The Jegertroppen – or “Hunter Troops” – was started after Norway's Armed Forces' Special Command saw an increased need for female special operations soldiers — particularly in places like Afghanistan where male troops were forbidden from communicating with women.
The exclusion of half the population was having a detrimental impact on intelligence gathering and building community relations.
Colonel Frode Kristofferson, commander of Norway's special forces, said: “We needed female soldiers to take care of the women and children in the buildings that we searched.”
He added by the end of the one-year program, female soldiers had become just as capable as their male counterparts.
NORWEGIAN SPECIAL FORCES
Norway has moved fast to break down military gender barriers
Norway has moved fast to break down military gender barriers.
The country’s parliament introduced legislation in the 1980s that opened up all military roles to women, and in 2016, became the first NATO country to introduce female conscription.
Unit member Tonje, 22, said: “We’re carrying the same weight in backpack as the boys.
“We do the same tasks. I’m the smallest, so I carry as much weight as I myself weigh.”
Inside the World’s First All-Female Special Forces Unit: Norway’s Jegertroppen
Wed, April 19, 2017
Norwegian Special Forces
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
1 of 8
Captain Ole Vidar, the officer leading the training program, said that the female unit has shown a stronger sense of solidarity among its members than the men in the elite platoon.
In 2013, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta removed the military’s ban women serving in ground combat assignments. However, since then relatively few have been trained or assigned to these jobs in the US military.
Last year, the UK saw all exclusions of women serving in Ground Close Combat (GCC) roles lifted.
All roles in the The King's Royal Hussars, The Royal Tank Regiment, and all Army Reserve Royal Armoured Corps units have now been opened to women.
Women will be permitted to join the rest of the previously closed GCC roles in the Royal Armoured Corps, British Army Infantry, Royal Marines and the RAF Regiment by the end of 2018.