Norway is considering whether to ask the US to extend the deployment of Marines to the country.
The US has already expressed interest in an extension, Norway’s defense minister said in March.
Marines in Norway are focused on training for cold-weather operations — training motivated in part by increasing tensions with Russia.
Norway’s government may ask the US to extend a Marine Corps deployment in the country, Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide told Reuters.
“We are currently in a phase where we are discussing different options, but I think from our point of view it has been very useful and very successful,” she said.
Contingents of about 300 Marines from various units have been stationed in Norway for six-month deployments. The first rotational force arrived at Vaernes in central Norway in January 2017 — the first time a foreign force was stationed on Norwegian soil since World War II (though Norway and the Marine Corps have managed weapons and equipment stored in caves there since the Cold War).
The deployment has already been extended, with the initial rotational force being replaced by another in August 2017. The roughly 330 Marines in the country are now scheduled to stay until the end of the year.
Marines in Norway have focused on cold-weather training, doing exercises with Norwegians and other partner forces. Some of those exercises have taken place near Norway’s border with Russia, which has criticized the Marines’ presence in Norway. Russia’s embassy in Norway told Reuters that extending the Marines’ presence would worsen Norway’s relations with Moscow and could raise tensions on NATO’s northern boundary.
“The Americans have been very happy with how things have played out,” Soereide said. “They do see after many years where they had a lack …read more
Source:: Business Insider