Norway is going to host about 330 US Marines at a military base, located near the Russian border.
About 330 US Marines will be hosted by Norway at an airfield in Vaernes city, located just outside Trondheim, near the Russian border, as nuclear-capable ships are deployed by Russia to Kaliningrad. The sending of the US troops is planned for January.
“The US initiative to augment their training and exercises in Norway by locating a Marine Corps Rotational Force in Norway is highly welcome and will have positive implications for our already strong bilateral relationship,” Norwegian Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide said.
Training exercises have been regularly conducted by the US in Norway, which has a 122-mile border with Russia in the Arctic. Earlier this year, Marines from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade took part in Exercise Cold Response alongside troops from other NATO countries.
Pre-positioned military equipment is also hosted by Norway in climate-controlled caves, located all over the country and staffed by 100 Norwegians and Americans, in order to equip 15,000 combat-ready Marines.
While US troops continue to approach to the Russian border, Russia has also reinforced its military presence in Kaliningrad, located between Poland and Lithuania.
So, two new Buyan-M class corvettes, the Zeleny Dol and the Serpukhov, capable to carry the Kalibr cruise missiles with a range of 930 miles, were deployed to Kaliningrad. Moscow is also going to deploy three additional vessels in the area sometime before 2020. The Bastion and the Bal land-based anti-ship missile systems are also expected to be deployed by the Baltic Fleet. Both these systems will make travel of NATO naval vessels in the Baltic Sea more difficult, as they have a maximum range of about 188 miles.
Moscow has decided to reinforce the Baltic Fleet, after a scheduled deployment of the nuclear-capable Iskander-M missile system was moved up by Russian President Vladimir Putin.