NATO ending can cause traffic problems in Norway
The NATO exercise, Trident Juncture, is over, and major military columns leave Norway. The Norwegian Public Roads Administration asks drivers to calculate in extra driving time.
On Wednesday, the two-week long NATO exercise ends. The exercise, which is NATO’s largest military exercise in Norway since the end of the Cold War, involves more than 50,000 troops from 30 different countries.
The transport of soldiers, military equipment and vehicles into Norway was in progress for more than eight weeks, and most of the time Norwegian traffic was largely unaffected by the major military columns. According to the Norwegian Armed Forces, Norwegian drivers were mostly patient, but in some cases, impatient drivers entered into the convoys.
In the wake of the exercise, about 10,000 military vehicles will now leave Norway and that is scheduled to take half the time it took to get them in. Thus, there will be military convoys on the roads, ferries and rails every day for the next four weeks.
– The military convoys can consist of up to twelve vehicles. In many cases, the vehicles will operate at a lower speed than normal traffic. This means that delays can be expected on the affected roads, says Emergency Preparedness Consultant in the National Roads Administration, Tor Inge Løkhaug.
The convoys will pass through a number of areas, and of the 550 that will drive to the ferry ports, 400 are headed to Fredrikstad. The Norwegian Roads Administration also recommends road users who are going on the stretch Oslo-Trondheim to choose European Route 6 through Gudbrandsdalen, rather than national road #3 through Østerdalen until November 15tth.
Norwegians more positive
the Excercise Leader, James G. Foggo, and Chief of the Norwegian Armed Forces, Haakon Bruun-Hanssen, give his thanks to the soldiers who participate in the Trident Juncture for the effort during a parade at Værnes military airport on Wednesday.
The Defense Commander points to a recent survey conducted by Kantar TNS, showing that Norwegians have become more positive to both NATO and the Norwegian Armed Forces as a result of the exercise.
– I think this is largely due to the professional behaviour of the soldiers, which they have shown during the exercise. In addition, I see that there has been a lot of positive contact between the soldiers and the public. For that, I am grateful, Bruun-Hanssen tells the soldiers in attendance at the parade.
64 per cent of respondents answered that they have a positive impression of the Armed Forces, which is 4 percentage points higher than the result of a similar survey dated from the end of August to the beginning of September
Nearly 7 out of 10 have a positive overall impression of NATO, which is 5 percentage points higher than it was only two months ago. 68 per cent state that they are positive to Allied training in Norway, compared to 65 per cent before the exercise started.
The purpose of the exercise has been to improve collective defence and the relocation of large military forces in difficult weather conditions.
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