Defence expert says US NATO soldiers are in Norway to be on the spot in case of conflict with Russia
Colonel Lieutenant (Oberstløytnant), Tormod Heier, said that 330 US marines on training in Norway are actually here to be quickly on the spot in a conflict against Russia, if necessary. The US NATO soldiers have been stationed at Værnes, Stjørdal, in Nord-Trøndelag since January, writes Klassekampen newspaper.
They will train under Norwegian winter conditions, and be exchanged every six months. Close by are US advance stocks of military equipment, enough for a force of 17,000 soldiers.
Colonel Lieutenant Tormod Heier of the Norwegian Defense College (Forsvarets høyskole) doesn’t believe the need for winter training is the only reason why the American soldiers are here.
‘The main reason is that it is a short distance from one of Europe’s most dangerous areas, the Baltic Sea. NATO has great challenges in finding how to bring Baltic and Polish alliance members into a credible position if there is a conflict with Russia in the Baltic’, said Heier.
The training camp has been criticized because it resembles nothing more than a foreign military base, with permanently stationed foreign soldiers positioned on Norwegian soil.
Norway has had a policy of refusing such bases
For 70 years, Norway has had a policy of refusing to have such bases positioned on its soil. Russia has also expressed concern about the military presence.
The Department of Defense has argued that the camp will only give North American soldiers training, but members of US defense forces have expressed the wish, on the military.com website, to make Værnes their main base in Europe.
They would also like to double the number of US soldiers stationed there.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today