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Swedish soldiers wilt under load of heavy packs

TT/Rebecca Martin · 26 Apr 2011, 10:53

Published: 26 Apr 2011 10:53 GMT+02:00

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The number of items weighing down the Swedish soldier has grown considerably over the years, according to the report by the Swedish military, with almost every second officer now suffering pain due to modern kit requirements.

“It isn’t tough to carry a heavy burden, just stupid. But we’re trying to rationalize the gear as much as we can,” Andreas Davidsson of the Swedish Air Force Rangers said to Sveriges Radio (SR).

But however much they try to cut back, there is only so much you can eliminate and remain ready for all the eventualities of modern warfare.

According to news agency TT, the investigation carried out by the Swedish Armed Forces show that some soldiers are lugging about up to 80 kilograms of equipment.

Andreas Davidsson and his rangers aren’t the worst when it comes to over packing, but they still carry approximately 60 kilograms of equipment with them.

Most of the items are vital for military operations - weapons, protective gear, backpack, ammunition and grenades.

And the list of necessary kit just seems to increase with every campaign, Davidsson reported.

The average WWII soldier carried 25 kilogrammes of equipment, according to SR. During the Gulf War in the 1990’s the amount had almost doubled, and today some soldiers are carrying almost twice as much again.

Story continues below…

The question is where it will end if the requirements on equipment continue to increase and Andreas Davidsson is concerned over the development.

“That’s just not possible. Carrying an extra 100 percent of your bodyweight is not progress,” he told SR.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:23 April 26, 2011 by philster61
Poor little dears......Perhaps they should ditch the laptops or the extra sprit....guess they aren't as fit as other serving soldiers.....
13:39 April 26, 2011 by Nemesis
80 kilo is way to much.
13:42 April 26, 2011 by joeyt
There are exoskeletons specially designed with this problem in mind:


There, fixed it for you. Just increase the defence budget now and place an order.
14:04 April 26, 2011 by Stickeroo
Wowza, 80kg? That's a lot, 40-60 is quite normal, but when you actually deploy the weight comes down quite a bit. They make you carry tons of extra crap in training that you don't even need in the field. All you really need is your rifle, your side arm, and LOTS of ammo! A field cleaning kit is good to have too. Food you can take by force from the locals lol! Oh Oh, and a handycam so you can post videos of things blowing up on YouTube!!!
14:11 April 26, 2011 by Rick Methven
My son got a bad back when he did his lumpen and was off 2 weeks sick. he had to carry everything including the kitchen sink.
14:50 April 26, 2011 by zeero
Come on, Sweden doesn't even have real military not to talk about real soldiers. They have no idea what is needed to today's battlefield. They think that every soldier needs to act like a wannabe special forces. It's common to fit your load to the mission and environment up a head, but to tell them that... Oh no.. they know best!
16:24 April 26, 2011 by Tanskalainen
All those cans of surstromming are extremely heavy, however when they get to be too much you can throw them at the enemy.
16:41 April 26, 2011 by Borilla
Come on. It's not like they have fought a war in the last 200 years. Their biggest danger seems to be getting charged with human trafficking. The army can just forget its equipment and do as they have for the last 300 years - defend Sweden to the last Finn.
16:53 April 26, 2011 by millionmileman
This is not a joke in any army the extra weight is far in access of what happened in the past. Did you ever see a video of WWII Russian Soldiers or a 1939 Finns with much more than a rifle.

Many Veterans who carried heavy loads are now facing back problems or need knee replacements. These are just orthopedic facts.
17:01 April 26, 2011 by Uriel9
Zeero: You're here because your own country is crap. You need to remember that more often. It doesn't matter where you're from, if it was any good you would be there instead of here since you hate here so much.
22:41 April 26, 2011 by NickO.
@Stickeroo, zeero, Borilla

Video recently released from Försvarsmakten


These brave men are putting their lives at mortal risk daily.
22:43 April 26, 2011 by wxman
Some here will be living under Sharia Law long before those "crap" countries.
23:24 April 26, 2011 by Bostonexpat
@Zeero-- you truly don't have a clue about the Swedish military; they're deploying in war zones. You can't pull that off as boy scouts.
23:38 April 26, 2011 by Carbarrister
I admire the Swedish Air Force Rangers and their realistic training. if you are going to deploy for real you need to train the same way. From personal experience I understand soldiers wear heavy body armor and need to carry all the equipment they need but 80 kgs is too much. It cuts into effectivness.

Semper Fi
02:32 April 27, 2011 by spy
Train hard fight easy.
07:45 April 27, 2011 by Raiha
80kg makes no sense to me for regular Army unless they're being inserted and deploying on foot for some kind of long-range recon. Or maybe they're building a base or putting up repeater stations? I don't know... As someone pointed out already, sounds more like special forces.

Special forces should absolutely be able to carry that much. How can you save a friend if you can't lift him?

(25/4 Lest we forget)
05:52 May 1, 2011 by wenddiver
Keep working, the eguipment is never to good for the Armies defending Freedom.
18:13 May 5, 2011 by David Pegg
They ought to have a look at LumbaCurve, a portable, drug free lower back pain therapy device, which can also act as a paliative therapy. See http://www.lumbacurve.co.uk/lumbacurve-video/how-lumbacurve-works/ or have a look at Mercante in Oslo

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