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Army Force Structure

In 1990, the Army had a total of 13 independent brigades organised within three divisional commands. The equipment of these brigades was, however, of a variable standard. By 2000 the Army consisted of six tactical brigades. The Army structure, established as part of the overall war structure in 1999, remained essentially unchanged in 2001. The Army's principal contribution to invasion defence consisted of 6 Division with three brigades and divisional support units. Three independent brigades were also being set up, together with some 20 independent battalion units, both to strengthen the invasion defence capability and as a contribution towards territorial defence, crisis management and the exercise of national sovereignty. The Division had not been equipped as quickly or as comprehensively as had been planned. According to the Chief of Defence's Defence Study 2000 (FS 2000), there was insufficient funding available to permit investment in materiel for more than two brigades in total. The structure of 6 Division and the level of ambition for its capability must therefore be reassessed. This also applies to the other brigades and the battalion units.

In the Spring 2001 debate, a four brigade structure was decided, but funding uncertainty led to further reduction in the Spring 2002 debate. By 2001 the Army consisted of cadre and training units for a division with three tactical brigades (one armoured brigade and two infantry brigades), two independent mechanised infantry brigades, and one armoured brigade. During the 90s, both the overall structure and readiness have been reduced. In times of crises and war, a total of 222000 personnel could be mobilised; the Army could expand to 89000 troops, the Navy to 25000, the Air Force to 25000 and the Home Guard to 83000 personnel.

As of 2002 the Army had two regional subordinate commands Defence Command North Norway and Defence Command South Norway, with four regional commands (Land Commands). The Land Commands had a total of 14 territorial regiments as well as 6 Division. Under the Long Term Proposal for the restructuring of the Armed Forces 2002 - 2005, St. prp. 45 (2000-2001), the Army was reduced from six brigades to a mobile division with two brigades and a mobilisation brigade in Trndelag. Division 6 was restructured to a new mobile division command capable of commanding three to four brigades including an international operations deployment force. The existing Defence Commands (FKN and FKS) and the Army's four District Commands (DKN, DKT, DKSV and DK) were abolished.

On 31 December 2003 the Army consisted of 10 independent units, divided into two main categories: the operational structure and the educational structure. In the first category are four so-called peacetime operational units, which means that they have standing missions to solve even during time of peace. The other main category is productions units, including the 6th Division with its 12 battalions, and the Army's three Education and Competence Centres (ECCs), which also contain the Officers Candidate- and Branch Service schools, as well as the independent Military Academy. In addition there were the Operations Support Unit/Garrison in Porsanger, which was purely a support unit. The Norwegian Army's Rapid Reaction Force consisted of several operational units/capacities on stand-by, including the Telemark Battalion, Norway's first enlisted battalion.

Significant changes were proposed in White Paper no. 42 (2003-2004), based on recommendations made by the Chief of Defence in his Military Study (CHOD MS), which would be implemented in the years 2004-2005. Brigade North is the deployable brigade that is proposed established by the Chief of Defence and the Government, with a no more than 180 days notice-to-march. In addition to this the Army shall deliver forces outside of the frame of this brigade, including a tactical, mobile ground command (6th Division Command), as well as produce a mobilisation brigade (Brigade 6). Other proposed deliveries include an ISTAR-battalion and CSS-capacities for multinational deployment on corps-level. The Rapid Reaction Force will be continued with a 30 days notice-to-march, including the Telemark Battalion.

The Norwegian Armed Forces, and thus the Norwegian Army, have gone through significant transformation. The preface to the Norwegian Defense Budget 2006-2007 stated the goal of the transformation: "The transformation aimed initially . to adjust the Armed Forces'structure and way of operation to a realistic budget level. Thereafter, the objective was to reinforce the Armed Forces' operational capabilities by adjusting the scope of the Armed Forces' capacities within the framework of new security policy challenges" (Royal Proposition no 1 2006-2007, Para 1.2). The transformation, or modernization, of the Norwegian Armed Forces will continue for many years.

The Defense Study 2007 was published by the Norwegian CHOD, General Sverre Diesen, coveringboth near and long-term futuredevelopment of the Armed Forces. The CHOD conducts and publishes a defense study when there is a need to address development trends, in particular to the government and the parliament. In the latest 20 some years, the CHOD has published a defense study every fourth year.

On 28 March 2008 the Government presented the new long-term plan for the Armed Forces: A Defence for the protection of Norway's security, interests and values. The Army will be strengthened through increased funding allocations and reinforcement of the brigade structure. Manpower numbers will increase and more thorough preparation and training for operations abroad will be introduced. The Home Guard will continue to develop its operational capability and will extend its presence with 45,000 soldiers countrywide.

Description of the Army's support and service units:


Number of officers/other ranks

Brigade (Brig)

Approx. 5,000


Approx. 800-960 (infantry)

Approx. 800 (artillery)

Approx. 800 (tanks)

Company (Coy)

Approx. 150 (rifle companies)

Other companies vary from 100-300


Approx. 30

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Page last modified: 14-11-2015 17:42:45 ZULU