Norway Considers Sending Warships to Middle East Amid Ongoing ‘Tropicalisation’ of Navy

According to Norwegian Defence Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen, the idea is for the US Navy to become better at conducting joint operations with its allies.

The Norwegian government is considering sending a frigate to the Middle East. Together with American warships, the Norwegian vessel will hold exercises in disputed waters outside Iran.

In the preliminary sailing plan, the fleet group will stay in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Oman, and the Indian Ocean, among other places. The drills will take place in 2021 and 2022 as part of the Cooperative Deployment exercise.

Minister of Defence Frank Bakke-Jensen explained to national broadcaster NRK that the exercises have a clear purpose: for the US Navy to become better at conducting operations with its allies.

“We will strengthen Norwegian maritime participation in activities that build on the capacity for collective defence. They must also promote interoperability with US naval forces. It will facilitate US backing of Europe and Norway in crisis and war”, Frank Bakke-Jensen told NRK.

According to Bakke-Jensen, the main activity will be added to the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, whereas operations in other areas may also become relevant.

“Deployments are being opened up outside NATO’s core areas. The final decision on participation is made when agreements have been negotiated”, Bakke-Jensen stressed, without providing any details.

In the summer of 2019, Norway was asked to assist militarily in the Persian Gulf, but declined.


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