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Coordinates: 69°43′33″N 29°53′29″E / 69.725781°N 029.891294°E / 69.725781; 029.891294

Garnisonen i Sør-Varanger
Active 1945 - present
Country Norway
Branch Army
Type Infantry
Role Reconnaissance patrols
Size One Garrison
Part of ISTAR
Garrison/HQ Høybuktmoen
Colors Umbra green beret
Lieutenant colonel
Jørn Erik Berntsen
Commander-in-Chief HM The King

The Garrison of Sør-Varanger (GSV) is a military camp located next to Høybuktmoen Airport near Kirkenes in Sør-Varanger, Norway. The camp is under the control of the Norwegian Army and consists of Grensekompani/Utdanning (GrKp/U, En.: Border Company Education), Garnisonskompani (GaKp, En.: Garrison Company), and Grensekompani (GrKp, En.: Border Company). The border company's main job is to guard the Norwegian-Russian border. The garrison also has a company consisting of radio communications experts and a school for training army officers for jobs in the GSV.

The service at GSV

The troops at GSV mainly consists of conscripted soldiers. Most of the soldiers are men, but there is also an increasing amount of women. GSV receives about 400 new conscripts every six months.

The first seven weeks of recruit training, which is standard for all military personnel in Norway. After basic training, some of the soldiers are transferred to the garrison company to work in and around the garrison to support the education of the GRKP/u, the GRKP itself and the mission-solvance of the GSV border company.

The rest of the soldiers stay in the education company to become border guards. After six months, through basic training, advanced training and specialist/designated training, the soldiers are divided up and sent to one of the six border stations.

The border service requires physical and mental stamina, discipline and the ability to think, decide and initiate. The service requires individuals and units to operate independently. The soldiers deployed for border service are basically trained as reconnaissance rangers. Most of the time in the education company consist of field exercise, fire drills and role specialisation.

At the border, the soldiers are divided into four-man patrol teams. A typical patrol team consist of one patrol commander corporal, one communications technician, one medical specialist and one scout. Not assigned, but perfectly available for the teams are canine(K9 approx) corporals, responsible for handling and training the patrol canines, and transportation corporals, responsible for mobility, administrative tasks and maintenance. In addition, a portion of the border guards are assigned with a dual role; reconnassaissance and operations headquarters, they also serve as regular border guards.

The soldiers' main task is to function as border guards on the Russian border, guarding not only the border to a neighbouring country, but also the European border according to the Schengen Agreement. During wartime their task is to monitor enemy advance and gather intelligence on hostile movement, most likely during covert retreat southwards in Norway.

The border stations

From north to south

In addition to the border stations, The checkpoint at Storskog is the only legal crossing point between Norway and Russia. This checkpoint is manned by police, custom services and military personnel from the grensekommisær (border commissar).

Treaty and sovereignty enforcement of the Norwegian border to Russia is a three-agency operation. Østfinnmark politidistrikt, the police district, is responsible for prosecution, fines and processing of illegal immigrants, asylum seekers and border violations. Grensekommisæren, the border commissioner, is the policymaking and diplomatic department. It arranges contact and meetings with its Russian counterpart, makes agreements and rules and is a substantial part of the diplomatic process. Finally the GSV, the battalion of the Norwegian Army, is responsible of military border patrol. The soldiers are granted police authority for border relations and is one of the few Norwegian law enforcement divisions carrying weapons and live ammunition on a daily basis.

External links



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