The first NATO forces arrive in Norway for the large autumn exercise

SoldierSoldier.Photo: Gunnar Lier / SCANPIX .

The run-up to the autumn’s great NATO exercise is underway with the Italian cargo ship,Capucine arriving at Åndalsnes on Saturday with over 100 vehicles.


Still, it’s over two months before the NATO exercise, Trident Juncture, starts. But when 40,000 soldiers will practice on Norwegian soil, arrival and departure will be spread throughout the rest of 2018.

“The Italians are the first to come to Norway to attend the exercise,” said communications chief at the Armed Forces operating headquarters, Colonel Eystein Kvarving to NTB news.

Traffic is affected

Capucine is loaded with heavy equipment, including major combat vehicles – belonging to the Italian force, which is part of NATO’s fastest response force, ‘NATO Response Force (NRF)’.

Over the next two to three days, over 100 vehicles of different sizes – including larger combat vehicles – will be moved the nine miles along the E136 from Åndalsnes in Møre og Romsdal to Lesja in Oppland.

‘’Transport will affect traffic in the area. We urge the populace to be careful and not expose themselves to danger by attempting to drive past the columns,” said Kvarving.

Trøndelag and Borg

A total of five ships will be added to Åndalsnes, loaded with military equipment, in the coming weeks. Eventually there will also be ships to Melhus and Namsos in Trøndelag and not least to Borg harbour in Fredrikstad in Østfold.

‘’The exercise will affect traffic and accessibility in the next weeks and months. Military columns can be long, and they usually run a bit slower than the traffic otherwise does’’, said Kvarving.

Trøndelag, Møre og Romsdal, Østfold, Oppland and Hedmark will mostly be affected by NATO’s biggest exercise in Norway since 2002 this autumn.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today