Norwegian Armed Forces

The Norwegian Armed Forces (Norwegian: Forsvaret, lit.'The Defence') is the military organization 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.

Norwegian Armed Forces
Coat of arms
Motto"For alt vi har. Og alt vi er"
(For everything we have.
And everything we are.
Current form1990
Service branches
HeadquartersNorwegian Joint Headquarters
WebsiteOfficial website
King Harald V
Prime MinisterNorway Jonas Gahr Støre
Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram
Chief of Defence General Eirik Kristoffersen
Military ageMale: 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.
Conscription19-month service obligation.
Reaching military
age annually
31,980 males,
30,543 females
Active personnel23,250 (2019)[1]
Reserve personnel40,000 in the Norwegian Home Guard (2019)[1] 20,100 in the army reserve
Deployed personnel384 (2019)[2]
BudgetUS$7.231 billion (2020)[3]
Percent of GDP2% (2020)[3]
Related articles
HistoryMilitary history of Norway
RanksRanks and insignia

The military force in peacetime is around 17,185 personnel including military and civilian staff, and around 70,000[4] in total with the current military personnel, conscripts and the Norwegian Home Guard in full mobilization.[1]

Among European NATO members, the military expenditure of US$7.2 billion is the highest per capita.

History edit

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 Organization (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.

Norway had its combat units withdraw from the War in Afghanistan in 2021.[5] During the war, Norwegian combat forces had been on loan to ISAF, and later on loan to Resolute Support Mission.

Norwegian combat forces were on loan to Operation Resolute Support in Afghanistan

Organisation edit

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):

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 the maintenance, repair and storage of materials.

Conscription edit

Brigade soldiers at an exercise

Conscription was constitutionally established the 12 April 1907 with Kongeriket Norges Grunnlov § 119.[7] 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.[8] In practice recruits are not forced to serve, instead only those who are motivated are selected.[9] 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.[citation needed]

Since 1985, women have been able to enlist for voluntary service as regular recruits.[10] On 14 June 2013, the Norwegian Parliament voted to extend conscription to women.[11] 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.[12] In 2020, women made up one-third of new conscripts.[13]

There is a right of conscientious objection.[citation needed]

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)).[14]

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".[15][needs context]

Structure edit

Joint edit

Norwegian Leopard 2 on 14 March 2014

Norwegian Army edit

From 1 August 2023 the Norwegian Army has this structure:[16][17]

Royal Norwegian Navy edit

A Norwegian Skjold-class fast missile boat

Royal Norwegian Air Force edit

Norwegian Home Guard edit

Norwegian Cyber Defence Force edit

Norwegian Special Forces edit

The Norwegian Special Operations Command (NORSOCOM) (Forsvarets Spesialstyrker (FS), was formed on 1 January 2014 by bringing the Special Operations Command (FSK), The army's special warfare unit, and the Naval Special Operations Command (MJK), The navy's special warfare unit, together under a unified command.

NORSOCOM (Forsvarets Spesialstyrker (FS)), Akershus Fortress, Oslo

  • Chief of NORSOCOM, a two-star officer, member of the Commander of the Armed Forces's management group
  • Taktisk Kommando (TAKOM) - special forces-specific command element embedded with the Norwegian Joint Headquarters (FOH)) outside Bodø.
  • Special Operations Command (Norwegian: Forsvarets Spesialkommando) (FSK),[6] at Rena Army Camp, part of Østerdal Garrison
    • FSK Staff
    • unknown number of combat squadrons[22]
    • Paratrooper Troop- platoon consisting of conscripts highly trained for raid and airborne ISTAR operations.
    • Hunter Troop - special reconnaissance training unit made up of female conscripts[23]
    • Initial and Operational Special Forces Training Base on the tiny islet of Vealøs facing the former Karljohansvern Naval Base in Horten
  • Naval Special Operations Command (Norwegian: Marinejegerkommandoen) (MJK),[24][6] at Jaeger's Bight in Haakonsvern Naval Base, near Bergen. A research paper[25] of the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment puts the force structure of the MJK at a staff and six combat squadrons
    • MJK Staff
    • Alfa Squadron - combat divers squadron, Norway's premier naval special warfare unit
    • Bravo Squadron - combat divers squadron, entry unit for recent graduates of the frogmen training course
    • Reconnaissance Squadron - special reconnaissance and intelligence unit
    • Echo Squadron - special boat squadron
    • Lima Squadron - combat support squadron
    • Training Squadron, at Ramsund Naval War Station near Tjeldsund
  • 339 Special Operations Aviation Squadron (339 Skvadron) (339 SKV), at Rygge Air Station and Bardufoss Air Station, flying Bell 412SP helicopters, providing air support to the special forces. Being an air force unit, chief NORSOCOM executes tactical command of 339 SOAS.[26]
  • 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.[27]

Norwegian Defence University College edit

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.[28]

Leadership edit

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.

