Rank insignia is worn on the tunic collars, with unit insignia on the shoulders and the MOS patch on the right sleeve; the rank insignia used with the shirt are worn on slides on the epaulettes. Any medals, qualification badges and patches, etc. are worn on this dress only.
A special note must be made for the various life guard units: these have special parade uniforms they wear on guard duty and parades, etc. Some of these can be quite spectacular.
Rank insignia are as follows:
Enlisted men and NCOs: Privates have no insignia, while lance corporals to staff sergeants have one to four chevrons respectively. A WO2 has one wide chevron, while a WO1 has one wide chevron in which is a star.
Field officers: Rank insignia are small pips, with a 2nd Lieutenant having one, a lieutenant two and captain three pips respectively.
Regimental officers: Rank insignia are large pips. A major has one, a lieutenant colonel two, and a colonel three.
Generals: Rank insignia are stars. A brigadier general has one, a major general two, a lieutenant general three and a "full" general four.
A trooper can be identified by his beret and MOS patch. A MOS patch is a cloth patch showing what a soldier has received advanced individual training for. An infantryman would have a patch showing two crossed rifles, while an artilleryman would have the "combat tomato" (an exploding bomb device similar to the French Foreign Legion bomb.) Beret colours are as follows:
The beret badge is a lion's head in profile (gold for Rapid Reaction Command, silver for National Service Command) except as follows:
Armoured troops (vehicle crews): A frontal image
of a 15th-century closed helmet.
The Scandinavian Union is a relatively neutral country. As such, it has fairly good relationships with most of the world's nations. There are a number of nations, though, that merit special attention.
America: America is one of Scandinavia's biggest trading partners, and military relations are good, if somewhat distant, since the two nations' interests are different in scope.
Australia: Another large trading partner of Scandinavia. Military relations between the two countries are good, and it is rumoured that Australian conglomerates will receive contracts for the stutterwarp drives of a new class of Scandinavian ships.
France: The relationship between France and Scandinavia can be described as "correct but cool". Never one to like encroaching and expansive governments, Scandinavia was not particularly pleased (or suprised) when the military junta took over France. Only with the formation of the Imperial France did the relationship start to warm up. Even then, Scandinavia watches France with a careful eye.
Germany: Germany is another major trading partner (like Bavaria and Hanover had been before the Reunification) and Scandinavia was glad to see the new unified Germany. Historically, the warmest relationships had been with the northern German states.
Iceland: Scandinavia has a defence treaty with Iceland, which states that the Union will defend Iceland if the latter is ever attacked. The relationship between the Nordic peoples is warm, although some Icelandic radical politicians are using the termination of the treaty as a vote gatherer.
Japan: Japan is one of the more important trading partners, and as a result, military relationships with the country are good as well. The two countries are cooperating on a variety of technological areas (seabed harvesting and submarine technology being two of them) and Scandinavia has benefited from her contact with Japan.
Russia: Relationships with Russia are cool but correct, as with France, but the reason is not because of the differences regarding policies, but ancient history and the "historical memory". The Scandinavian countries have fought many wars with Russia since the 12th Century, and the memory of the Russian Bear lives on in the Union. The Twilight War caused heavy damage in the North Cape, and both Norway and Finland were involved in the conflict - the former as part of NATO, the other defending her sovereignty from both the Western and Eastern forces. During the Central Asian War, Scandinavia and Russia almost came to blows over the Svalbard Isles but conflict was averted by a furious bout of diplomacy (headed by the more liberal parties on both sides). The end result was a small Scandinavian garrison at Longyearbyen; Russia is still upset about the these forces on Svalbard and the more contentious members of the Duma still wax rhetoric about them.
The United Kingdom: The relationship between the UK and Scandinavia are warm but sometimes rocky. The British exploitation of Greenland in the post-Twilight War years is not forgotten, and the squabbles in 2267 over the seabed mining rights in the Northern Atlantic are still a matter of discussion. However, the UK and Scandinavia have historically enjoyed good relationships, to the extent that British Royal Marines still come to Norway for arctic and mountain training, and the two nations worked jointly on enforcing the North Sea DMZ during the War of German Reunification.
Although not one to meddle in other nations' affairs, the Scandinavian Union has a number of international commitments. The most visible sign of this "internationalism" is peacekeeping. The Scandinavian nations have always been eager to for these kinds of missions.
A typical peacekeeping mission starts with a battalion-size task force of regular troops; the 5th Parachute Brigade, in particular, sees much international duty in this role. The regular troops are responsible for the riskiest phase, when there is a chance of having to separate two or more factions and ending in the middle of it all. Once the situation calms down, a contingent for the mission is raised from volunteer reservists, and the regulars are pulled home.
In addition, there are Scandinavian garrisons on Iceland and Svalbard, plus a naval base and airbase at Scoresbysund in Greenland.
