Norwegian conscripts told to return underwear as Covid hits supplies

Norwegian conscripts are to return their underwear after completing military service for the next recruits, as the army struggles with dwindling supplies due to Covid.

Norway, which guards Nato’s northern borders and shares a border with Russia, calls up about 8,000 young men and women for military service every year and until recently allowed newly discharged conscripts to leave barracks with the underwear they were issued.

But the pandemic has seriously strained the flow of supplies with factory shutdowns and transport problems, leading the Norwegian military to ask conscripts to hand over underwear, including bras and socks.

Though originally voluntary, it has now been made mandatory, public broadcaster NRK reported on Friday.

“Now that we have chosen to reuse this part of the kit, it helps us. … We don’t have enough in stock,” the defence logistics spokesman Hans Meisingset told NRK.

“The textiles are washed, cleaned and checked. What we distribute is in good condition," Egli ha detto.

A conscripts’ representative, tuttavia, criticised recurrent shortcomings, saying they could end up affecting operations.

“Severe shortages of equipment and clothing can potentially affect operational readiness and, in the worst case, the safety of the soldier,” Eirik Sjohelle Eiksund told trade publication Forsvarets Forum.

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