The Armed Forces saved more than NOK 250 million kroner on reduced travel activities in 2020 due to the corona pandemic.
On Tuesday, Chief of Defense Eirik Kristoffersen presented the Armed Forces’ annual report for 2020.
During the presentation, he stated that the pandemic had led to increased digitalization and reduced travel, which has resulted in around NOK 253 million in reduced expenses.
“We assume that a 20% reduction in travel activity in the future will be a natural consequence of what we have learned during the pandemic,” Kristoffersen said, according to the Armed Forces Forum.
In the annual report, Kristoffersen noted that the corona pandemic has led to the digitalization in the Armed Forces being forced.
“One result is that travel has been significantly reduced, and the Armed Forces have saved both time and money. A lasting lesson is that the Armed Forces can reduce travel activities in the future and re-prioritize money from travel activities to improve operational capability,” the report states.
The Chief of Defense emphasized that the Armed Forces have also increased their operational capability in 2020. The reason for this is, among other things, that the reception of the new F-35 aircraft is going as planned, that new field vehicles have been received in the Home Guard, new artillery has been phased into the Army, and the logistics vessel KNM Maud has started training towards operational status.
In addition, the Armed Forces have had the resources to catch up on maintenance, spare parts, and emergency stocks.
“Put together, this has contributed to increased operational capability,” the report states.
At the same time, the Chief of Defense writes that the new NH90 helicopters still have challenges and deliver significantly fewer flight hours than planned.
Therefore, the operational support for the Coast Guard and the Navy is marginal. But the pandemic has also led to increased expenses in connection with infection control and extra tasks such as guarding the border.
This gave the Armed Forces additional costs totaling NOK 348 million in 2020. However, the cost has been covered by the reduced travel expenses and by less use of overtime.
Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews
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