Central Asia (SCANMEDFOR)
The SCANMEDFOR (Scandinavian Medical Force) is the current Scandinavian unit in the Central Asian Republic. It consists of a mobile field hospital, including a major trauma treating unit, plus a small security detachment, based at Almaty. SCANMEDFOR is part of an international effort.
However, this is not the first Scandinavian unit to serve in the area. Shortly after the Central Asian War ended and an international peacekeeping force entered the area, Scandinavia sent in the SCANCAFOR, which consisted of a squadron of tanks, a battalion of mechanised infantry and the 501st Parachute Battalion. Responsible for the security around the southwestern CAR, the SCANCAFOR was made the target of Iranian-backed guerrillas. The SCANCAFOR served in the area for twelve months. In this time, it lost four men dead - a surprisingly low figure. The low casualty figures result partly in the fact that SCANCAFOR undertook a "hearts and minds" program in the area of operations, and partly in that the force once launched a battalion-size assault to eliminate the more intractable guerrillas.
9th Military Mobile Field Hospital
Iceland (Task Force VIKING)
TF VIKING is a small Scandinavian garrison maintained at Keflavik under the defence treaty. In case of a surprise attack, the task force is designed to be a tripwire and a delaying force while more troops are lifted in. Currently TF VIKING is made up from troops of the 9th Division. There are also a battery of long-range SAMs from the division air defence battalion (with radars and command centre, hence the term "independent" battery) and a composite squadron of ASW aircraft and fighter aircraft based at Keflavik.
B Squadron, 121st Armoured Battalion
Svalbard (Task Force BEAR)
Scandinavia maintains a garrison on Svalbard as well. Task Force BEAR was first deployed there in 2285, in the height of the Central Asian War, to protect the islands in case either France or Russia wished to "secure their sea lines" (the French sent a large amount of heavy equipment destined to Central Asia by sea to Arkhangelsk on the White Sea) and send in troops. In addition, they are there to protect the Svalbard Economical Exploitation Zone, an important source for minerals - there is a big offshore platform for the support of underwater harvesters west of the main island group.
TF BEAR, stationed at Longyearbyen, is smaller than TF VIKING, but should anyone start making advances toward the islands, a larger force (spearheaded by the 5th Parachute Brigade) is meant to be deployed in reinforcement at a short notice. Currently TF BEAR is maintained by the 3rd Division.
C Company, 72nd Mechanised Infantry Battalion
Greenland (Task Force SIRIUS)
The Greenland detachment is mainly a Navy and Air Force commitment, but there is a small but remarkable Army unit there as well. This is the Sledge Patrol Sirius: a unit whose history goes back to World War II, when a small number of Greenlanders took up arms against German occupation.
The presence of Anglo-Canadian troops on Greenland is not as volatile as politicians in the three nations would believe. The reason is simply the distance involved: while Scandinavian forces are based on the eastern coast, the Anglo-Canadian forces are on the western coast. The distance separating them is over 1000 kilometres, most of it adverse to combat operations, and the most usual contact between the nations' forces is an aircraft or drone looking on the other's manoeuvres. As an aside, the UK and the Scandinavian countries have traditionally been close friends, and the soldiers see themselves as colleagues, not potential enemies.
The Sledge Patrol Sirius is composed of some 30 volunteer national servicemen from Denmark plus ten regular veterans, operating Bv 50 all-terrain vehicles. Their main mission these days is controlling the seal and polar bear populations and rescuing lost travellers, but service in the Sirius Patrol is still highly sought after.
Task Force SIRIUS is based at Scoresbysund on the eastern Greenland coast, with a small element at Ammassalik.
Sledge Patrol Sirius
Scandinavian Union and the Kafer War
Scandinavia joined the multinational Liberation effort for two reasons. The first was to show solidarity with the international community, a typically Scandinavian reason. The second reason , however, was far more pragmatic: Avalon.
Under the Lowe Act, the Scandinavian Union (with New Zealand and Indonesia) could colonise the planet with American assistance and support. To show the world that Scandinavia would indeed fight for her colony in the stars, and to show the voters that the Union could not remain on Earth forever, the decision was made to join the effort.
There are two Scandinavian units participating in the Kafer War: Task Force WOLF, which is a combat force, and Task Force ARNHEM, which forms a large part of the British 2nd Joint Fleet Medical Unit aboard HMS Arnhem.
Task Force WOLF
Scandinavia chose to deploy a light infantry formation for simple economic reasons: the task of spacelifting a large amount of mechanised war gear would take an inordinate amount of time and lift capacity.
