Photo: Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre by Helene Hoddevik Mørk /Office of the Prime Minister
At the advice of the Chief of Defence, the Government has decided to increase the readiness of the Norwegian Armed Forces as of 1 November. This means that Norway will now implement the next phase of its 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 mean 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.
The Government started strengthening preparedness even before the war broke out, and has raised preparedness levels a number of times since the invasion. In recent weeks, the Norwegian Armed Forces have increased their presence and are conducting more patrols in the vicinity of critical infrastructure in the North Sea. The Home Guard will continue to assist the police in protecting critical infrastructure onshore.
‘The Armed Forces are now implementing the next phase in their preparedness plans in response to developments that have been unfolding for some time. Priority will be given to tasks that maintain Norway’s preparedness in the immediate situation. Not all the measures being implemented are visible to the public, and some of them we cannot talk about openly. The Armed Forces have a good overview of the situation, and the steps we are now taking will enable the Armed Forces to sustain their ability to respond effectively to the situation,’ said Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram.
For Armed Forces personnel, this means that duties and activities will be adjusted in line with new priorities. Some units will spend less time on conventional training and exercises. It will also be necessary to draw on the resources of the Home Guard.
‘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. 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 Chief of Defence Eirik Kristoffersen.
The Norwegian Armed Forces are working together with Norway’s allies to maintain security in the region. Allied countries are, among other things, assisting with patrols in the North Sea.
‘We have dedicated men and women who are well trained to keep Norway safe in times of uncertainty. We are also a member of a strong defence alliance. This provides us with security,’ said Prime Minister Støre.