Folland appointed new chief of the Air Force

On 11 August, Brigadier Rolf Folland takes over as chief of the Royal Norwegian Air Force. He succeeds Major General Tonje Skinnarland.

The Norwegian Council of State appointed Folland as the new air force chief at the council meeting on Friday 4 June 2021. Folland is currently commander of the Norwegian Air Operations Inspectorate at Rygge Air Base. He will start his new job on 11 August 2021.

"A very skilled officer"

He succeeds Major General Tonje Skinnarland, who has been chief of the air force for the past five years. Skinnarland takes over as head of the Operations Division at Norwegian Defence Staff.

Chief of Defence, General Eirik Kristoffersen, looks forward to working with Folland.

“Rolf Folland is a very skilled officer, and I am sure he will manage his new task very well. The Air Force, like the rest of the Norwegian Armed Forces, will continue to develop in the years to come. I look forward to having him as part of the top management in the Armed Forces”, says Kristoffersen.

Major developments

Folland himself is honoured by the appointment.

“I am humbled, and I look forward to leading the Air Force further towards increased operativity”, says Folland.

The Norwegian Air Force is currently undergoing major developments. This involves changes in base structure and implementation of new aircraft, helicopters and other capacities. Folland says the will to change, the power to implement and increased room for maneuver and trust are vital for succeeding.

“I strongly believe that we all perform best when we thrive, and that well-being is closely linked to being allowed to create good results together”, he says.

Advocate for risk management

Over the years, Folland has been an important voice in issues surrounding risk management and culture for reducing risks in the Air Force. He looks forward to continuing this important work.

“Risk management is central to everything we do, and it requires awareness and active actions. Good procedures and clear frameworks are important, active leadership throughout the line is still crucial for the result”, Folland says.

Experienced pilot and leader

Folland has a long and varied service experience from both the Air Force and other branches and departments in the Armed Forces. He is a trained helicopter pilot and holds a master's degree from the US Air Force Command and Staff College (ACSC), the commanders’ course at the Norwegian Defence University College, and the Royal College of Defence Studies in London. He also has a civil bachelor's degree in psychology.

Folland has extensive experience as a helicopter pilot in the Royal Norwegian Air Force, and he has been commander for 330 Squadron and 337 Squadron. In 2010, he was head of the Norwegian helicopter contribution in Afghanistan. He has also served as a senior staff officer at the Norwegian Defence University College, and as head of Rygge Air Base and the operations section of the Defence Staff.