Following the Storting's handling of the state budget for 2019 (Prop. 1 S (2018-2019)) December 13, 2018, the Government's proposal for further development of the land power was adopted.
This implies continued strengthening of the Home Guard and change in the level of occupation in the 2nd battalion. The government will also acquire modern tanks, and the construction of a dedicated helicopter capacity for the special forces can now begin at Rygge.
"These are important measures that will strengthen our land-based military capability. With these clarifications, the Armed Forces now also know what they can plan with,” says Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen.
The Government has prioritized increased helicopter capacity for the Armed Forces special forces while the Army will still receive helicopter support from Bardufoss. This implies that three Bell 412 will be stationed on Bardufoss, while 15 helicopters will be stationed at Rygge in order to deliver the Storting's ambition for increased helicopter support for the special forces.
In addition to the three Bell Helicopters at Bardufoss, the Armed Forces will lease civilian helicopters as an additional capacity in the north. The defense readiness for the police in northern Norway is maintained until alternative solution is in place.
The ministry will consist of 40,000 soldiers, of which 37,000 in the area structure. The government has strengthened training, practice and course for command, and modernizes the material of the Home Guard.
2. Battalion will be converted from a light infantry battalion to a mechanized battalion based on the mobilization of personnel. Brigade North will then have three mechanized maneuver units that will provide increased operational flexibility.
The Armed Forces' footprint in Finnmark is prioritized, including through the start of the establishment of the Cavalry Battalion, already from 2019.
"The construction in Finnmark, the creation of own recruitment schools outside the operational units and increased use of reservists with fresh operational skills must be seen in connection with the conversion of the 2nd battalion," said the Minister of Defense.
Work on the acquisition of new tanks is already well under way, and the procurement project will be presented to the Storting at the appropriate time. Current tanks will be extended until new tanks are in place, and for the purpose of 2018, it was already set for NOK 110 million.
"The Ministry of Defense is already working on ensuring the best possible basis for the purchase of a relevant tracked capacity for the future. It's important that we do a thorough job now, so that everything is ready when we return to the Storting in 2021,” the defense minister concluded.