Today Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway was an observer at the Norwegian Civil Defense’s winter exercise at Vikafjellet between Hordaland and Sogn og Fjordane counties.
The Norwegian Civil Defence is an organization within the government, that provides additional help to emergency and rescue operations, should they be needed. They’re also equipped for helping the civil population should Norway ever be invaded again. The latter used to be one of their principal causes for preparation during the cold war, however, in this day and age, they focus more on rescue operations.
They draw their recruits, according to the law, from men and women between the ages of 18 and 65 who are residents of Norway. The recruits are former military draftees, people who don’t have gone through the military draft for various reasons, civil draftees and women between the ages of 18 and 40 years of age. The time served, in total over the years, is meant to be less than 19 months.
The organization is divided into several branches; the two chief branches are peace-time and war-time operations.
There are about 50,000 people connected to the Civil Defense in one way or another.
Unlike when Mary joined the Danish Home Guard, Mette-Marit won’t be training with weaponry, as the Civil Defense is not a military department.
The purpose of today’s exercise is to gain training in helping people evacuate from difficult terrain in harsh weather conditions. Mette-Marit arrived at Voss, dressed in the traditional Civil defence uniform. The name-tag read: HKH Mette-Marit (HRH Mette-Marit).
Pictures and articles (in Norwegian)
NRK Sogn og Fjordane