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Kustjägarna (KJ)
Active 1956 - Present
Country Sweden
Branch Amfibiekåren / Amphibious Corps
Type Reconnaissance
Role Long range reconnaissance, sabotage and assaults.
Garrison/HQ Berga, Stockholm
Motto “Mod, kraft och spänst” ("Courage, strength and fitness")

Kustjägarna / Coastal Rangers is located in Berga at Första Amfibieregementet, AMF1 (First Marine Regiment) and is a Swedish military unit. The unit is mainly focused on intelligence gathering, sabotage and in some cases amphibious landings.

Contents

History

Kustjägarna, KJ (Coastal Rangers) was created in 1956 and modeled after the British post-World War II marine commando forces such as the Royal Marines and the Special Boat Service (SBS), with the objective to create a highly mobile force which had the flexibility to operate behind enemy lines and conduct raids against an invading force in the littoral areas of Sweden. The Coastal Rangers was during the late parts of the cold war (80s, beginning of 90s) used mainly as a very highly trained light infantry/commando unit whose main tasks were amphibious landings and assaults. Because of this alignment it was very important to have high discipline, strenuous training and a rough attitude. But now (2000-present) when the missions have changed, the company has changed its attitude to keep a lower profile to fit their present tasks better.

Coastal Rangers were also trained at the 2nd Coastal Artillery Regiment (KA2) in Karlskrona for two years between 1998 and 2000 before it was shut down. Up until 1998, they had only been trained at the 1st Coastal Artillery Regiment (KA1) at Waxholm. (Currently known as the 1st Marine Regiment, AMF1)

Organization

KJ is a part of Första Amfibieregementet, AMF1. The Coastal Ranger-company's main task is gathering information to be used by the other parts of the Amphibious Regiment, which means that KJ is gathering intelligence to be used when the Amfibieskytte (marine rifles), the missile platoon, mortar platoon or other fighting parts of the regiment are preparing for assaults/amphibious landings.

As a Coastal Ranger, each of the following occupations are available:

Section Commander: Selected through a democratic vote by the soldiers, so the troopers in each section have the highest confidence in him and his leadership qualities.

Communications specialist: Has the responsibility for the section's communication with the higher command. The communications specialist is required to have more physical stamina, as the radio equipment must be carried with the rest of his kit, making the already heavy backpack even heavier. Although, the load is normally rotated around the section on longer evolutions.

Medic: He is responsible for tending to wounds and injuries. He carries no red cross-markings and is not protected by the laws of war and is expected to participate in firefights when engaged. The medic receives 520 hours of emergency medical training and spends three weeks at a civilian hospital. Cross-training with the Parachute Ranger School and the Airforce rangers are common.

Demolitions expert: Each section includes two demolition experts. They are proficient with the use of mines and explosives. The purpose of the demolition experts is to give the sections the ability to conduct ambushes using mines, and to perform sabotage with explosives. They are trained on every mine-system in the Swedish Armed Forces and how to employ them effectively.

Fire Support Group: The FSG-soldier is a part of a larger ranger section, specialized in fire support. The FSG is needed when the ranger company conducts assaults, because of its greater firepower. Each soldier gets extensive training on many different weapon systems: Browning M2HB .50 caliber machinegun, Mk.19 Grenade Launcher, KSP M/58B and Carl Gustav M/48 Anti-tank rifle.

Sniper: While following the creed "one shot, one kill" the snipers operate in pairs; spotter and shooter. The snipers employ two main weapon systems: PSG90 (Accuracy International L96A1 AW) and AG90 (Barrett M82A1 SASR (Special Application Scoped Rifle)) The sniper pairs´ missions is to eliminate key personnel and reconnaissance.

Attack Diver: Upon passing selection, the recruit must pass the same tests as the regular rangers to earn the green beret and trident. The Attack Divers are more focused on reconnaissance and use closed circuit rebreathers when diving is used for infiltration. The unit is modeled after the British Special Boat Service.

