LONDON (AFP) – The United Kingdom last Wednesday announced the opening of a military base in the far north of Norway to strengthen NATO’s capabilities in the Arctic amid concerns following the invasion of Ukraine.
The newly-established Norwegian site, called Camp Viking, will serve as a hub for Royal Marines Commandos, Britain’s Royal Navy said in a press release.
It described the troops as “the tip of the Arctic spear” and “the unit the UK turns to when it needs troops able to fight in cold weather extremes”.
“A new Arctic operations base will support Britain’s commandos for the next 10 years as the UK underscores its commitment to security in the High North,” the navy added.
Norway, which borders Russia, refuses to host permanent bases for foreign soldiers, so Camp Viking is due to remain open for just a decade.
The purpose-built base, located around 65 kilometres south of Tromso, will be able to accommodate all personnel from the elite commando-led Royal Marines force which reacts to emerging crises in Europe.
“The camp’s location is ideal for deterring threats in the region and situated so the UK can respond rapidly if needed to protect NATO’s northern flank and its close ally, Norway,” the navy statement said.