Ill-fated frigate now at the scrapyard

Norway’s once-proud frigate, the Helge Ingstad, arrived at its final destination this week. After being towed over the same waters where it collided with a tanker in late 2018 and then sank, the naval vessel that cost NOK 5 billion is ending its days at a scrapyard in Askøy. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported how the […]

US bombers in Norway for first time

In what’s being described as a demonstration of power, American B1 bombers will be taking part in exercises in Norway along with 200 US soldiers based at the Ørland air base for the next month. It’s the first time the so-called “heavy bombers” will operate from Norway but opposition Members of Parliament are not impressed. […]

Corona cancels NATO exercise

NATO’s large annual winter exercise in Norway called “Joint Viking” was halted on Tuesday, because of what Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen called “a demanding infection situation” in the country. Many thought it never should have begun, since it involved the arrival of 3,000 soldiers from abroad in the midst of a pandemic. Bakke-Jensen, who earlier […]

Old firing range returned to the wild

A huge portion of Norway’s scenic and iconic Dovre Mountain plateau has been returned to its natural state, more than 20 years after the Norwegian Parliament decided to shut down a military firing range at the site. Hikers and outdoor enthusiasts still aren’t entirely welcome though, out of consideration to the wild reindeer also returning […]

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 […]