Norwegian Armed Forces

Norwegian Armed Forces
Norwegian Armed Forces
Forsvaret logo.jpeg
Service branches Army
Navy (Coast Guard)
Air Force
Home Guard
Commander-in-Chief King Harald V
Minister of Defense Grete Faremo
Chief of staff General Harald Sunde
Military age 18-44(55) years of age for male compulsory military service (55 years of age if you are an officer); 16 years of age in wartime; 17 years of age for male volunteers; 18 years of age for women
Conscription 19-month service with 12-month service obligation. Around 50% of conscripts are enrolled in the Home Guard, for a 7 month period (spread out over many years).
Available for
military service
1,078,181 males, age 16-55 (2008 est.),
1,046,550 females, age 16-55 (2008 est.)
Fit for
military service
888,219 males, age 16-55 (2008 est.),
863,255 females, age 16-55 (2008 est.)
Reaching military
age annually
31,980 males (2008 est.),
30,543 females (2008 est.)
Active personnel 26,200 [1]
Budget $6.2 billion (2009)[1]
Percent of GDP 1.6% of GDP (2009 est.)
Related articles
History World War II
Cold War
Congo Crisis
Gulf War
War in Kosovo
War in Afghanistan
Libyan no-fly zone

Flag of Norway, state.svg

The Norwegian Armed Forces (Norwegian: Forsvaret ("The Defence")) numbers about 23,000 personnel, including civilian employees.[2] According to mobilisation plans as of 2009, the strength during full mobilisation would be approximately 83,000 combatant personnel.[2] Norway has mandatory military service for men (6–12 months of training) and voluntary service for women. Norway has the highest military expenditures per capita in Europe.

The Armed Forces sorts under the Norwegian Ministry of Defence. The formal Commander-in-chief is H.M. King Harald V. However, the Chief of Defense (Norwegian "Forsvarssjefen") is the de facto Commander-in-chief.

Under Norwegian constitutional practice, the Minister of Defence is accountable to Parliament for all activities carried out by the agencies under his or her responsibility.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been since 2003 an integrated structure with civilian and military personnel. Subordinate to the MoD are the "Armed Forces Military Organisation" as well as the three civilian agencies: the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI), the National Security Agency and the Defence Estate Agency.

The main annual national exercise is Cold Response, held yearly, with all NATO member states invited.



The Chief of Defence (a four-star general or admiral) heads the armed forces, and is the principal military adviser to the Minister of Defence.

Military branches (in order of seniority):

Other main structures, include:

  • Special forces
  • 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.
  • National 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.



  • Joint ISTAR Unit (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance)
    • Module based ISTAR Unit
    • Norwegian Coastal Ranger Command (Kystjegerkommandoen in Norwegian)
    • Unmanned aerial vehicle capability
  • Airborne Ground Surveillance (joint NATO project)
  • Norwegian Home Guard - 50,000 personnel + 33,000 (reserve), 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)
Norwegian soldier during a field exercise.

Norwegian Army

With August 1, 2009 the Norwegian Army changed its structure:[3][4]

Royal Norwegian Navy

Royal Norwegian Air Force

Small arms and handguns


External links

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