Norwegian Armed Forces
|Norwegian Armed Forces|
|Headquarters||Norwegian Joint Headquarters|
|Prime Minister||Jonas Gahr Støre|
|Minister of Defence||Bjørn Arild Gram|
|Chief of Defence||General Eirik Kristoffersen|
|Military age||Male: 17-44 (55 for officers) years of age for compulsory military service.
Female: 17 years of age for military service. Compulsory for females born in 2000 or later.
|Conscription||19-month service obligation.|
|31,980 males, |
|Active personnel||23,250 (2019)|
|Reserve personnel||40,000 in the Norwegian Home Guard (2019)|
|Deployed personnel||384 (2019)|
|Budget||US$7.231 billion (2020)|
|Percent of GDP||2% (2020)|
|History||Military history of Norway|
|Ranks||Ranks and insignia|
The Norwegian Armed Forces (Norwegian: Forsvaret, "The Defence") is the military organisation responsible for the defence of Norway. It consists of five branches, the Norwegian Army, the Royal Norwegian Navy, which includes the Coast Guard, the Royal Norwegian Air Force, the Home Guard, and Norwegian Cyber Defence Force as well as several joint departments.
The military force in peace time is around 23,250 personnel including military and civilian staff, and around 63,250 in total with the current military personnel, conscripts and the Norwegian Home Guard in full mobilization.
Among European NATO members, the military expenditure of US$7.2 billion is the highest per capita.
An organised military was first assembled in Norway in the 9th century and its early focus was naval warfare. The army was created in 1628 as part of Denmark–Norway, followed by two centuries of regular wars. A Norwegian military was established in 1814, but the military did not see combat until the German occupation of Norway in 1940. Norway abandoned its position as a neutral country in 1949 to become a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). The Cold War saw a large build-up of air stations and military bases, especially in Northern Norway. Since the 2000s, the military has transformed from a focus on defence from an invasion to a mobile force for international missions.
The formal commander-in-chief is King Harald V; however, the de facto supreme decision-making is made by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister. The Chief of Defence (a four-star general or admiral) is the professional head and leader of the armed forces, and is the principal military adviser to the Minister of Defence. The Chief of Defence and his staff is located at Akershus Fortress in Oslo, while the Norwegian Joint Headquarters, responsible for commanding operations, is located in Bodø. The main naval base is Haakonsvern in Bergen, the main army camps are in Bardu, Målselv and Rena, and the main air station is Ørland.
Military branches (in order of seniority):
- Norwegian Army
- Royal Norwegian Navy
- Royal Norwegian Air Force
- Home Guard
- Norwegian Cyber Defence Force
- Norwegian Special Operation Forces (NORSOF)
Other main structures include:
- Defence Staff Norway (DEFSTNOR) in Oslo acts as the staff of the Chief of Defence. It is headed by a three-star general or admiral. DEFSTNOR assigns priorities, manages resources, provides force generation and support activities. Each of the four branches of defence is headed by a two-star general/admiral who are subordinate to DEFSTNOR.
- Norwegian Joint Headquarters (NJHQ) located at Reitan, close to Bodø has operational control of Norwegian armed forces worldwide 24/7. It is headed by the Supreme Commander Norwegian Forces – a three-star general or admiral.
- Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation (NDLO) at Kolsås outside Oslo is responsible for engineering, procurement, investment, supply, information and communications technology. It is also responsible for maintenance, repair and storage of material.
Conscription was constitutionally established the 12 April 1907 with Kongeriket Norges Grunnlov § 119. Norway employs a weak form of mandatory military service for men and women. While 62,873 men and women were called in for the examination of persons liable for military service in 2010 (mandatory for men), 9,631 were conscripted. In practice recruits are not forced to serve, instead only those who are motivated are selected. In earlier times, up until at least the early 2000s, all men aged 19–44 were subject to mandatory service, with good reasons required to avoid becoming drafted.
Since 1985, women have been able to enlist for voluntary service as regular recruits. On 14 June 2013, the Norwegian Parliament voted to extend conscription to women. In 2015 conscription was extended to women making Norway the first NATO member and first European country to make national service compulsory for both men and women. In 2020, women made up one-third of new conscripts.
