"For the first time since 1975, the Armed Forces carry out an unannounced emergency readiness test of the entire Home Guard," the Swedish Armed Forces said.
The press service added that all of the 40 Home Guard battalions, which collectively comprise 22,000 volunteer soldiers, had been mobilized since late Tuesday for the exercise, which will continue throughout Wednesday's National Day holiday.
"We have a duty to strengthen Sweden's defense and increase our operational capacity. This is a way to do so. This is a large exercise. We are testing the emergency system for almost half of our operational organization, which has not been done since 1975," Micael Byden, the Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces, said as quoted in the press release.
The Swedish Home Guard, which is an integral part of the Armed Forces' operational force, was founded in 1939-1940. The service is expected to be on high alert to provide a rapid response within hours. The units are tasked with protecting, monitoring, and supporting society at times of crisis, thereby providing a national and territorial bulwark for the Swedish defense.