Upon passing their "I-dyk" (litt. intensive diving-phase), they bend the two outer tips of the trident inwards to distinguish themselves as Attack Divers. On average, 10-15 Attack Divers are trained each year.

Operations and training

The tasks of the Kustjägarna are predominantly focused on, but not restricted to, the littoral and riverine waterborne domains, including:

  • Coastal reconnaissance
  • Reconnaissance and target indication in the deep battlespace
  • Assault/sabotage on verified targets

Coastal Ranger recruits are all volunteers. If the applicant scores high enough during the two days of compulsory screening for all men, he/she can apply for Coastal Ranger assessment and selection. Selection takes two days and will test your fitness, physical strength and motivation. Failure at any point will result in getting dropped. You may also not be selected in the end if you pass the tests but your results were not competitive enough. The prospective recruit will also go through a set of interviews with a psychologist and an officer of the ranger company. Before you go back home, you will receive a physical training program which the recruit is expected to follow to prepare himself. He is also issued his boots and socks so he can wear them in and use them while following the PT-program. The focus lies on swimming, overall body strength and marching and running with a back pack, and the recruit is encouraged to progressively increase the load carried.

To be eligible for Attack Diver training, the Coastal Ranger recruit must pass yet another selection. Selection takes place during the final stages of basic training. Exactly what kind of tests the recruits must pass is not disclosed to the public and a recruit that fails selection and goes back to the ranger company must not tell the rest of the platoon about what he saw.

Training starts with twelve weeks of basic training, where the recruit is taught basic infantry skills, common with all units within the armed forces, but the tempo is much higher. At the end of basic training, the recruits are eligible to apply for attack diver selection. After basic training, the green beret is awarded and each recruit begins his specific speciality training as listed earlier.

The recruits are tested throughout their training to earn the green beret and neptune trident. The tests include:

  • Speed march: A 6,5 kilometer run with full webbing, weapon, day sack and combat boots in formation and a correct pace in under 40 minutes. The platoon run together.
  • Obstacle course: A 5,5 kilometer obstacle course with the same kit as above to be completed in less than 42 minutes. The recruits run in groups of 3-4 to emphasize teamwork (many of the obstacles are impossible to negotiate on your own).
  • Weapons test: A shooting and safety drill.
  • Exercise Neptune: A two week endurance exercise, after which the golden trident of neptune is awarded, provided that all of the above listed tests are passed. The exercise tests basic skills under very adverse conditions.
  • Exercise Bronto: A two week endurance exercise. The exercise tests advanced skills under very adverse conditions.
  • 120-nautical-mile (220 km) kayak race: A simulated long range infiltration with klepper kayaks. To be completed in under 48 hours.

Unfortunately, many recruits leave the unit prematurely due to injuries. Injuries are common, but most injuries are in fact old injuries that the recruit neglected to inform the officers about during selection. Some people without previous injuries find the over-all strain of training too much for them and leave for this reason.

International Involvement

KJ have been involved in low-intensity conflicts under UN flag, notably Kosovo and Bosnia, where they served as the intelligence platoon to KFOR, primarily working with personal based intelligence gathering. At the KS01 (HUMINT) operation a Coastal Ranger platoon relieved the Swedish Parachute Rangers. (“HUMINT”)[1]

Insignia

The unit’s insignia (förbandstecken) is the Neptune Treudd. This was worn as a cap badge on the green beret, but is now worn as a patch on the M/90 field uniform and as a badge on the M/87 uniform. The Neptune Treudd (neptune trident) can be worn on uniforms in any unit, as it is an award for completed training, whereas the insignia shows affiliation to the particular army unit.

The green beret used to be awarded after completing Övning Amfibie, a one week endurance exercise within the Marine regiment, but is now awarded to each member of the regiment, ranger or not, at the end of basic training. This exercise is still undertaken by the remainder of the regiment and at the end, they are awarded a patch of their own, like the coastal rangers.

See also

External links

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Notes



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