Minister suggests major defense cuts
Northern Norway will be heavily affected, but the Border Guards on the border to Russia will be added a new ranger company.
The long-term plan suggests allocating NOK 150 billion (€16.2 billion) to the Armed Forces over the next 20 years. This is NOK 25 billion (€2.7 billion) less than the Chief of Defense Admiral Haakon Bruun-Hanssen proposed in a report he presented last autumn.
The minister wants to protect larger investments like the purchase of 52 F-35 jet fighters, new submarines and new maritime patrol planes. The ambition is simultaneously a defense in better balance. It would mean that in some areas must be more efficient and cut down.
More than 1,500 jobs will be eliminated - some 1,100 military staff and 450 civilians. This will give net savings of NOK 2.4 billion over four years and NOK 23 billion over 20 years.
The Army is the branch that will be hit hardest. The minister suggests liquidating the 700 men large 2nd battalion of the Northern Brigade in Troms County.
Other bases that are planned to be closed, are Trondenes, Harstad Syd, Åsegarden, Setnesmoen, Kjeller, Andøya, Kjevik, Nærøysund og Grunden 22.
The Border Guard on the Norwegian-Russian border is suggested reinforced with a ranger company. The border guard is based at Sør-Varanger Garrison outside Kirkenes.
The final proposals for a long-term plan will be delivered to the Norwegian Parliament in the beginning of June, Dagens Næringsliv reports.