Currently, the task force slated for the Liberation consists of a parachute battalion plus a small special forces group. The forces have seen action in the Ludwigsberge area on BCV-4, where the excellent arctic training of the Scandinavian forces has given sterling service. The versatile paratroopers have earned much German praise, both on the BCV-4 and on Earth. Casualties have been light and the publicity heavy, and there are currently no plans to terminate Scandinavian participation.
2nd and 8th Platoons, SSG
Task Force ARNHEM
TF ARNHEM, which forms the main part of the British JFMU-2 aboard the orbital assault ship HMS Arnhem, is a peculiarity in the Scandinavian effort. In addition to the full complement of personnel of a mobile field hospital, it also holds a number of female medical orderlies from the Oslo Military Hospital. As a result, TF ARNHEM and JFMU-2 have garnered quite much fame as being the only medical unit soldiers actually fight to get into.
7th Mobile Field Hospital (personnel only)
Scandinavia maintains a sizable domestic arms and ordnance manufacturing capability. The reasons for this are part domestic (jobs), part military (self-reliance) and part commercial (foreign export). Although Scandinavian politicians tend to keep a sharp eye on which customers are sold which equipment, some weapons have found their way to the black market. In 2301 a number of G4 rifles turned up in the hands of Central Asian guerrillas; both the Security Police and the Military Security Service are looking into this, since the rifles haven't been sold to anywhere within a thousand kilometres of Central Asia.
Personal and Man-Portable Weapons
G4 7mm Binary Assault Rifle (Gevär Model 4)
The G4 has been the standard service rifle of the Scandinavian Army since 2288, when it replaced the G3 (a conventional rifle still soldiering on with some reserve brigades and the Hemvärnet).
Designed by FFV-Sako Ordnance, the G4 is a bullpup binary assault rifle that was built specifically for Scandinavian demands. As a result, it is rugged and reliable, working equally well in Arctic conditions as well as the more temperate zones; it was even tested in the United Arab Republic for desert conditions and in Indochina for hot and humid environments.
The weapon fires an indigenous 7x15mm round. This round was designed to have both good ballistic performance and armour penetration. The bullet is highly pointed with a tungsten core; upon impact with flesh, it tumbles, creating a large wound cavity. To eliminate the need for carrying separate magazines and propellant bottles, FFV-Sako designed a magazine that contained the necessary propellant for 100 rounds.
Mounted under the barrel is a 30-millimetre underbarrel grenade launcher, which is closely tied to the rifle's electro-optical sighting system and laser designator to take advantage of programmable munitions. Although tailored for the Scandinavian Gr 30 series of grenades, software modifications enable the launcher to be used with foreign ordnance as well. High explosive, high-explosive dual purpose and smoke grenades are available for the weapon.
Finally, the G4 mounts an DECA Optronics S-3 electro-optical combat sight. It features a variable magnification (from 1.5x for MOUT combat to 6x for battlefield "designated marksman" role), a thermal imager and a laser rangefinder/designator. The last feature is used in concert with programmable grenades. Targeting data is displayed on either the sight's own display or broadcast directly into helmet optics. The sight is powered by a small battery in the rifle stock.
Type: 7mm binary assault rifle with 30mm grenade launcher, Country: Scandinavian Union, Weight: 3.7 kg empty, Length: 79 cm (Bulk=3), Action: Single shots or bursts, Ammunition: 7x15mm, Muzzle Velocity: 1000 m/s, Magazine: 40-round box, integral propellant box with enough gas for 100 rounds (aimed or burst fire), Magazine Weight: 0.45 kg, ROF: 3, Aimed Fire Range: 800 m, Area Fire Burst: 10 (AFV=1), Area Fire Range: 500 m, DP Value: 0.8, Price: 1400 Kr (560 Lv), 25 Kr (10 Lv) for a magazine
MG4 7mm Binary General Purpose Machine Gun (Maskingevär Model 4)
The MG4 is the general purpose machine gun of the Scandinavian Army, in service since 2289. It can be found in several different incarnations and configurations, including light machine gun (section use), medium machine gun (support platoons, with a heavier barrel and often a tripod as well), anti-aircraft machine gun (on a pintle mount), point defence weapon and even on a combat walker's shoulder mount on the Thor CW.
The LMG, MMG and AAMG versions use 200-round cassettes; the MMG and AAMG versions feature cooled heavy barrels for sustained fire but they are otherwise identical to the light machine gun. The point defence weapon uses a large (3,000-round) ammunition drum, a linkless feeding mechanism and a separate propellant container combined with an on-mount sensor. The CW version works on the same principle, but with a 1,000-round drum, a correspondingly smaller propellant container, and suitable electronics for CW use.