There is a right of conscientious objection.
Students of professional subjects (doctors, psychologists, pharmacists, dentists, etc.) may serve their conscription after completing a six weeks course, receiving lieutenant ranking when they begin their service. This arrangement is called Conscript Academic Officer (Norwegian: Vernepliktige akademikere (VA)).
In 2020, the media said that "several soldiers said that they were informed about additional four months of service; the information was given after military service had started".[needs context]
- 1 Norwegian Joint Headquarters in Bodø
- Norwegian Intelligence Service
- 12 Home Guard districts
- Tactical Mobile Land/Maritime Command
- Joint ISTAR Unit (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance)
- Airborne Ground Surveillance (joint NATO project)
- Norwegian Home Guard – 45,000 personnel, rapid reaction forces, follow-on-forces, reinforcement forces and reserves.
- Capacity for information operations
- Norwegian Defence Security Department (NORDSD)
- Flexible medical units
- NRBC protection (Nuclear, radiological, biological, chemical weapons )
- Explosive Ordnance Disposal
- Joint C2I Unit (command, control and information)
- Civil Military Coordination Unit (CIMIC)
- Deployable logistical support
- 2 mobilisation host country battalions (logistics for allied reinforcements)
- Brigade Nord (operational units)
- Armoured Battalion (Panserbataljonen, 1.Bn), in Setermoen with Leopard 2A4NO main battle tanks and CV90 infantry fighting vehicles
- 2nd Battalion (2. Bataljon), mechanized infantry in Skjold with Bandvagn 206 vehicles
- Telemark Battalion (Telemark Bataljon, 3.Bn), in Rena with Leopard 2A4NO main battle tanks and CV90 infantry fighting vehicles
- Artillery Battalion (Artilleribataljonen), in Setermoen with K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers
- Combat Engineer Battalion (Ingeniørbataljonen), in Skjold
- Signal Battalion (Sambandsbataljonen), in Bardufoss
- Medical Battalion (Sanitetsbataljonen), in Setermoen
- Combat Service Support Battalion (Stridstrenbataljonen), in Bardufoss
- Military Police Company (Militærpoliti-kompaniet), in Bardufoss
- Finnmark Territorial Defence (Finnmark Landforsvar)
- Army Weapons School
- His Majesty the King's Guard
- Logistics and Operational Support
- Operation Support Detachment
- 4 Fridtjof Nansen-class Aegis frigates
- 6 Skjold-class fast missile boats.
- 6 Ula-class submarines
- Mine Warfare Capability
- 6 (8) Oksøy-class mine hunters and Alta-class minesweepers
- Mine Clearance Command (divers); HNoMS Tyr support vessel
- Naval Special Warfare Group
- Logistics/Support Capacity
- Coast Guard
- 1 Svalbard-class vessel
- 3 Barentshav class vessels
- 3 Nordkapp-class offshore patrol vessel
- Leased vessels (NoCGV Tromsø and KV Ålesund, KV Harstad, 6 ocean patrol vessels)
- Inner coast guard (25 leased vessels)
- Tug capacity
- Strategic Sealift
Royal Norwegian Air Force
- 72 + 2(1987) F-16 Fighting Falcon about 50-60 operational. (Being replaced by 52 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II)
- 2 Air Control Centre/Recognized Air picture Production Centre/Sensor Fusion post (ARS Sørreisa and ARS Mågerø)
- Strategic Airlift / Aerial refueling (common NATO projects)
- Maritime surveillance (4 x P-3C Orion and 2 x P-3N Orion). (Being replaced by five P-8A Poseidon, to be delivered between 2022 and 2023.)
- Electronic Warfare (2 + 1 DA-20 Jet Falcon)
- Transport 4x C-130J Super Hercules
- Air Defence (NASAMS 3)
- Air Wing for Special Forces (6 x Bell 412)
- 18 Bell 412 transport helicopters
- Deployable base support
- 12 Sea King search and rescue helicopters. (Being replaced by 16 AW101)
Norwegian Home Guard
- Home Guard
Norwegian Cyber Defence Force
The Norwegian Special Operations Command (NORSOCOM)' (Forsvarets Spesialstyrker (FS), was formed on 1 January 2014 by bringing the Special Operations Commando - (Forsvarets Spesialkommando (FSK), the army special warfare unit) and the Naval Special Operations Commando (Marinejegerkommandoen (MJK), the naval special warfare unit) together under a unified command.
