The Norwegian Armed Forces (Norwegian language: Forsvaret, "The Defence") is the military organization responsible for the defence of Norway. 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. Norway employs a weak form of mandatory military service for women and men. While 63841 men and women were called in for the examination of persons liable for military service in 2012 (mandatory for men), just 9265 were conscripted. In practice conscription military service is voluntary. On 14 June 2013 the Norwegian Parliament voted to extend conscription to women making Norway the first NATO member and first European country to make national service compulsory for both men and women. The military expenditure of US$6.2 billion is the highest per capita in Europe.
An organized military was first assembled in Norway in the 9th century and was early focused around naval warfare. The army was created in 1628 as part of Denmark–Norway, followed by two centuries of regular wars. A Norwegian military was established in 1814, but the military did not see combat until the German occupation of Norway in 1940. Norway abandoned its position as a neutral country in 1949 to become a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The Cold War saw a large build-up of air stations and military bases, especially in Northern Norway. Since the 2000s, the military has transformed from a focus on defence from an invasion to a mobile force for international missions.
Defence Staff Norway (DEFSTNOR) in Oslo acts as the staff of the Chief of Defence. It is headed by a three-star general or admiral. DEFSTNOR assigns priorities, manages resources, provides force generation and support activities. Each of the four branches of defence is headed by a two-star general/admiral who are subordinate to DEFSTNOR.
National Joint Headquarters (NJHQ) located at Reitan, close to Bodø has operational control of Norwegian armed forces worldwide 24/7. It is headed by the Supreme Commander Norwegian Forces - a three-star general or admiral.
Norwegian Defence Logistics Organization (NDLO) at Kolsås outside Oslo is responsible for engineering, procurement, investment, supply, information and communications technology. It is also responsible for maintenance, repair and storage of material.