It seems the Norwegian military is in financial trouble! The Norwegian Ministry of Defense has issued a statement saying that they will no longer be able to equip officers and other personnel with both a rifle and pistol, and therefore pistols issued to such personnel should be turned in immediately. According to an article in AftenPosten, machine translated below:
Frustration and despair are great in the Army, not least in the professional departments and hurtigreakjonsstyrkene.
For Brigade North can no longer afford to equip officers and professional soldiers with both rifle and pistol.
It is modest Aftenposten has received, and as Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Jankov, spokesman for the Army, confirmed to the newspaper.
– We do not think this is something all right. But we have to implement the measure, for economic reasons, says Jankov.
Brigade North is in effect, most of the Norwegian Army, with offices in both the North and Rena at Elverum in southern Norway.
Would not say how much money they save without guns
Overall we are talking about a great many guns. How much defense should save this would not Lieutenant Colonel Jankov comment.
Modest comes the same day that Chief of Defence Haakon Bruun-Hanssen opposite site aldri mer.No warning that he will ask the government for more money for 2016.
Without an additional appropriation may dramatic cuts in operations in defense persist for the entire 2016, states on the website.
A clean need to save money
– Where does the order of about submitting guns?
– From the highest level, said Lieutenant Colonel Jankov.
– This happens from a purely need to save money. We have tight budgets in the Army. The operation also with secondary weapons, and train with it, buy ammo, are very costly.
– It is therefore gone out orders, as a temporary measure, to submit pistols.Exceptions are made for those who are either looking in or going out in overseas operations, and departments that are on what we call “ongoing emergency” in which dobbeltbevæpning is required.Torbjørn Kjos Violence, Defence Media Centre
– It means that also soldiers and officers of the Telemark Battalion, in other professional departments, and the Army’s rapid reakjonsstyrke shall submit their guns?
– Yes, they shall also submit.
According to AftenPosten’s source, Lieutenant Colonel Jankov, the number of guns to be turned in numbers in the thousands. Even the Rapid Reaction Forces must turn in their pistols, as well. Pistols, being a secondary weapon, were deemed expendable items for the budget cuts. Turning in the pistols will reduce maintenance, ammunition, and training costs, as soldiers will no longer be trained on handguns as a matter of course. However, personnel deployed to combat zones will still be issued handguns, and be given the requisite training upon deployment.
The Norwegian military has experienced a significant budget drawdown in 2016. According to the article, several sections of the Norwegian armed forces are understaffed or not staffed at all. Given Norway’s close proximity to Russia, one can only speculate how the Norwegian government believes it can secure the defense of the country against growing tensions in the East.
The Norwegian military uses the P80, their variant of the Glock 17. It was adopted in 1982.