MONS, Belgium – Allied Command Operations (ACO) Command Senior Enlisted Leader (CSEL) Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) Kevin Mathers visited the Norwegian Armed Forces in Oslo, as well as the border police from Mar. 26 to 30, 2023.
In the High North where the northern point of NATO begins, four senior leaders joined together to get an in-depth look at how the Norwegian Armed Forces train, patrol and defend their nation.
Conscripts are smart, educated, motivated, they take responsibility and become great soldiers
Allied Command Operations (ACO) Command Senior Enlisted Leader (CSEL) Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) Kevin Mathers joined the Norwegian Armed Forces CSEL Command Sergeant Major (CSM) Rune Wenneberg, Norwegian Defence Staff CSEL CSM Guttorm Bentdal and Norwegian Army CSEL Kristian Simonsen.
The week began with a tour of Norway’s easternmost border, ending with a night at one of the border posts and a meeting with the Conscripts who are responsible for monitoring the post. During winter months when the snow makes driving impossible, soldiers use skis and snowmobiles to travel and transport necessary items. The Conscripts take turns living and working at the various posts around Norway, operating as a team to ensure mission success.
ACO Command Senior Enlisted Leader Chief Warrant Officer Kevin Mathers visited the Norwegian Armed Forces in Oslo, as well as the border police from Mar. 26 to 30, 2023. - NATO Photos by U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Kristin Savage
“The Norwegian Conscripts are the backbone of the Norwegian Armed Forces,” said CSM Wenneberg. “Conscripts are smart, educated, motivated, they take responsibility and become great soldiers.”
After meeting with the Finnmark Chief of Police and the Norwegian Border Commissioner, the team headed back to Oslo to learn more about cold weather operations.
Over the following days, the team visited the Centre of Excellence – Cold Weather Operations, the Telemark Battalion, Army Special Forces, the Army Basic Training Battalion and joined Nordic students for a field lunch at the NCO School Squad Leader Course.
During these engagements, Soldiers demonstrated their resolve and determination to keep their skills sharp even when the terrain and temperatures provide challenges. They achieve readiness through continuous training and education.
NATO remains a defensive Alliance, aimed at preventing conflict and preserving peace. The Arctic is a gateway to the Atlantic with trade, transportation and communication links from Europe to North America. Not only is Norway prepared to deter and defend, but they also provide training for and train alongside their Allies to ensure they are ready to protect the territory’s one billion citizens.