More Marines to train in Norway

Norway wants to double US troops and deploy them closer to Russia

Marines Norway

Photo: Anette Ask / Forsvaret
Before Cold Response 2016, the U.S. Marine Corps attended winter training with instructors from the Telemark Battalion at Camp Rena.

Ministry of Defense

Since January 2017, approximately 330 Marines from the Unites States Marine Corps (USMC) have been conducting training and exercise activities in Norway. The Marines have used Vaernes in mid-Norway as the hub for their various training and exercise activities. The Norwegian government have decided that they are looking to extend this initiative and add a second location.

“The Norwegian government has decided to welcome continued USMC rotational training and exercises in Norway, with a volume of up to a total of 700 marines, initially for a period of up to five years,” says Minister of Defense Frank Bakke-Jensen.

The potential increase in volume will be located at Setermoen in Troms, about 500 miles from the Russian border. “More predictable rotational USMC training and exercises in Norway will significantly improve opportunities to develop and enhance interoperability between USMC and Norwegian forces,” says the Minister of Defense.

“In times of crisis and war, Norway will rely on U.S. and other allied military reinforcements. This is at the core of Norwegian security policy and is further emphasized by our NATO membership. We have a long-standing tradition for inviting allies to train and exercise in Norway. This is underlined in the current long-term plan for the Armed Forces. The Marine Corps rotational force constitutes an important contribution to NATO’s reinforcement plans for the defense of Norway. The initiative has proven that training and conducting exercises together with allies has had a positive impact on the operational capability of our own forces,” says Bakke-Jensen.

This rotational force agreement builds on the framework of the longstanding agreements between the United States and Norway on prepositioning and reinforcement, renewed in 2006 in the Memorandum of Understanding Governing Prestockage and Reinforcement of Norway. The renewal of the agreement, approved by the Storting, opens the way for considerable American training and exercises in Norway.

This article originally appeared in the June 29, 2018, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.