Norway contributes to the crucial training of Ukrainian soldiers. Operation Interflex is a British initiative to assist in building Ukrainian military forces through training in the United Kingdom. Norway has been engaged in the UK since October 2022.
What does Norway do?
The need for training Ukrainian soldiers is paramount. The Norwegian contribution is important for our own security and it is highly valued by Ukraine and our allies. The Chief of the Home Guard is in charge of the Norwegian force in the UK.
Several countries take part in Operation Interflex. As of February 2023, our second contingent is in full swing teaching Ukrainian men and women basic military skills. The training takes place in England, UK.
Currently, the Norwegian force consists of about 75 instructors from the Home Guard structure and other departments in the Norwegian Armed Forces. The number of Norwegian instructors is set to increase up to 150 later this year. Our third contingent is ready to take over the training later this winter/spring, and Norway is prepared to contribute as long as needed.
The Norwegian instructors conduct initial training, or basic military training. The many Ukrainians going to the United Kingdom for training are not solely men and women with military background or insight. Some of the new recruits have no or limited military experience and some minimal or no military knowledge. They are teachers, farmers, electricians, IT experts and so forth – all wanting to take military action to save their country.
Participating nations follow a British education plan where instructors give the Ukrainians basic military knowledge in an intensive five week programme. The Ukrainians are taught how to survive and operate in the battlefield through fieldcraft skills, drills, tactics, weapon training and first aid.
Norwegian instructors have trained Ukrainian soldiers in the UK since October 2022. In addition to the efforts made there, Norway is also training Ukrainian soldiers in Lithuania in explosive ordnance disposal. Starting this spring, the Norwegian Armed Forces will carry out specialised military education in Norway. The Ukrainian soldiers will be trained as medical specialist, junior officers and snipers.
Russia’s invasion of the eastern part of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea in 2014 forced Ukraine to defend itself. When Russia launched multiple attacks on Ukraine on 24 February 2022, Europe experienced a declaration of war. Defending their country, Ukraine needs to produce as many new soldiers as possible.
In order to support Ukraine, the United Kingdom initiated Operation Interflex, a training programme for Ukrainian soldiers. The UK invited allies and partners to contribute, and Norway is one of several countries currently engaged and highly committed to Operation Interflex.
The education operation started in June 2022 and is organised and lead by the British Armed Forces. As of February 2023, the Norwegian instructors have trained more than 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers so far.