Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Oslo, Norway (4E) – Russia must really be scared of the United States Marines. America’s arch enemy is raising a loud ruckus over the impending deployment of only 700 Marines in Norway and vowing to retaliate for it.
The Marines will be deployed to the Norwegian town of Setermoen some 400 km from Russia’s north western border. Norway shares a 196 km-long border with Russia.
“We see it as clearly unfriendly, and it will not remain free of consequence,” said Russia about the deployment of more Marines to Norway. Russia also warned the Marines will make Norway “less predictable,” and said it “could cause growing tensions, triggering an arms race and destabilising the situation in northern Europe.”
Norway has approved the deployment of 400 more US Marines. These grunts will join the 300 other Marines that are currently in-country as part of a rotational presence involving training and exercise. The U.S. is expected to maintain a force of 700 Marines in Norway for a period of up to five years.
In January 2017, a limited rotational force of 300 Marines were deployed to Norway’s Vaernes Air Station near the port city of Trondheim in central Norway amid rising tensions with Russia following the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
The U.S. Department of Defense welcomed the Norwegian announcement, saying the rotational training will allow Marines to “take part in world-class winter and mountain warfare training,” said Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon. This deployment will “strengthen the U.S. military’s bond with the Norwegian military, and build readiness to respond in times of crisis.”
“We are grateful to our Norwegian hosts for allowing us to use Vaernes as a rotational training facility,” said Pahon.
The Marines already store tanks, artillery and other armored vehicles in climate-controlled caves in Norway as part of a prepositioning program dating back to the Cold War. The United States European Command sees building-up weapons stockpiles as a key part of its strategy to establish a more combat-ready force.
United States Army Europe (USAREUR) is also pre-positioning tanks, artillery and other fighting vehicles at locations throughout Europe and along Russia’s borders with NATO.
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