- Chief of NORSOCOM (Sjef FS), a two-star officer, member of the Commander of the Armed Forces's management group (ledergruppen)
- Taktisk Kommando (TAKOM) - special forces-specific command element embedded with the Norwegian Joint Headquarters (Forsvarets operative hovedkvarter (FOH)) outside Bodø.
- Special Operations Commando (Norwegian: Forsvarets Spesialkommando) (FSK), at Rena Army Camp (Rena leir), part of Østerdal Garrison (Østerdal garnison)
- FSK Staff (FSK stab)
- unknown number of combat squadrons (kampskvadroner)
- Paratrooper platoon (Fallskjermjegertroppen), platoon consisting of conscripts highly trained for raid and airborne ISTAR operations.
- Hunter [or Ranger] Troop (Jegertroppen), special reconnaissance training unit, made up of female conscripts (vernepliktige kvinnelige soldater)
- Initial and Operational Special Forces Training Base (Trenings- og beredskapsbase) on the tiny islet ot Vealøs facing the former Karljohansvern Naval Base in Horten
- Naval Special Operations Commando (Norwegian: Marinejegerkommandoen) (MJK), at Jaeger's Bight (Jegerbukten) in Haakonsvern Naval Base (Haakonsvern orlogsstasjon), near Bergen. A research paper of the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment puts the force structure of the MJK at a staff and six combat squadrons (seks skvadroner og en stab):
- MJK Staff (MJK stab)
- Alfa Squadron (Alfa skvadronen) - combat divers squadron, Norway's premier naval special warfare unit
- Bravo Squadron (Bravo skvadronen) - combat divers squadron, entry unit for recent graduates of the frogmen training course
- Reconnaissance Squadron (Etterretningsskvadronen) - special reconnaissance and intelligence unit
- Echo Squadron (Echo skvadronen) - special boat squadron (Spesialbåtskvadron)
- Lima Squadron (Lima skvadronen) - combat service support squadron (Støtteskvadronen)
- Training Squadron (Utdanningsskvadronen), at Ramsund Naval War Station (Ramsund orlogsstasjon) near Tjeldsund
- 339 Special Operations Aviation Squadron, at Rygge Air Station, flying Bell 412SP helicopters, providing air support to the special forces and the Norwegian SWAT unit. Being an air force unit, chief NORSOCOM executes tactical command of 339 SOAS.
- Special Operations Air Task Group (SOATG), at Rygge Air Station, providing operational planning, command and control for Norwegian Air Force assets deployed in support of special operations.
Norwegian Defence University College
The Norwegian Defence University College (NDUC) (Norwegian (bokmål): Forsvarets høgskole) is the institution in charge of officer and NCO training, re-qualification and military studies. The officer schools of the separate armed services are departments under NDUC and thus independent from their respective services. The central administration of the NDUC is located at the historic Akershus Fortress in the city center of Oslo.
Chief of the NDUC
The NDUC is headed by the Chief of the NDUC (sjef FHS, also referred to as rektor), a two-star rank.
The Chief of the NDUC is assisted by the Leading Group (or the Leader's Group, Ledergruppen), composed of the NDUC's Chief of Staff (stabssjef), the officer in charge of academic work (dekan), the chiefs of the Military Academy (Krigsskolen, the army officer school) , the Air Force Academy (Luftkrigsskolen, the air force officer school) and the Naval Academy (Sjøkrigsskolen, the naval officer school), the Chief of the Cyber Engineer Academy (Cyberingeniørskolen, the recently established Cyber Defence branch's officer school), the Chief of the NCO School (Befalsskolen, joint for the armed forces), the directors of the two institutes for military studies and the NDUC's Command Sergeant Major (sjefssersjant).
