Norway To Reorganize Defense Spending in Response to 'Unpredictable' Russia

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Vergennes, Jul 12, 2016.

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  1. Vergennes

    Vergennes Captain Staff Member Ret. Military International Mod

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    @Freyja @Technofox What do you think ?
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    HELSINKI — Norway is on course to pursue a new wave of cost efficiency as part of a broad, long-term investment plan to reorganize its military into a leaner and better equipped front-line force armed with a scaled-up strike capability.

    The cost-efficiency drive forms part of a broader and multi-branch capital spending plan that aims to add a greater degree of modern capability, fire power and combat readiness to Norway’s military organization and defense structures.

    The level of planned capital investment in the military is the highest by any Norwegian government since the end of the Cold War.

    Around $300 million in efficiency-generated savings will be used to ease historic problems of underfunding within core sectors of the Norwegian Armed Forces, including the Army and Navy, in the period 2017-2020.

    In terms of achieving savings, the force reorganization will result in the shutdown of some 11 military bases across Norway. Among the closures will be the Norwegian Air Force’s (NAF) Arctic-based Andøya Air Station in northern Norway. Andøya houses the NAF’s 333 surveillance squadron equipped with P-3C Orion aircraft.

    The cost-efficiency drive, coupled with ambitious defense-strengthening capital investment plans, are directly connected to the actions and behavior of a "more unpredictable" Russia, said Erna Solberg, Norway’s prime minister.

    "We have an increasingly unpredictable neighbor to the East which is strengthening its military capacity and showing willingness to use military force as a political tool," Solberg said.

    However, she stressed that Russia posed no immediate threat to Norwegian territory or sovereignty.

    Norway’s parallel defense organization strengthening and cost-efficiency programs are backed by a groundbreaking government promise to bolster military spending by around $19.8 billion in extra capital over the next 20 years.

    The cost-efficiency element of the plan is contained in a white paper on long-term spending for the Armed Forces that covers the years 2017-2020.

    This plan, which is yet to go before the national parliament, has the potential to free up some $4.8 billion over the next 20 years. Savings are to be redistributed among front-line units and channeled into underfunded training, exercises and procurement programs.

    Spending in Norway’s defense budget for 2016 rose by 9.8 percent, in real terms, to $6 billion. The white paper lays out a spending road map under which the Armed Forces’ annual budget will incrementally rise by $862 million over the next four years. This level of increase will raise the defense budget to around $7 billion by 2020, the highest level of annual spending by any single Nordic nation.

    The reinforced capital spending program, said Solberg, is intended to add a higher dynamic to the Armed Forces' capability to delay and repel "hostile threats" against its sovereign territories until the front-line units are supported by NATO and other military cooperation partners.

    The Armed Forces' command leadership, who acknowledged the need to make further cost-efficiency savings, confirmed the defense force had sought an even higher spending commitment from the government.

    "The government has listened to what we had to say on spending and has largely responded to our advice. It is providing the means for the economically sustainable development of the defense forces," said the Norwegian Armed Forces' chief, Adm. Haakon Bruun-Hanssen.

    The defense force reorganization program will aim to reduce the number of personnel employed in administrative duties. Savings will be channeled into training and operations budgets.

    Additional restructuring-led closures will impact the NAF’s aircraft maintenance and training center at Kjevik. The Coastal Ranger Command near Harstad will be disbanded and personnel redistributed to Navy and Army units.

    The closure of the Andøya Air Station will see the relocation of its Maritime Patrol Aircraft 333 squadron to Evenes Air Station, which will be the High North forward base for the NAF’s F-35s.

    Moreover, the Armed Forces will establish a new Ranger Company that will operate as part of the Sør-Varanger garrison in northern Norway. The base is located close to Norway’s 122-mile border with Russia. The new company will be equipped with light anti-aircraft and anti-armor weapons.

