FRO is one of 18 voluntary defense organisations in Sweden. These organisations were originally founded by citizens to support the military defense. Today they have an additional task of supporting society by recruiting and training members to be posted in the Civilian Authorities in addition to the Armed Forces.
FRO was established in , initially as part of SSA, the Swedish Association of Radio Amateurs. Experience gained from the period of national preparedness during the Second World War led to the conclusion that we should improve the communications skills of signals personnel. It was proposed that further training should be made available on a voluntary basis for those who already were skilled radio operators with a view to increasing the number of skilled signals personnel.
Today FRO is open to all Swedish citizens and other nationalities living in Sweden - men, women and children, regardless of age or technical skills. The activities are based simply on an interest in communications and related technology. FRO has some 4 000 members, many of them involved in communication either professionally or as a hobby. Communications is not only for specialists and FRO makes the necessary training available to the members.
In the event of a disaster of a long duration, civilian resources are often stretched to the limit. At such times, voluntary radio operators can help to take the workload of from the ordinary communications personnel. FRO has the task to provide communications personnel to the Civilian Authorities as well as to the National Defence (the Home Guard).
A valuable way of exercising is by taking part in the provision of what might be called “communications services”. Many events in the world of sports or entertainment simply could not be held without a smoothly functioning communications system. FRO has a important role to play here. Major events in which FRO has played a vital part in providing a communications service include orienteering, cycling and alpine skiing events.
FRO has, for a long time, been prepared to assist with its communications resources in emergencies such as accidents and forest fires as well as helping with search parties etc. With their own equipment and personnel trained to work together through their activities within the organisation. This kind of help can generally be obtained quickly by contacting the local FRO branch or through the central office in Stockholm by calling +46 8 528 077 30 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.