Leading Group

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).

Managing Board

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).

Departments edit

The following departments form the AFHS:[29][28]

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.

Norwegian Military Academy

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).

Naval Academy

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.

NCO School

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).

Centers edit

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)[30] 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 edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c IISS 2020, p. 132.
  2. ^ IISS 2020, p. 133.
  3. ^ a b "Defence Expenditure of NATO Countries (2013-2020)" (PDF). North Atlantic Treaty Organization. 16 March 2021.
  4. ^ "Forsvaret i tall".
  5. ^ Veum, Eirik (29 June 2021). "Vi blir fortsatt i Afghanistan" [We are still in Afghanistan]. NRK (in Norwegian). Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  6. ^ a b c Olsen, Tommy; Thormodsen, Marius (June 2014). Forging Norwegian Special Operation Forces (Master's thesis). U.S. Navy Postgraduate School. OCLC 893922200. Archived from the original on 19 April 2021. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  7. ^ Norwegian constitution (Norwegian)
  8. ^ "Tall og statistikk" [Figures and statistics]. NDF (in Norwegian). 11 January 2011. Archived from the original on 12 January 2011. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
  9. ^ "Norway's military conscription becomes gender neutral". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  10. ^ "Committee on Women in the NATO Forces: Norway". NATO International Military Staff. 26 March 2002.
  11. ^ "Norway becomes first NATO country to draft women into military". Reuters. 14 June 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  12. ^ "Universal Conscription". Norwegian Armed Forces. 11 June 2015. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  13. ^ A Look at Norway’s Approach to Gender-Neutral Conscription
  14. ^ "Fra akademiker til offiser på 6 uker". Norwegian Armed Forces. Retrieved 30 April 2022.
  15. ^ Bentzrød, Sveinung Berg (15 November 2020). "Trodde de skulle på 12 måneders militærtjeneste. Fikk beskjed om at de skulle være ute i 16" [Thought they were going on 12 months of military service. Was told they were going to be out in 16.]. Aftenposten (in Norwegian). 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.]
  16. ^ "Front page" (PDF). Retrieved 24 December 2014.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "Front page" (PDF). Retrieved 24 December 2014. [permanent dead link]
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Organisation: The Norwegian Army". Forsvaret. 16 September 2020. Retrieved 20 June 2021.
  19. ^ "Norge har inngått kontrakt om kjøp av fem nye P-8A Poseidon maritime patruljefly" [Norway has entered into a contract for the purchase of five new P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft]. (in Norwegian). 29 March 2017.
  20. ^ Perry, Dominic (20 November 2017). "Norway takes first SAR-roled AW101". Flight Global. Archived from the original on 20 November 2017. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  21. ^ Jennings, Gareth (19 November 2017). "Norway receives first AW101 SAR helicopter". IHS Jane's 360. Archived from the original on 20 November 2017. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  22. ^ Leraand, Dag (18 December 2019). "Forsvarets spesialkommando" [Armed Forces' Special Command]. Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 7 July 2021.
  23. ^ "Jegertroppen". Forsvaret (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 7 July 2021.
  24. ^ "Organisation: The Norwegian Special Forces". Forsvaret.
  25. ^ Danielsen, Tone (2012). "Hos oss sitter kulturen i hjertet" – en antropologisk studie av kultur i Marinejegerkommandoen (in Norwegian). Forsvarets forskningsinstitutt (FFI). p. 45. ISBN 978-82-464-2052-3.
  26. ^ "Stående kontraterrorberedskap" [Standing counter-terrorism preparedness]. Forsvaret (in Norwegian Bokmål). 2 July 2020.
  27. ^ "Sammen er vi sterke" [Together we are strong]. Forsvaret (in Norwegian Bokmål). 31 August 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2021.
  28. ^ a b "The Norwegian Defence University College". Norwegian Armed Forces.
  29. ^ "Avdelinger ved Forsvarets høgskole" [Departments at the Norwegian Defense College]. Forsvaret (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  30. ^ "Sjefskurset". Forsvaret (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  31. ^ "AG-HK416 granatutskytningsrør" [AG-HK416 grenade launcher]. Forsvaret (in Norwegian Bokmål). 28 June 2016. Archived from the original on 5 August 2020.

Bibliography edit

External links edit