International operations and veterans

The Norwegian Armed Forces International operations and veterans - here you can read a summery.

Participation in international operations is an important and integral part of Norway’s security and defence policy, and a steadily increasing number of armed forces personnel will in future have served overseas. Since 1947 around 100,000 Norwegian men and women have taken part in almost 100 international operations. Both the Norwegian Armed Forces and society at large have a strong responsibility to take care of the subsequent welfare of those who are sent out on demanding missions in countries where war and conflict are rife.

As part of the investment in veterans’ welfare, in 2008 the Norwegian Armed Forces purchased the former war veterans nursing home at Bæreia near Kongsvinger. The centre is now known as the Armed Forces’ Veterans Centre. The Centre has been fully operational since 1 August 2009 and offers welfare and recreation facilities to veterans and their families. Personnel are entitled by law to one year’s follow-up from the Ministry of Defence on completion of their service and the compensation arrangements have been strengthened. A special compensation scheme has been introduced for the benefit of veterans who suffer psychological disorders due to post-traumatic stress as a result of service in international operations.

An action plan, “In Service for Norway”, for the care of personnel before, during and after serving abroad was put forward by the Government on 2 May 2011, following up the measures contained in Report No. 34 (2008-2009) to the Norwegian parliament “From Conscript to Veteran”.

The action plan has been developed on the basis of broad interdepartmental cooperation between the Ministries of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion, Defence, Foreign Affairs, Health and Care Services, Justice and Public Security and Labour. The action plan encompasses 126 measures which are to be implemented over the period 2011-2013. The objective of the action plan is to improve society’s recognition of, and provision of care for, the personnel covered by the action plan. Of the 126 initiatives set out in the plan, over 80 relate directly to Armed Forces veterans. The plan focuses on preventive measures, competence building, crosssectoral cooperation, research and development and measures to reinforce the recognition given to our veterans. Society’s support for veterans needing aftercare must be unified, coordinated and, as far as is possible, seamless.

To provide a common point of contact for all veterans, the Armed Forces Veteran Administration (FVA) was established in 2006. In 2011 the project for the Armed Forces Veteran Service was set up to manage, coordinate and follow up the Government’s action plan “In Service for Norway”. This project, which from 1 August 2013 becomes a permanent section of the Defence Staff, also provides a door through which members of the Norwegian Armed Forces can raise all kinds of veteran-related questions. The Veteran Service is headed by the Armed Forces Veteran Inspector who is the Chief of Defence’s advisor on all questions concerning veterans.

Veteran and employee organisations play an important part in the work of improving the care and facilities available to ex-service personnel and veterans. The Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces Veteran Service will, on application, provide financial support to veteran organisations and others whose activities are directed towards veterans.

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