Norwegian Special Operations

Forsvarets Spesialkommando (FSK)

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Forsvarets Spesialkommando (FSK) is a special forces unit of the Norwegian Ministry of Defence. The unit was established in 1981 due to the increased risk of terrorist activity against Norwegian interests, especially the oil platforms in the North Sea.

FSK was first officially revealed to the media after the military’s comments regarding the hijacking of an airplane at Fornebu in September 1993.

Kosovo

FSK and Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) cooperated in various manners, during the Kosovo conflict.

Afghanistan

FSK supported U.S. Special Forces in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. That Norwegian special forces used newly developed and top secret methods and tools that gave the allied forces important information, has been alleged by Norwegian media.

FSK has co-operated with other special forces such as the British SAS, Delta Force and DEVGRU of US Special Operations Command and KSK of Germany.

Organization

The unit was claimed to consist of about 100 commandos, as of 2003 (These individual commandos are referred to by various names in the Norwegian media, including kommandosoldat, spesialsoldat and spesialjeger).

Chain of Command

Above the FSK’s Commanding Officer, the chain of command includes the Ministry of Defence. The unit commander reports directly to GIH (generalinspektøren for hæren). There is at least one reference claiming the existence of a Chief of special forces (sjefen for spesialstyrkene)

Relationship with HJK

HJK (Hærens Jegerkommando) and FSK have at times (if not today) had a Commanding Officer who officially lead both units at the same time.

FSK and HJK share training facilities at the military base (Rena leir), where both units are headquartered.

The term “FSK/HJK”

The term “FSK/HJK” is in use. FSK/HJK are claimed to be a special force(s) (“en spesialstyrke”). FSK/HJK are also claimed to be responsible for preparing/training soldiers for service in spesialjegerkommandoen and fallskjermjegertroppen

HJK received its name in 1997, and records are lacking regarding any subsequent change of the unit’s name. Records of FSK, being incorporated into another unit, are also lacking.

FSK/HJK is the name of any task force convened, consisting of the two different units, FSK and HJK.

FSK and HJK, have the capabilities of sharing logistics, training facilities and other resources, including mailing address.

General Tasks

In peacetime they are a support element to the Norwegian Police force and law enforcement agencies in allied nations, acting when requested in serious incidents like hostage situations and aircraft hijacking. During counter-terrorist operations, FSK operatives are trained to eliminate the threats rather than trying to arrest them.

In wartime, their tasks are mainly:

* to gather intelligence
* to localize and identify enemy supplies and activity
* to carry out offensive operations against very important targets
* to provide support to rescue missions involving important personnel
* to provide protection to personnel and departments.

Selection

Soldiers from any branch of the Norwegian military, can be selected to join FSK. Conscripts can not apply for FSK selection.

Previously, the FSK only accepted applicants who had served as a conscript in either Marinejegerkommandoen or HJK.

Training

Candidates for FSK will go through some of the toughest Norwegian military training. Only a handful finish the entire training period.

FSK-officers are claimed to receive training at Long Range Reconnaissance School in Germany.

Criticism of the Training

Parachute landings on oil platforms in the North Sea

Testimony in court and in the media indicates that training previously included parachute landings on helicopter landing-pads related to oil platforms. The SAS (special forces from Britain) considered such as “suicide missions.”

“Sitting Duck” Exercises

In the past, the training has included “sitting duck” exercises, where a soldier had to sit still while live rounds were fired, missing the soldier’s head by only a few centimeters. The stated purpose of the exercise, if any, is lacking from records.

Comments made about the exercise include “There probably is a reason why one does not conduct this exercise today.”

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