Defense minister downplays US pullout

Norwegian Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen is downplaying local media reports about how the US Marine Corps is withdrawing around 700 troops from Norway. He admits the Marines will have “considerably fewer soldiers in Norway on a daily basis,” but will continue to send personnel to Norway in connection with joint military exercises. “American forces will […]

Russia plans new exercises in Arctic

Just weeks after NATO conducted military exercises in the Barents Sea, and now has forced Norway’s northern city of Tromsø to receive nuclear-powered submarines, Russia is responding with major exercises of its own. Russian officials are calling the NATO exercises off Norway a “provocation,” while the Norwegians say they haven’t been officially informed about them. […]

US and Britain flex muscle in the Arctic

Four US Navy ships and one from Britain have been sailing in the waters off Norway’s North Cape this week, without any vessels from their NATO ally sailing with them. Defense analysts calls it a strategic display of force, which Norway must follow closely. The Kirkenes-based Barents Observer reported Tuesday that the American and British vessels […]

Long-term defense plan ‘disappointing’

Two new battalions and more helicopters for special forces will, among other projects, boost Norway’s defense spending by NOK 16.5 billion (USD 1.6 billion) by 2028, according to the government’s latest long-term defense plan. Norway will end up complying with NATO’s spending goals as early as next year, but only because the country’s economy is […]

NATO defense ministers pledge support

“We can’t let the Corona crisis affect our security,” Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen said after a meeting of NATO defense ministers on Wednesday. He claimed they were “standing together,” maintaining operational capability and preparedeness, and “helping each other where we can.” The meeting, which had to be held via videoconferencing, was held in what Bakke-Jensen […]

Virus shoots down Liberation jubilee

The canons at Akershus in Oslo and other fortresses around Norway will be fired, but the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Norway in 1945 will otherwise be quietly observed on May 8th. It’s yet another major event spoiled by the Corona virus crisis. “Liberation Day on the 8th of May in 1945 is one […]

Corona-hit military asked to halt exercises

A local mayor in Northern Norway is calling on the military to halt its annual Cold Response winter exercises in the area that involve around 15,000 participants from NATO countries. He fears a spread of the Corona virus, after at least one soldier has tested positive and hundreds of others had to be placed in […]

‘Russia and China threaten defense’

Norway’s recently embattled military intelligence agency is pointing once again to Russia and China as posing the biggest defense threats. Both continue to move in a more authoritative direction, according to the agency whose chief, Morten Haga Lunde, is especially worried about Russia’s new long-distance missiles. “The factors that, to the greatest degree, influence the […]

Defense faces new wave of demands

Norway will be maintaining its troops in Iraq, just as it faces allies’ requests for more troops in Mali and patrol vessels in the Persian Gulf. The latter has been turned down so far, as the defense department also faces myriad demands at home and prepares for new leadership. The requests and demands come amidst […]

Secret criticism flies around new F35s

Something seems to be wrong with the operating capabilities of Norway’s growing fleet of new F35 fighter jets, but no one will specify what the problem is. Norway’s State Auditor General is criticizing the government in a report to Parliament on the new jets, but the report is classified and therefore being handled as top […]