NATO sending more warships to Northern Norway

Norwegian Frigate KNM Helge Ingstad at port in Northern Norway. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)
Several naval vessels are sailing in the Ofoten area and will make port calls to Narvik

Last week, Russia’s Northern Fleet launched its largest alarm-exercise in ten years. Thirty-six naval vessels sailed out in the Barents Sea, in addition to aircraft and coastal weapons. The exercise was not notified to Norway and will last until the end of this week.

This week, NATO warships are sailing in the waters outside Narvik, the local newspaper Fremover reports. Up to eight Norwegian and foreign naval vessels are set to make port calls to Narvik.

Press spokesperson, Lt. Col. Ivar Moen with the Joint Headquarters outside Bodø confirms the presence, but will not tell details.

“There are allied presence in Ofoten this week. Similar activities have taken place every year over the last few years, so this has long been planned”, Moen tells to the Barents Observer.

Norwegian Air Force active

In connection with the Russian exercise, several fighter jets from the Kola Peninsula have been outside Northern Norway this weekend. The Tromsø-based newspaper Nordlys writes about Norwegian F-16 fighter jets being scrambled both Saturday and Sunday to meet the Russian military aircraft northwest the coast of Troms and Finnmark.

On Monday, Norway’s TV2 reports F-16 fighter jets from Bodø Air Station now being deployed to Banak airport in Finnmark. Banak is closer to the Barents Sea and two of the fighter jets were on missions Sunday.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canada extends air defence monitoring zone to entire Canadian Arctic, Radio Canada International

Finland: Nordic nations to hone air combat skills over Finnish Lapland, The Independent Barents Observer

Norway: Adding U.S. Marines in Norway creates instability, says Russia, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russian troops undertake exploration of large Arctic island, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden issues first brochure on war and crisis preparedness since Cold War, Radio Sweden

United States: U.S. leads anti-submarine drill in Norwegian Sea, The Independent Barents Observer

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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