Norway Hosts NATO Long Range Bombing Exercises

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Norway Hosts NATO Long Range Bombing Exercises

Norwegian F-16s and F-35s train with a B-52H Stratofortress during a long-range, long duration strategic Bomber Task Force mission throughout Europe and the Arctic region June 3, 2020. (US Air Force)

Norway hosted a joint air force exercise with its NATO partners on Wednesday 3 June, featuring four B-52s from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota as they carried out a long-range training mission that flew through the Arctic to Europe.

The Stratofortress bombers, from the 5th Bomb Wing, trained with F-16s and F-35s from the Norwegian Air Force during the Bomber Task Force mission, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa said in a release. They flew over the Arctic Ocean and the Laptev Sea, off the northern coast of Siberia.

“The Arctic is a strategic region with growing geopolitical and global importance, and these Bomber Task Force missions demonstrate our commitment to our partners and allies and our capability to deter, assure, and defend together in an increasingly complex environment.” USAFE commander Gen. Jeff Harrigian said in the release. “The integration of our bombers across Europe and the Arctic is key to enhancing regional security.” LINK

The exercise follows an exercise on Russia’s southern borders during which USAF B-1 Lancers trained for launching the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile during their flight to Eastern Europe late last week, which included contingents from the Ukraine air force and Turkey, marking the Ukraine’s first participation in such exercises. (LINK)

KC-135 tankers from the 100th Air Refuelling Wing at RAF Mildenhall in England and 168th Air Refuelling Wing at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska refuelled the B-52s during their round-trip flight.

The Air Force has conducted multiple long-range training flights with all three types of bombers in its fleet to Europe in recent weeks, including training missions with the air forces of Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Sweden and other allied nations.

Last week a municipal port in Norway was ordered to receive nuclear-powered submarines from NATO after the only naval base in the area was sold and decommissioned – but local politicians and environmental activists are against the plan.

When the Olavsvern base in Tromso was sold to private investors in 2009, pressure mounted from NATO to find an alternative point of arrival for reactor-driven vessels, other than Haakonsvern in Bergen, which is currently the only approved port in the country.

Now it appears a “temporary solution” to the problem has been found at Grotsund in Tromso, where the country’s Armed Forces have been told to prepare for the arrival of US submarines, Klassekampen reported.

A U.S. Navy submarine’s port call to Tromsø in 2016 caused considerable controversy at the time. It was the first allied nuclear powered submarine to sail to port in northern Norway since October 2007 when the last nuclear powered vessel made port call to Olavsvern.

They have since become a regular event, though the submarines usually meet with other vessels offshore.

NATO nuclear powered submarines are much more frequently sailing inside Norwegian waters, surfacing for crew-exchange or other purposes; either to port or inshore waters along the coast.

In 2017 activity increased sharply with more than 40 voyages requiring permission in and out of Norwegian coastal waters.

“3 to 4 per month,” says Navy Captain Per-Thomas Bøe with the Ministry of Defense in Oslo when asked by Barents Observer about the 2017 numbers of allied nuclear powered submarines.

“The majority were in the north, three times more,” Bøe says about the geographical areas of allied nuclear-powered submarines. Typically, an American submarine on mission in the Norwegian Sea would not want to sail all way south to Haakonsvern (near Bergen) or to a naval base in the United Kingdom to put on shore a crew member or pick up some new devises or supply. Surfacing near the area where the cat-and-mouse hunt with the Russians takes place saves time.

Not all port-calls actually mean the vessel goes to port. Often, especially in northern Norway, a submarine typically surfaces inshore in a fjord and is met by another vessel that brings crewmembers to a nearby port. Since the early 1960s and throughout the Cold War, Norway’s policy was not to allow for allied warships to make port calls east of 24 degrees in peacetime. That is harbours in Finnmark on the Barents Sea coast.

Norway’s increasing involvement with NATO’s long range strategic offensive exercises and manoeuvres around Russia’s northern borders has not been well received by their Russian neighbours:

“Contrary to the historical traditions of neighbourly relations and cooperation in the Arctic, Oslo continues to escalate tension and increase the risk of military action. This will not be left without a response,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters in 2019.

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  • <>

    Good Norway, NATO need to increase their military trainings and improve their weapon systems. Israel has alot of tech we can sell to them.

