Defense Minister Gavin Williamson told The Sunday Telegraph that the British government is setting a new defense strategy for the Arctic. It is going to deploy 800 more soldiers inn Norway from the next winter and ten years to the next and that a separate base will be established in Northern Norway.
Britain wishes to step up its military presence in the High North as a scare against Russia, “said Defense Minister Gavin Williamson.
According to the British Defense Minister, the new strategy is partly due to the withdrawal of ice in the North Pole, which may mean increased Russian activity there.
However, Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen (H) rejects the fact that it is a matter of establishing a separate base in Northern Norway for the British. According to the minister, this is a follow-up to the current long-term plan where practice and training with allies are moved from Åsegarden camp and co-located with Norwegian departments in Indre Troms.
He believes that the increase in the number of soldiers in Norway is only to adjust the number of people receiving the winter training in Norway as 208 has been a year of “abnormally low numbers”.
“For many years, we have had a significant number of British soldiers running winter training in Norway, and the number has varied between around 600 to 1,100. 2018 has been a year of abnormally low numbers, and the British now want to adjust the number of people receiving training during winter conditions in Norway. Increased allied practice and training in Norway with close allies, including the British, is in line with the ambition of the current long-term plan, “says Bakke-Jensen (H) to NTB.
3,000 British soldiers will participate in the major international exercise, Trident Juncture. It will start from 25 October.