"In my opinion it is imperative to have a vice captain with whom both I and all the players feel extremely comfortable and Anders was my first choice," Langer said Wednesday.
"He has enormous respect throughout the world of golf and a wealth of experience when it comes to international matches. We have been friends for a number of years and get along very well."
Forsbrand said his selection came "totally out of the blue.
Langer, in Ponte Vedra Beach for the Players Championship at Sawgrass, also named another Swede, Joakim Haeggman as an assistant on the European cup team.
The 35th Ryder Cup Matches will be played at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Sept. 17-19.