Washington is Quietly Reinforcing Europe’s Northern Flank

Norwegian soldiers, U.S. Marines, Dutch and U.K. Royal Commandos do an integrated air insert during a training event for Exercise Cold Response 16, March 3, 2016, around the city of Namsos, Norway.

Norwegian soldiers, U.S. Marines, Dutch and U.K. Royal Commandos do an integrated air insert during a training event for Exercise Cold Response 16, March 3, 2016, around the city of Namsos, Norway. (U.S. Marine Corps / Master Sgt. Chad McMeen)

 

 

Much is being done to counter Russian ambitions in the High North, and yet much more remains to be done.

The recent stream of senior U.S. defense officials to Nordic countries underlines American concerns about potential friction in northern Europe, and Washington’s efforts to boost defense and deterrence there. Defense Secretary Ash Carter stopped in Norway in early September, while his deputy Bob Work, who has been to the region three times over the last two years, paid an early-October visit to Finland’s capital, Helsinki. Shortly thereafter, Air Force Secretary Deborah James made her own trip across the region. (Go back to last year, and Senate Armed Services Committee chair John McCain was in Norway and Sweden to discuss regional security.)

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U.S. stationing tanks and artillery in classified Norwegian caves

Washington (CNN)Marines are prepositioning battle tanks, artillery and logistics equipment inside Norwegian caves as the U.S. pushes to station equipment near the NATO-Russia frontier.

“Any gear that is forward-deployed both reduces cost and speeds up our ability to support operations in crisis, so we’re able to fall in on gear that is ready-to-go and respond to whatever that crisis may be,” Col. William Bentley, operations officer for the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, said in a statement Friday on the Norwegian deployment that called the caves classified. Continue reading

Russia to build more Arctic airfields

Ezekiel 38

Ezekiel 39

 

 

Russia is to have 14 operational airfields in the Arctic by the end of the year, state media quoted defence officials as saying on 13 January.

Ten airfields will be constructed by the end of 2015, in addition to the four already in use, deputy defence minister Dmitry Bulgakov reportedly said, according to the state-controlled Sputnik news agency.

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Russia is Creating Underwater Combat Robots to Protect its Arctic Territories

Russia has been reported to be creating underwater combat robots that are geared to protect its oilrigs and transportation networks as it expands its hold over in the Arctic region.

Vitaly Davydov, deputy general director of the Russian Foundation for Advanced Research Projects, and chairman of the foundation’s Scientific and Technological Board, told Interfax-AVN the underwater gadgets will be designed as capable of protecting Russian infrastructure as well as controlling the waters around the region. It will also be equipped for detecting, tracking and, “if necessary, destroying a potential enemy.” He added the machinery will be deployed on the sea bottom and aboard specialised submersibles. Continue reading

Secret nuclear cargo along coast of Norway

Despite cold political climate, the U.S. and Russia cooperated on a secret September voyage with Highly-enriched uranium from Poland to Murmansk. Norwegian radiation authorities not informed before the vessel sailed into its economical zone.

Head of Vardø Vessel Traffic Service, Ståle Sveinungsen, confirms to BarentsObserver that the vessel “Mikhail Dudin” was carrying a load of highly radioactive material when it sailed along the coast of Norway two weeks ago.

“That is correct. The vessel entered Vardø Traffic Service’s systems on the evening on September 2nd and sailed out again in the afternoon on September 8th,” says Ståle Sveinungsen.

Last position of the vessel, posted on MarineTraffic.com was September 15th, when she was in the waters just outside Atomflot in the Kola Bay. Continue reading