Type: 7mm binary machine gun, Country: Scandinavian Union, Weight: 6.5 kg empty, Length: 109 cm (Bulk=4), Action: Single shots or bursts, Ammunition: 7x15mm, Muzzle Velocity: 1000 m/s, Magazine: 200-round box, separate propellant bottle for 1,000 rounds or 60 bursts, Magazine Weight: 1.25 kg, ROF: 3, Aimed Fire Range: 800 m (1000 m on a tripod or other mount), Area Fire Burst: 20 (AFV=2), Area Fire Range: 600 m (750 m on a tripod or other mount), DP Value: 0.8, Price: 2500 Kr (1000 Lv), 12.50 Kr (5 Lv) for a 200-round cassette
P4 10mm Automatic Pistol (Pistol Model 4)
The P4 is manufactured by FFV-Sako Ordnance as a service sidearm for police and military forces. It features a composite frame, an advanced alloy slide and a large-capacity magazine. Military and special police versions feature an attachment point for laser pointers or tactical lights, and a number of P4s have been built with an extended barrel for the mounting of suppressors. A compact version (length 17.5 cm, magazine 13 rounds) is available as well; this is used by plainclothes military personnel such as the Military Security Service and bodyguards. The P4 is also the standard sidearm of the Scandinavian police force, and has acquired some foreign law enforcement sales as well. It is also sold on the civilian sports shooting market.
Type: 10mm automatic pistol, Country: Scandinavian Union, Weight: 590 g empty, Length: 20 cm (Bulk=0), Action: Single shots, Ammunition: 10x20mm fixed cartridge ball, Muzzle Velocity: 400 mps, Magazine: 15-round detachable box, Magazine Weight: 0.2 kg, ROF: 3, Aimed Fire Range: 60 metres, Area Fire Burst: 3 rounds (AFV=0.25), Area Fire Range: 30 metres, DP Value: 0.4, Price: 425 Kr (Lv 170)
PSG2 8.5mm Sniper Rifle (Prickskyttegevär Model 2)
A conventional but extremely accurate semiautomatic rifle, the PSG2 was designed to military needs by the Long-Range Precision Rifle Research Team, "with the remarkable result of a good rifle designed by a committee", as one marksman put it. It features a good electro-optic sight, a fold-up bipod and an extendable stock rest.
Interestingly the SUDF chose a conventional rifle over a gauss design, which had been proposed for the new sniper weapon as well. While gauss sniper rifles offer good accuracy, armour-penetration capability and range, they are also very heavy and long due to their specialised mechanisms, ie. the linear accelerators. The PSG2 is half the weight and 20 cm shorter than the FTE-10 for example, while offering a practical range of over 1000 metres.
Type: 8.5mm semiautomatic sniper rifle, Country: Scandinavian Union, Weight: 5.2 kg with bipod and sight, Length: 109 cm (Bulk=4), Action: Single shots, Ammunition: 8.5x70mm fixed cartridge ball, Muzzle Velocity: 1100 m/s, Magazine: 10-round detachable box, Magazine Weight: 0.3 kg, ROF: 3, Aimed Fire Range: 800 m (1100 m with bipod), Area Fire Burst: 3 rounds (AFV=0.25), Area Fire Range: 600 m, DP Value: 1.3, Price: 3000 Kr (Lv 1200)
PM 7 Pilen Man-Portable Guided Anti-Tank Missile (Pansarvärnmissil 7)
The PM 7 Pilen ("Arrow") is the standard man-portable ("light") anti-tank missile in use with the SUDF. They are issued to support platoons and companies in infantry battalions, and a specialised version (PM 7B) is also mounted on the Thor combat walker. A totally indigenous design, PM 7 manufactured by the Scanavia Missile Division.
Type: Man-portable antivehicle missile, Country: Scandinavian Union, Launcher Weight: 10 kg, Missile Weight: 9 kg, Range: 6000 m, Guidance: Selectable between automatic following gunner lock-on and SACLOS, Homing Value: 15, Attack Angle: Selectable, Damage: As tamped explosion (EV=35), Price: Not disclosed, Missile Speed: 1000 m/s, Missile Endurance: 6 seconds
PM 8 Lansen Heavy Anti-Tank Guided Missile (Pansarvärnmissil 8)
The Lansen ("Lance") is the heavy anti-tank missile of the SUDF. They can be mounted on vehicles from light jeeps to IFVs to armoured vehicles; in the IFV version, the missile is mounted in a two-shot "pop-up" launcher, while the tank version uses a vertical launch system (in the Kyrassier) or a modified German launcher (on the LkPz-IX). The missile is manufactured by the Scanavia Missile Division
Type: Heavy anti-tank missile, Country: Scandinavian Union, Launcher Weight: Variable, Missile Weight: 22 kg, Range: 8000 m, Guidance: Selectable between automatic following gunner lock-on and SACLOS, Homing Value: 16, Attack Angle: Selectable, Damage: As tamped explosion (EV=45), Price: Not disclosed, Missile Speed: 1200 m/s, Missile Endurance: 6.6 seconds