Marinejegerkommandoen (MJK) is a Norwegian maritime special forces unit formally established in 1951. It is divided into two operative units, one of which is located in Ramsund in the northern part of Norway and the other at the Haakonsvern Navy base in Bergen. As is expected from any special forces, the training to become a MJK operative is long and arduous, taking two years and then further augmented by courses taken during the following four-year contract period, such as field medical training and sniper training and forward air control (FAC) training. As of recently, all MJK personnel are assigned as officers and are put through the required courses to qualify. This is to maintain a level of authority and operational independence in relation to other, non-special-forces, units. Despite being less “famous” than e.g. the British SAS or United States Navy SEALs, they are by many military experts considered to be one of the world’s foremost special forces unit.
Role in Domestic and International Security
“Operatives are tasked to accomplish missions where conventional forces are unusable. MJK operatives are highly mobile, with stamina and forceful firepower in terms of their operative size. MJK operatives are specialists in maritime operations. They are trained and equipped to solve missions while under extreme climatic and environmental stresses.”
MJK is an integral part of the special operations command mesh that serves to protect Norway’s interests, both domestic and internationally. As this unit is to be used with maximum efficiency internationally, it is modeled after the NATO Special Forces definition.
MJK includes a frogman unit (in Norwegian Froskemanskorpset).
MJK’s role in a domestic defence situation is multifaceted, augmenting those of the Forsvarets Spesialkommando (FSK), Hærens Jegerkommando (HJK), HV-016, and Kystjegerkommandoen (KJK), while also supported by the Marine EOD command: Minedykkerkommandoen (MDK).
MJK has participated in a number of international operations, most notably and most recently twice in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, in 2002 and in 2003, MJK’s contribution has largely been kept secret, but from what is available, its missions have included DA (Direct Action), Forward Air Control (FAC) and SR (Special Surveillance and Reconnaissance), assisting US troops in the fight against the Taliban.
Their participation in Afghanistan has been rewarded by the Navy Presidential Unit Citation on 8th February 2005 on grounds of their efforts, and it is the first time since the Vietnam war this citation is given to a special forces unit. The Presidential Unit Citation is the highest unit award given by the US.