    • Veritas Vincit

      – “I hope all Israelis will listen carefully to what I say: Netanyahu, his government and military officials did not correctly evaluate the magnitude this war will reach if they succeed to light its fires. What will be its extent, what will be its territory, who will participate on it, who will enter it… Netanyahu, his government and military officials do not know how this war will end if they start it……

      ……I now call first all Jews except the Zionists to detach their considerations from Zionist calculations who lead themselves to their final destruction. And I call on all those who came in occupied Palestine believing the promises that they would find the land of milk and honey to leave. I call them to leave Palestine and go back to the countries from which they came so that they don’t become mere fuel in any war where would lead them the stupid Netanyahu government. For if Netanyahu launched a war in this region, there may be no more time for them to leave Palestine, and there will be no safe place for them in occupied Palestine……

      …..the scale of the massacres committed by Israel against the Palestinian people and the peoples of the region, its partnership with Daesh and its open complicity in the project of partition of our region through its open and eager support to the secession of Kurdistan, all this will push the people of the region to render a capital verdict against them.” [Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah]

      – Hamas says Israeli violations at al-Aqsa will ignite ‘all-out regional war’, PressTV, Oct 21, 2019

      – “The gathering holy war. Slowly, Israel is transforming a settler-colonial project against the Palestinians into a battle with the wider Islamic world. It is turning a territorial conflict into a holy war.” (How the Rule of the Rabbis Is Fueling a Holy War in Israel, by Jonathan Cook, Antiwar, February 23, 2019), etc……

      Many Muslims believe the prophesied final holy battle is approaching. Consideration of unfolding events indicate they are likely correct.

      – “The Last Hour would not come until a person would pass by a grave and wish that he should have been the occupant of that grave because of this calamity…. The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them….” (Sahih Muslim Book 041, Hadith Number 6985).

      This is not a matter of advocacy. It is an assessment of unfolding events and corresponding probable outcomes.

  • Veritas Vincit

    – “if data on Russia-NATO power balance at the Western direction is analyzed, as well as military activity build-up rate at our borders, scale of combat equipment deployment, if the grade of Russia’s demonization is estimated, one can say that preparation to a real war is taking place. [Such] acts are usually undertaken at the forefront of a war [and it is evident] the US is preparing for a [potential] nuclear conflict……” [Colonel General Leonid Ivashov, President of the International Centre of Geopolitical Analysis]

    – Speaking to a group of college students on 2 April, 2003, former CIA Director Woolsey revealed, “…the United States is engaged in World War IV, and that it could continue for years.” Woolsey described the Cold War as the third world war. He then said “This fourth world war, I think, will last considerably longer than either World Wars I or II did for us. Hopefully not the full four-plus decades of the Cold War.” (Wikipedia: R. James Woolsey, Jr.)

    – “The present anti-missile systems in Eastern Europe are based on the universal platform MK-41 and its technical specifications allow launching “Tomahawk” missiles [MK-14 launch canisters]….. There is hardly anything that threatened world security as much as this move of Washington. Even the Cuban Missile Crisis was not charged with such a high risk level. People do not understand how potentially dangerous the situation really is. (On the Verge of a Major War: Is There a Pilot in the Cockpit?, Southfront, 17/10/2016)

    – “We know what will happen year after year, and they know that we know… Russia will no longer play games with the USA and get involved in deals in the dark. Russia is ready for serious negotiations, only if they contribute to collective security. All aspects of global security now lie in ruins. There are no more international guarantees for security and the country responsible for the destruction of the global security is the USA. Russia does not intend to reform the world according to its own views, and will not allow itself to be reformed according to foreign views. Russia will not close itself for the world, but anyone who tries to close it to the world will harvest storms. Russia will not act as the savior of the world either, as in the past. Russia does not want war and does not intend to start a war. But today, Russia can see that the explosion of a global war is almost unavoidable and is prepared and will continue preparing. Russia does not want a war but is not afraid of a war. Those who get Russia involved in this process will learn the real meaning of pain”. [Vladimir Putin] (At the Threshold of a Third World War, Southfront, 12/09/2016),

    US-NATO bloc are accelerating preparations for a potential direct kinetic stage of conflict against the Russian Federation (the hybrid warfare domain being active). Similar preparations are evident for such stages of conflict against the PRC (US-Taiwan moves towards partition of the region are moves towards war), Iran, the DPRK, Venezuela, etc. (non-aligned nations).

    Note: It is worth observing the increasingly hostile behaviour of many from ‘Western liberal democracies’, involving accusations of ‘authoritarianism’ (against strategic opponents) while proclaimed their ‘values’ are superior. Many nations have experienced their ‘values’ (Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq. Libya, Syria, etc., with the collective punishment of entire populations, conformed to genocide in the case of Iraq where over 500 000 children died as a result of sanctions). The Russian Federation and China (key nations subject to verbal attacks of ‘authoritarianism’) have not attacked successive nations as have those who make accusations of ‘authoritarianism’.

