Norwegian F-16s will see action in Libya

In an extraordinary meeting of the Council of State on Wednesday morning, a Royal Decree was adopted authorising the Minister of Defence to provide a Norwegian military contribution to operations in Libya with a view to implementing U.N. Security Council resolution 1973.

“This means that Norway will now participate in Operation Odyssey Dawn, and the Minister of Defense has today instructed the Chief of Defense to transfer command of our F-16 fighter planes to the operation,” Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg commented.

The six F-16 fighter aircraft are now based in Crete and are operative as of  March 24.

Before the Norwegian forces could be deployed to the operation, a number of conditions had to be in place. Norway is to maintain full control over how its forces are employed. Norway’s engagement is based on Norwegian law and Norway’s obligations under international law, and Norwegian personnel will be under Norwegian jurisdiction. These conditions are in line with those usually used as the basis for Norwegian forces’ participation in international operations.

“Norway will participate in a broad international coalition set up to implement the U.N. Security Council resolution. A growing number of countries have indicated that they will participate in the operation. It is important to build a broad international coalition, with as much participation as possible from the countries in the region,” Stoltenberg said.

Minister of Defense Grete Faremo says that this means that the Norwegian planes will be in action within a few days.

“The Norwegian forces are well trained and well equipped. They are participating in the operation in order to ensure that all terms of Security Council resolution 1973 are complied with,” Faremo said.

Source: Office of the Prime Minister

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