    The scale of ambition in the Norwegian government’s white paper is particularly evident on the capital spending side. Elevated spending will enable a higher rotation of crews to operate the Navy’s recently delivered Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates.

    There will also be additional funding for the Army’s Northern Brigade, including the Telemark Battalion in Rena, the Armored Battalion at Setermoen and the 2nd Battalion at Skjold.

    The reorganization will also impact big-ticket procurements. The Navy’s six Ula-class submarines are to be replaced by four next-generation subs between 2025 and 2030. The submarine acquisition project is the second-highest capital-intensive program after fighter procurement.

    Norway plans to purchase 52 F-35A Lightning II aircraft. The overall cost of the F-35’s procurement phase is estimated at around $10 billion. The Armed Forces will also add longer-range weapons to the existing NASAMS II-based system, or the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System. New maritime patrol aircraft will be bought to replace the fleet of Lockheed P-3 Orions.

    Future expenditure will also cover the acquisition of dedicated, long-range air-defense systems to protect critical areas. Moreover, the procurement end of the capital investment plan will deliver increased spending to bolster capabilities in strategic areas such as intelligence gathering, situational awareness, survivability and the Armed Forces' offensive strike power.

    The long-term strategic objective is to strengthen military capacity to a level where the military can effectively respond to threats, aggression and attacks within the framework of NATO’s collective defense.

    "We need capable and sustainable armed forces in order to ensure that when we need them the most, they have the tools, the skills and the manpower to deliver. Developing this kind of force takes time, and history has shown us that it is too late to begin when the threat is already here," said Ine Eriksen Søreide, Norway’s defense minister.

    Norway’s force reorganization and budget-strengthening plans will fall short of raising the country’s gross national product (GNP) spending on defense to the 2 percent level advocated by NATO. Norway’s defense spending is currently hovering at around 1.5 percent of GNP.

    http://www.defensenews.com/story/de...-budget-reorganization-armed-forces/86589482/
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016
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  2. Vergennes

    Vergennes Captain Staff Member Ret. Military International Mod

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    I will quote Anzu's post on themess.net wich adds some more infos ;

    http://themess.net/forum/military-d...et-norwegian-armed-forces?p=163773#post163773
     
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  3. Freyja

    Freyja 2nd Lieutenant

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    She's going to be off-line for most of the week (probably all of it, honestly). Baby's coming sometime before Sunday:confused:. I'm freaked out too!!

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    So you get me instead:D.

    ...

    Overall, it's a great step forward. Leaner, meaner more effective fighting force. Funds for the F-35, funds for the Ula-replacement, funds for MPAs (most likely the P-8), overall it's looking very positive. Close bases that aren't needed, open new ones. Phase out old equipment, buy new stuff... hardly Earth-shattering events, pretty common really, but much needed ones.

    The disbanding of KJK is a huge letdown and I'd like to see a source for that before I either rage or rejoice. That's pure BS if true and the forces within KJK better get transferred to MJK instead.

    A lot of good and some bad, but mostly positive news.
     
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  4. Freyja

    Freyja 2nd Lieutenant

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    Nope, it's official. KJK is being disbanded:eek::O---::

    Forsvarssjefen anbefaler å avvikle antiubåtkrigsevnen ved å fjerne Orion-flyene. Kystjegerkommandoen skal fjernes og to militære flyplasser i Nord-Norge legges ned. Heimevernet skal reduseres fra 42 000 til 30 000 mann, kystvaktbasen på Sortland legges ned. Forsvarets tilstedeværelse vil bli redusert mange steder, ifølge FMR.

    Kystjegerkommandoen skal fjernes - translated into English: Coastal Rangers will be removed

    http://frifagbevegelse.no/?app=NeoDirect&com=6/158/296139/1b7a821286
     
  5. Freyja

    Freyja 2nd Lieutenant

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    I want to add a bit as to why I (and many other Norwegians) think disbanding KJK is a bad idea, and hopefully why they'll be integrated into another unit like MJK rather then completely removed and forgotten - also, the OP mentions a new SOF unit will be created, so we'll need to wait and see what its role is.

