In continuing our series that highlights various special operations units of the world that use the AR weapon platform in their arsenal, we will use this post to provide a brief introduction to the Norwegian Forsvarets SpesialKommando (FSK) unit.
As far as historic special ops units go, the FSK is a relative newcomer. The concept of a Norwegian special forces capability originated around 1981 in response to the prevalence of terrorism in general and the susceptibility of North Sea oil platforms to terrorism in particular. The unit became "operational" around 1984, but for about the first decade of its service its existence was highly confidential and at times denied. Due to operations and training events with the special forces units of other countries, more is known about its existence and capabilities, but the unit is still highly secretive. This has led to a lack of veritable information about specific details such as unit size, command, training, and how this unit interacts with other Norwegian Department of Defense units.
It is thought that member selection and training is similar to that of most other military special ops units, and that most members come from other Norwegian special forces units such as their Army Rangers Force (HJK) and Marine Naval Command (MJK). These units are also considered "special operations" units but with different operational functions than the FSK, though they may share facilities and even command with the FSK.
During war or counter-terrorism operations, the unit performs tasks such as intelligence gathering, hostage rescue and personnel protection (including members of royalty and political personnel), and direct action (assaults). The FSK is also available to support the Norwegian national police force and the LE agencies of other nations, when requested.
FSK has been active in recent conflict theaters such as Kosovo and Afghanistan. According to Norwegian media, the unit has actively supported U.S. forces in Operation Enduring Freedom through activities such as training Afghan military forces. The have also participated in training and operations with special forces units from other allied nations, including the British SAS, KSK of Germany, and USSOCOM.
AR platform weapons are the current battle rifle in service with the FSK. The Colt Canada (Diemaco) C8SFW and the Heckler and Koch 416 are the two main 5.56x45 Nato weapons used by the FSK. The H&K weapon is a gas piston operated AR platform, while the Colt Canada C8 uses the standard direct impingement gas system. The C8 is much like the U.S. M4, but with a heavy profile barrel. A short-barreled Colt Canada C8CQB is also used and is almost identical to the U.S. Mark 18 Mod 0 with a 10" barrel and Vortex muzzle device. The AR platform variants are typically configured with rail systems for mounting and employing optical and target acquisition accessories.
The FSK is a highly trained unit capable of performing special operations functions in the defense of Norway and allied nations. The unit's selection of the AR platform as their "go to" battle rifle is a strong statement of confidence in the AR's utility and dependability.
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