Norway raises military readiness

At the advice of the Chief of Defence, the Norwegian government has decided to increase the readiness of the Norwegian Armed Forces as of 1 November.

“The most important task of the Norwegian Armed Forces is to safeguard peace and security and prevent conflict. To achieve this, we must adapt our activities to the situation at hand at any given time”, says Norwegian Chief of Defence, General Eirik Kristoffersen.

“What we are doing now is redefining the priorities for some of our planned activities in order to enhance our preparedness, our operational capacity and our resilience,” said Kristoffersen.

Increased readiness

Based on the General’s advice the government decided that the Norway will increase its military readiness. This means that the Norwegian Armed Forces from 1 November will implement the next phase of their preparedness plans. The operations and activities of the Norwegian Armed Forces are being adjusted in response to the serious security situation Europe is facing.

“We are confronting the most serious security situation we have seen in decades. There are no indications that Russia intends to expand its war to other countries, but rising tensions means that we are more exposed to threats, espionage and foreign influence operations. This makes it necessary for all NATO countries, including Norway, to be more vigilant,” said Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre during a press conference on Monday 31 October.

Chief of Defence, General Eirik Kristoffersen, informed about the situation together with prime minister Jonas Gahr Støre and Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram during a press conference in Oslo 31 October 2022. Photo by: Torbjørn Kjosvold

Maritime operations

The Norwegian Armed Forces have already increased their presence and patrolling in the vicinity of critical offshore and onshore infrastructure. From 3 October to 29 November, the Home Guard also assisted the police in protecting critical infrastructure onshore.

On 1 November, the Norwegian Armed Forces implemented new measures that increase readiness all across the Norwegian defence sector. For defence personnel this means that tasks and activities may be changed according to the new priorities. Some units and departments will receive less training and exercise, and there may be need for using more resources from the Home Guard.

Some of the measures and priorities

  • New measures within logistics, communication security and protection of military facilities.
  • Adjusting our activity and focus on daily operations. Among other things, we will direct our activity towards tasks that ensure preparedness and endurance of the Armed Forces.

  • Support for the civil sector remains a priority. The current situation requires cooperation across sectors. Plans are now being reviewed together with the other actors across the Norwegian total defence system.

  • Ensure a continued overview and presence in our maritime areas. Protection of oil and gas installations in the North Sea is a high priority.

  • Full situational awareness in Norwegian maritime areas in the north is another priority task. The Norwegian Armed Forces are re-prioritising parts of their daily activities to focus on maritime surveillance in particular, with increased operational availability on vessels and air forces. This will be done in close cooperation with our allies. There is also considerable allied activity in our immediate areas.

  • There may be acceleration and reprioritisation of construction activities, material procurement and projects. The Chief of Defence will assess this together with the rest of the Norwegian defence sector in the coming time.