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article imageUS changes to episodic troop deployment in Norway

By Ken Hanly     Aug 9, 2020 in Politics
In the past the US has seen multi-year deployment of troops into Norway for year-long alpine training. The US deployment that has been increased over the years as more US marines are sent to Norway.
Earlier US troop deployments.
The US doubled the number of troops deployed in Norway in 2018. As a Reuters article in August 2018 reported: "Plans to increase the number of Marines in Norway to 700 from 330 and moving some of them closer to the border with Russia had triggered a sharp reaction from Moscow, which called the plans “clearly unfriendly”." The rotation of forces now lasts up to five years.
The initial posting back in 2017 ran for six months from the beginning of they year but was extended last June. The US marines had been scheduled to leave Norway at the end of 2018. Norwegian Foreign Minister Eriksen Soereide had told reporters some time ago that the deployment did not mean that the US would have a permanent base in Norway but is meant purely for training the troops to fight in winter conditions. He claimed Russia was not the target of the deployment. The US marines are the first foreign troops stationed in Norway since the second World War.
While at first the troops trained in Oslo west of the Swedish border the rotations were later pushed north past the Arctic Circle to Setermoen which is about 250 miles from the border with Russia. This no doubt will make the Russians even more apprehensive..
Deployments to become episodic
US officials
have announced that beginning in October the US will no longer have any year-long deployment or limit rotations to every six months. The deployments will become episodic and fit in with Norway's own exercises. The officials were rather vague on the reasons for the change although they claimed it would increase US troop readiness. They also insisted that the change would allow for large-scale unit training. The program has evolved so as to have more US troops near the Russian border and also to prepare the US for cold weather combat as the US no doubt believes there could be conflict over resources in the Arctic.
More about US Norway relations, US troops in Norway, Russia US relations
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