If Norway cuts one of three battalions of the Army’s combat force,the remaining two will be weakened, said senior deputy,Pål B. Nygård.
The government has agreed that the soldiers in the 2nd battalion,which today constitute one of three battalions in the Army’s combat force, will be replaced with civilians who will be called for annual exercises.
Nygård told Aftenposten newspaper that if the battalion is cut, 1,900 of the combat force and support staff will be transferred to mobilisation forces.
In an internal note to which the newspaper referred,Nygård warned that such a battalion “does not want any immediate reaction”. It can not be in operation until after ten days, and it can not be placed anywhere else other than in Inner Troms without “significant preparation and time”. The army strongly recommended that the 2nd battalion be maintained.
Defence spokesperson for Høyre (H), Hårek Elvenes, said the picture Hærstaben and Nygård painted contradicts the investigation of the land power division.
“It concluded that the solution planned provides an army with greater operational ability for larger parts of the year,” he said, adding:
‘’If it is found that not enough material for the army structure has been adopted, we must look into it. We do not have an army only on paper.’’
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today