First border guard soldiers ready for prolonged service

Dog handlers are amongst the group of border guard soldiers that will be offered to do 18 months of military service instead of 12. Photo: Trude Pettersen

Border guards on the Norwegian-Russian border will be the first in the kingdom to have 18 months of service instead of today’s 12. The first 30 soldiers ready for prolonged service have arrived in the Norwegian Border Guard Battalion.


The system of prolonged service is voluntary. During this autumn’s examination of persons liable for military service, part of the drafted personnel were informed about the pilot by the National Service Administration and former border guard soldiers. Twenty consripts signaled their interest for the project at the examination, another ten will be recruited later by the battalion, Press Officer Lars Erik Gausen tells BarentsObserver.

More time for specialization
The soldiers will sign a declaration on willingness to serve 18 months later this autumn, after finishing training school. Some of the soldiers will be doing service in the Border Guard Battalion’s headquarters in Sør-Varanger Garrison, while others will be serving at the newly established Company Pasvik, monitoring the southern part of the border to Russia, or the “Grensekompaniet” (Border Company), controlling the northern border strip.

The soldiers will have positions that require comprehensive training, like dog handlers, drivers, radar operators or squad commanders. “By increasing total time of service with 50 percent, we double the time soldiers are employed in specialized occupations“, Gausen says, and adds that this will have a positive impact on for instance traffic safety, as drivers will have more time for training. “The aim of this project is not to prolong military service for everybody, but to find out how we can employ compulsory service in the best possible way”, he says.

Benefits for the soldiers
Several incentives have been introduced to the soldiers who sign the contract on 18 months of service. They will get higher daily allowance during the last six months of service and more money at demobilization than other soldiers; they will get three weeks of courses for civilian vocational training or higher education, better scholarship arrangements and career advisement after demobilization. Their daily allowance during the six last months will amount to NOK 214 (€26.6) and the demobilization money NOK 51,627 (€6,430), Gausen says.

To border stations instead of six
Norway in the process of investing in a more effective system for surveillance and control of the border. The six existing border stations along the 196 kilometers long border to Russia will be replaced by two larger stations. The first of these stations will open in Svanvik in January 2014. The other will be located in close proximity to the border-crossing point at Storskog – construction of this one will probably start in 2014.