The Norwegian Coast Guard (Norwegian: Kystvakten) is a maritime military force which is part of the Royal Norwegian Navy. The coast guard's responsibility are for fisheries inspection, customs enforcement, border control, law enforcement, shipping inspection, environmental protection, and search and rescue. It operates throughout Norway's 2,385,178-square-kilometer (920,922 sq mi) exclusive economic zone (EEZ), internal waters and territorial waters. It is headquartered at Sortland Naval Base. In 2013 the Coast Guard had 370 employees, including conscripts, and a budget of 1.0 billion Norwegian krone.
The force is subdivided into three main divisions. The Outer Coast Guard covers the EEZ and consists of three Nordkapp-class offshore patrol vessels, three Barentshav-class offshore patrol vessels as well as Ålesund, Svalbard and Harstad. The Inner Coast Guard consists of five Nornen-class patrol vessels. The Coast Guard has air support of the P-3 Orion patrol aircraft and Westland Lynx helicopters, both operated by the Royal Norwegian Air Force. The Westland Lynx is being phased out in Norwegian service, and replaced with the NH90.
The Coast Guard has its basis in the defunct Fisheries Surveillance Service, which was established in 1908. It was a jointly military and civilian operation; it leased fishing vessels during the season to supplement larger navy vessels. This was converted into the Military Fisheries Surveillance in 1961. The Coast Guard was established on 1 April 1977, the same year as Norway delineated its EEZ. The restructuring led to the delivery of the Nordkapp-class and the Lynx helicopters. The Inner Coast Guard was established in 1996. The Coast Guard has participated in the 1990–91 Gulf War and the 2014 destruction of Syria's chemical weapons.