Under a new agreement announced Friday, April 16, Norway will allow the U.S. to build its presence on Norwegian soil. This comes amid expansionist and aggressive Russian actions along Norway’s borders.

The U.S. is to build facilities on four different existing Norwegian bases. Nevertheless, none of them will be a separate American base. The four locations include the airports of Rygge, Sola, and Evenes, as well as the Ramsund naval station. Rygge and Sola airports are in southern Norway, while Evenes and Ramsund are in the northern part of the country.

With This Agreement Norway Moves Closer to the US

These facilities are part of the larger U.S. strategy of strategic dispersal.

Strategic dispersal dictates that U.S. assets rapidly arrive in a theater of operations and be able to operate immediately. 

Oslo had had a thawing of relations with Moscow. Yet, their relationship has cooled since Russian annexed Crimea. Norway is especially concerned that Russian Northern Fleet submarines have been sailing closer to and more frequently off its northern coast. Particularly, Russia’s new, improved, and quieter Yasen-class subs deeply concern NATO and Norway. These submarines are armed with extended-range cruise missiles.

Additionally, over the last decade, Russia has been expanding and improving its Arctic naval bases and airfields.

Mortarmen conduct RSOP training in Norway
Marines discuss the best avenue of approach to maintain cover and concealment during reconnaissance selection and occupation of a mortar firing position training at Vaernes Garnison, Norway, April 6, 2018. (Photo by Gunnery Sgt. Clinton Firstbrook/U.S. Marine Corps)

The deal made by the U.S. and Norwegian governments must be ratified by Norway’s parliament.

“The agreement regulates and facilitates U.S. presence, training and exercises in Norway, thus facilitating rapid U.S. reinforcement of Norway in the event of crisis or war,” the government said in a released statement.