King’s Guards win a reprieve

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His Majesty the King’s Guards won’t be downgraded to a purely ceremonial unit after all. Military officials have “made an about face” on their earlier decision to strip them of their current defense role.

Newspaper Aftenposten had reported earlier this month that the decision set off protests, not least among the guards themselves, and raised questions about the state of military preparedness in Oslo. While other European capitals are boosting the presence of military units, Oslo faced having its nearest full-scale unit at Rena in eastern Norway.

Now military chief Harald Sunde has reconsidered and Aftenposten reports the guards will no longer lose all infantry training from early next year. It wasn’t clear whether King Harald himself had protested, but Sunde said he and his fellow officers will now review “all operative assignments.” He added that the royal guards are “an important division for such assignments.”

It will thus be “business as usual” for the guards, both with infantry training and field exercises in addition to parade and ceremonial duties.

Views and News staff