The Norwegian Armed Forces (Norwegian: Forsvaret, "The Defence") is the military organization responsible for the defence of Norway. It consists of five branches, the Norwegian Army, the Royal Norwegian Navy, which includes the Coast Guard, the Royal Norwegian Air Force, the Home Guard and the Cyber Force, as well as several joint departments. The armed forces number 23,000 personnel, including civilian employees, and have a full-mobilization combat strength of 83,000. Norway employs a weak form of mandatory military service for women and men. While 63841 men and women were called in for the examination of persons liable for military service in 2012 (mandatory for men), just 9265 were conscripted. In practice conscription military service is voluntary. On June 14 2013 the Norwegian Parliament voted to extend conscription to women making Norway the first NATO member and first European country to make national service compulsory for both men and women. The military expenditure of US$6.2 billion is the highest per capita in Europe.
The armed forces are subordinate the Ministry of Defence, led by Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen. The formal commander-in-chief is King Harald V, however, the de facto commander-in-chief is Chief of Defence Harald Sunde. His staff is located at Akershus Fortress in Oslo, while the Norwegian Joint Headquarters, responsible for commanding operations, is located in Bodø. The main naval base is Haakonsvern in Bergen, the main army camps are in Bardu, Målselv and Rena, and the main air stations are Ørland and Bodø.
The Chief of Defence (a four-star general or admiral) heads the armed forces, and is the principal military adviser to the Minister of Defence.
Military branches (in order of seniority):
- Norwegian Army
- Royal Norwegian Navy
- Royal Norwegian Air Force
- Home Guard
- Norwegian Cyber Force
Other main structures, include:
- Special forces
- Defence Staff Norway (DEFSTNOR) in Oslo acts as the staff of the Chief of Defence. It is headed by a three-star general or admiral. DEFSTNOR assigns priorities, manages resources, provides force generation and support activities. Each of the four branches of defence is headed by a two-star general/admiral who are subordinate to DEFSTNOR.
- National Joint Headquarters (NJHQ) located at Reitan, close to Bodø has operational control of Norwegian armed forces worldwide 24/7. It is headed by the Supreme Commander Norwegian Forces - a three-star general or admiral.
- Norwegian Defence Logistics Organization (NDLO) at Kolsås outside Oslo is responsible for engineering, procurement, investment, supply, information and communications technology. It is also responsible for maintenance, repair and storage of material.