    Anti-democratic ‘regime change’ actions, successive wars of aggression, illegal military occupations, engineered impoverishment of nations targeted with sanctions/economic warfare, etc., are incompatible with rhetoric of ‘democracy’, ‘peace’, ‘freedom’, ‘human rights’, etc…., The inability of those who preach (and crusade) with these concepts to recognise such hypocrisies is rather remarkable.

    Many from the Western bloc do not understand the horror of war (or the suffering they have inflicted on successive nations) and will not understand until they experience it. When (as is increasingly likely) the many globally expanding wars of the US-allied coalition (‘of the willing’ [to violate International Law]) and intensifying allied hybrid warfare actions (involving economic warfare, lawfare, cyber operations, destabilisation/partition/regime change efforts, etc.) logically progress to direct kinetic stages of conflict between opposing nuclear armed powers, it is likely they will understand.

    • Veritas Vincit

      p2.
      East Asia
      – US supported DPP moves towards partition of the Taiwan region from the PRC (moves towards war)
      – Broader anti-China actions are gradually intensifying (a hybrid warfare format involving cyber operations, destabilisation/partition/regime change efforts, political isolation and commercial exclusion efforts, information warfare, etc.)
      – The US replication of pre-Iraq war actions targeting the DPRK (economic warfare, efforts to dismantle/degrade retaliatory capabilities, destabilisation/regime change operations, etc.) Refer: ‘Comment: How Trump and China’s Xi could stumble into war’, The Washington Post, Graham Allison, 03/04/2017

      Middle East/Wester Asia
      – An active state of conflict between the US-Israel-allied coalition against an Iran-Syria-Lebanon- Houthi Ansarullah-Shia forces in Iraq coalition (refer: ‘The Coming Middle East Conflagration’, Michael Oren, The Atlantic, November 4, 2019; ‘Assad: By war or peace, we will liberate the Golan’, Haaretz, 02/04/2009; ‘Hamas says Israeli violations at al-Aqsa will ignite all-out regional war’, PressTV, Oct 21, 2019, etc…)

      Eastern Europe
      – The Ukraine ‘regime change’/NATO integration project has created a war against Russian speaking regions (and a US-NATo-allied proxy war against the Russian Federation). Georgia is also being prepared for integrated into the NATO bloc/NATO standards. (refer: ‘Pre-War Preparations: Withdrawal From Treaties’, Southfront, 21/10/2018; ‘Actual Scenario Of Big War In Eastern Europe’, Southfront, 27/11/2019; “Undeclared war” forces Russia to boost defense spending — minister, Tass, October 27, 2018, etc….)

      South Asia
      – Pakistan PM warns world of danger of all-out war over Kashmir, PressTV, 25 January 2020
      – Modi’s Hindu Supremacist Agenda Could Lead to Bloodshed, War, Says Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan, SputnikNews, 12/12/2019, etc……..

      The globally expanding wars of the US-NATO-allied bloc (Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc.) are unlikely to cease until the many active wars (and approaching wars) of this bloc become recognised as one. In this context, the enhancement of cooperation between the Russian Federation and the PRC is timely.

      Note: “Even a full-scale thermonuclear exchange between Russia and the US is patently survivable. The theory of “nuclear winters”, at least in its wilder variants (drops of many tens of degrees), has been long discredited….. Fallout radiation levels decay rapidly, and it will be safe to emerge from shelters almost everywhere after just two weeks. Most rural areas and many small towns would be almost unaffected, at least directly….. There will be a modest global cooling, and a collapse of the global economy.” (Let’s War-Game What a Real Russia / China / US Escalation Might Look Like, Anatoly Karlin, 17/04/2018)

      A potential worst case scenario (if it were to occur ) does not translate to human extinction. However it is self-evident it would however eclipse previous wars. The Russian Federation is correct to be quietly preparing for this unwanted (but increasingly probable) scenario.

  • peter mcloughlin

    This dangerous ratcheting of military tensions in Europe is ignoring the warnings of history.
    https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

  • Jim Bim

    Norway’s increasing involvement with NATO`s war drills are the result of the biggest Norwegian US puppet, NATO`s Sec. General Stoltenberg.
    Stoltenberg, one a peace loving Social democratic prime minister, has transformed into a useful idiot, a Neo con/liberal, Russophobic, cold warrior and war monger.
    Power corrupts