The Managing Board of the NDUC (Høgskolestyret) is the governing body and it includes the Chief of the NDUC, The chiefs of the Army (Hæren), Navy (Sjøforsvaret) and the Air Force (Luftforsvaret), three members of the board (tre ansattrepresentanter), one external (audit) member of the board (ekstern representant) and one student (cadet or civilian) member of the board (studentrepresentant).
NDUC HS Administration
The NDUC Administration is composed of two staffs (administrative staff (Driftsstab) and academic work staff (Fagstab).
Norwegian National Defence Staff College
The Norwegian National Defence Staff College (FHS Stabsskolen) is located in the Akershus Fortress and provides education in general military studies, common to the services, such as strategic military leadership, international peacekeeping operations, Military-Civilian Cooperation etc. It offers Bachelor and Masters programs as well as advanced academic programs.
Defence Intelligence College
The Defence Intelligence College (Språk- og etterretningsskolen) is located at the Lutvann Barracks (Lutvann leir) in Oslo and the intelligence officer course is a three-year Bachelor program.
The Norwegian Military Academy (Krigsskolen) is the Norwegian army officer school, located at the Linderud Barracks (Linderud leir) in Oslo. It provides officer training and professional development, as well as a NCO training program for high school students (videregående befalsutdanning).
Air Force Academy
The Air Force Academy (Luftkrigsskolen) is the Norwegian air force officer school, located in the Kuhaugen area of Trondheim. It provides officer training and professional development, as well as a NCO training program for high school students (videregående befalsutdanning).
The Naval Academy (Sjøkrigsskolen) is the Norwegian navy officer school, located in the Laksevåg area of Bergen. It provides officer training and professional development, as well as a NCO training program for high school students (videregående befalsutdanning).
Cyber Engineer Academy
The Cyber Engineer Academy (Cyberingeniørskolen) is the Norwegian Cyber Defence Force officer school, located at the Jørstadmoen Barracks (Jørstadmoen leir) in Fåberg near Lillehammer. It provides training for officer training in communication and information system operations.
The NCO School (Befalsskolen) is a joint institution, training sergeants for all the services. It is located at the Sessvollmoen Barracks (Sessvollmoen leir) in Sessvollmoen near Oslo - Gardermoen IAP. The school was established in 2019 by merging the NCO school of the army (Hærens befalsskole), navy (Befalsskolen for Sjøforsvaret), air force (Luftforsvarets flygeskole), engineering services (Forsvarets ingeniørhøgskole), military intelligence service (Forsvarets etterretningshøgskole) and the Home Guard (Heimevernets befalsskole).
Institute for Defence Studies
The Institute for Defence Studies (Institutt for forsvarsstudier) is located at the Akershus Fortress. It is organised in four centres: Centre for Norwegian and European Security, Centre for Civil-Military Relations, Centre for Asian Studies and Centre for Transatlantic Studies
Armed Forces Higher School Strategic Course
The Strategic Course (FSH / Sjefskurs) trains senior military officers and high-ranking government officials in strategic military command and national security studies. It uses the education resources of the Institute for Defence Studies, but it is independent from it, directly subordinated to the Chief of the AFHS.
Small arms and handguns
- Heckler & Koch MP5 – replaced by the MP7 in most positions, used by parts of the Home Guard.
- Heckler & Koch MP7 - standard issue SMG
- Heckler & Koch HK416 – standard assault rifle
- Heckler & Koch HK417 - designated marksman rifle
- Colt Canada C8SFW – special forces only
- AG3 – former standard assault rifle; currently used by parts of the Home Guard. No longer in service
- Barrett M82
- Barrett MRAD
- Glock 17 – standard issue pistol, replaced by the MP7 in some positions
- Heckler & Koch USP – in use with special forces
- Rheinmetall MG3 – partly replaced by FN Minimi and FN MAG as crew weapon
- FN Minimi
- M2 Browning – known as 12,7 MITR
- M72 LAW – light anti-armour weapon
- Carl Gustav recoilless rifle – anti-armour weapon
- FGM-148 Javelin – anti-armour guided missile
- M320 Grenade Launcher Module
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Flere soldater sier de fikk vite om fire ekstra måneder etter at tjenesten var i gang. [Several soldiers say they were told about four extra months after the service started.]
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