– It is pretty much all over the place

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50 per cent more conscripts will be taken in and Terningmoen will house six times more recruits than before, three ministers announced at the military camp on Tuesday.

One of those who had made the journey to Elverum, where Terningmoen is located, is the man who will lead the many new soldiers who are coming in.

Major-General Lars Lervik was served both coffee and sweets on Tuesday, but he expects the really big treats when the entire long-term plan is laid out on Friday.

– Already needed

The uninitiated speculate whether the defense chief’s advice is heeded, and the Army gets two new brigades and money for another mechanized maneuver battalion. It was decided that the Army would get such a battalion in the current long-term plan (2021-2024), but the build-up would start in 2026, after the plan’s expiry date.

As far as the Defense Forum is aware, no definite starting signal has been given from the political side to begin the establishment.

If this starting shot goes ahead, the major-general, who himself has reasons from the cavalry, is in no doubt as to how many of the 4,500 new conscripts may end up:

– Part of it is already needed in relation to what has been decided; fourth battalion in Troms, continued build-up in Finnmark and then we have to look at what comes from new departments in addition, which could mean that we have even greater needs.

– Which departments could it have been?

– What we have recommended is a full-fledged brigade in Finnmark, plus a reserve brigade. Then we will see what the government recommends.

PROTESTING: Recruits at Terningmoen camp showed off weapons drills when members of the government and a general visited the camp on Tuesday.
Photo: Krister Sørbø, Defense forum

600-700 people

Now there is hardly a bed available at Terningmoen, and it must be built and expanded if there are to be several thousand extra conscripts and employees in the coming years.

– Right now it is packed, says the army commander.

But it is not just the recruit school that needs to be expanded if several thousand more soldiers are to be housed, fed and equipped with clothing and weapons.

– The build-up that will take place here must be followed up with a corresponding build-up in the places where we will have new departments, quite obviously. We are in the process of doing that at Porsangermoen, but we also have to do it at Skjold, Setermoen and Bardufoss, says Lervik.

A brigade consists of close to 5,000 people, while a new battalion consists of several hundred people.

– If a 4th battalion is to be built at Setermoen, facilities must be built for 600-700 employees and conscripts in initial service such as barracks, housing and garages, says Lervik.

– It is pretty much all over the place right now.

Pssst! According to Chief of Defense Eirik Kristoffersen’s professional military advice, the plans for the 4th mechanized maneuver battalion should be shelved if there is no increase in the budget in the new long-term plan. In that case, he thinks the Armed Forces should rather concentrate on making what they already have work.


MONEY? At Terningmoen, wraps and instant coffee were served, but Finance Minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum can offer harder currency than that.
Photo: Krister Sørbø, Defense forum

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50 per cent more conscripts are to be called up in the coming years

It shines through the cloud cover over Elverum that Lars Lervik is counting on a new battalion. But the major-general keeps other wishes close to his chest.

– There are many things I want, and the chief of defense and I have given advice on that. So we will have to wait until Friday and see how much of the advice to the defense chief is heeded.

– Is there something that could break your heart if it doesn’t come?

– My heart is not broken, but we have given good advice about an increased volume that makes what we have seem better.

He thinks the news at Terningmoen bodes well for what is to come in a few days.

– I think it’s a good start to a week that should give us a significant investment. I am optimistic.

Also read:

The defense representative on the long-term plan: – Now or never

The article is in Norwegian

Tags: pretty place

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