Norway Strengthening and Reorganizing Its Special Forces

The budget for Norway

From Gerard O’Dwyer, Defense News:  Government has now approved development of special forces capabilities under a more centralized command structure to improve homeland security protection against threats to national sovereignty and to Norway’s extensive mineral assets worldwide.

The lack of a coordinated special forces response to the massacre resulted in a special commission of inquiry and a government commitment to reorganize the Army’s and Navy’s special forces units.

“The 482-page inquiry report revealed a systematic failure on the part of law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and a lack of availability of military special forces assets. The first military Bell 412 helicopter did not get off the ground until almost four hours after the bombs exploded in Oslo,” said Liberal Party leader Trine Skei Grande, who sits on the Storting’s (parliament) Justice And Constitutional Committee.

An armed forces advisory team, headed by defense chief Gen. Harald Sunde, laid the foundation for National Readiness Command (NRC), which establishes a single organization to coordinate rapid response tactics and actions. . . .

Missions will include enemy reconnaissance, protecting or the retaking of key offshore installations, anti-piracy tasks and hostage rescue.

The annual budget for special operations units will rise by 10 percent from 2013 to 2018, with a figure of US $257 million expected by 2016. By contrast, the defense budget is expected to grow by around 7 percent a year. . . .

The Oslo-headquartered NRC will ensure a 24/7 standby capability allowing civil powers to call on Rapid Response Special Ops (RRSO) units drawn from the Naval Command’s Navy Seals and a combined Seals and Army Rangers unit. . . .

A third special ops base will be developed at the Navy’s Arctic station in Ramsund.  (photo:  (via Paul McLeary)

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