    ...

    KJK has a special set of skills that make it very valuable for Norway. The name Kystjegerkommandoen translates to Coastal Rangers, and for Norway with the world's seventh largest coast and a vast array of islands, this is very important. KJK specializes in coastal activities including on islands, inland fjords, river inlets and the actual coast, areas Norway has a lot of and having a specialized unit that knows the terrain and how to exploit it was a boon.

    KJK is being disbanded because there is a shifting focus on keeping an adversary as far away from Norway as possible, it's the same reason corvettes are being retired in favor of frigates, as corvettes are geared towards coastal waters. The thinking is that an enemy should never get close enough to Norwegian soil to have a need for a unit like KJK. Whether this thinking is right or not will become evident eventually.

    Hopefully the new SOF force carries on the spirit, skills and mission of KJK.

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  6. Vergennes

    Vergennes Captain Staff Member Ret. Military International Mod

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    Apparently,they will convert into an VBSS force. (at least part of them.)
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    @Freyja It might be off topic,but what were the changes taken by your police after the Utoya attack ? Did they increase the number of operators,acquired new means ?
    We've seen how long it took to deploy a response unit and to reach the area. Could you imagine how long it would take for a specialized unit to reach a rural area ?
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    For exemple in France after the november attacks,the size of the special police and paramilitary units are up by 50%,several branches are being created across the country (even in the overseas territories) to cover,even the most rural areas and could give an armed response anywhere in the territory,within 20 minutes. (At least,that's what we've been promised.)
     
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  7. Freyja

    Freyja 2nd Lieutenant

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    The VBSS part of KJK is going to be retained and move into the Navy (maybe into naval special forces). VBSS is already part of KJK's job:

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    Following the Utoya Massacre, Beredskapstroppen (our counter-terrorism police) received additional training from Ireland's Aonad Práinnfhreagartha, had funding expanded for new equipment, increased cross-training with military special forces and the Norwegian Home Guard and improved their coordination during times of crisis, but I'm not sure if they expanded their ranks and recruited new members or not.

    Too long, I imagine it'd take too long for specialize units to reach rural areas, especially given Norway's mountainous terrain. Centered in Oslo, but responsible for the whole country including off-shore oil rigs and shipping, Beredskapstroppen took a few hours to get Utoya and capture Breivik... and Utoya is an inland island only an hour outside of Oslo.

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    To respond to rural areas, it'd take even longer.

    The Norwegian Home Guard does help provide security for rural areas, though. It's not a police force, but it's responsibility is protecting Norway and policing is part of its responsibility, so our special police forces like Beredskapstroppen aren't fending for themselves during a crisis.
     
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  8. Vergennes

    Vergennes Captain Staff Member Ret. Military International Mod

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    So,the Beredskapstroppen are only based in Oslo ? Imagine how long it would take if there's an attack or an hostage situation in say... Tromso ?
    Luckily,Norway is pretty safe,a part from this lunatic,the majority of the citizens are sane and respect the laws,no terrorism problems... the criminality is very low,if inexistant in some areas.
     
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  9. Armstrong

    Armstrong 2nd Lieutenant

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    Wait @Freyja are you telling me that Norway has an army ? :eek:

    But Norway isn't even a real country ! |Shifty|

    Now Denmark...thats a country ! |Smuggrin|
     
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  10. Freyja

    Freyja 2nd Lieutenant

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    Many army, have we. Just look at our proud warriors and weep in terror.

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    Don't get bored without me, Armstrong. I've been at the hospital for the past few hours, dang kid's taking her time in there:confused:, but I have a feeling that by morning I'll be a dad? Mom? Not sure yet, we haven't got that far|Shifty|.

    Like foxy, I'm probably not going to be around too much in the next few days, not at least until we can get things settled down a bit.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
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