Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby provided the following readout on January 10, 2014 regarding Secretary of Defense meeting with his Norwegian counterpart Minister of Defense Ine Eriksen Soreide.
The Norwegian Armed Forces (Norwegian: Forsvaret, “The Defense”) is the military organization responsible for the defense of Norway. It is one of the best trained military’s in the entire world – without a doubt.
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 members. (source: http://mil.no/Pages/default.aspx).
“Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel met with Norwegian Minister of Defense Ine Eriksen Soreide today at the Pentagon.
“Secretary Hagel thanked the minister for Norway’s continued contributions to NATO and international missions in Afghanistan, the Mediterranean and elsewhere around the world. He commended Norway’s contributions to the ongoing maritime transportation operation to remove chemical weapons from Syria and noted progress on this important mission.
“The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to improving the military capabilities of the alliance, particularly in an era of reduced defense spending, and to working closely together to find other ways in which our bilateral relationship can be advanced.
“Secretary Hagel reiterated the United States’ commitment to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program and welcomed Norway’s initial aircraft procurement.
“The secretary highlighted the planned deployment of a Norwegian ship to the upcoming Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise as a symbol of Norway’s commitment to sharing the burden of maintaining global security. He also thanked the Norwegians for their continued support for the U.S. Marine Corps Prepositioning Program-Norway.
“Finally, the leaders shared perspectives on challenges and opportunities in the Arctic, and the value of cooperation with regional partners on issues ranging from economic development to management of new shipping lanes” (source: DOD http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=16477).
For more information on the Norwegian military see website: http://mil.no/Pages/default.aspx