LONDON, 8 March. /TASS/. The operational base of the commandos of the Royal Marines of Great Britain appeared in the Norwegian Arctic. It will become the main center for deployment and training of British forces in the Arctic for the next 10 years, according to a message released on Wednesday by the United Kingdom Navy.
The Camp Viking base is located on the territory of the village of Everbygd, located 40 km from the air base of the Norwegian Air Force in Bardufoss, where the helicopter unit of the British commandos is based, and 65 km from Tromsø, the administrative center and largest city of the northernmost Norwegian province of Troms and Finnmark. The distance from the Camp Viking base to the Norwegian-Russian border exceeds 700 km.
“The location of the base is ideal for repelling threats in the region and allows the United Kingdom to respond quickly if necessary to defend the northern borders of NATO, as well as a close ally of the UK – Norway,” the document says.
This winter, the number of British commandos stationed at the base reached 1,000. They carried out joint exercises with their Norwegian counterparts, as well as with military personnel from other northern European countries that are part of the Joint Expeditionary Force.
For many decades, Norway allowed British troops to train on its territory in extremely cold winter temperatures. In 2018, the British government decided to deploy around 1,000 Marines and Special Forces in northern Norway on a rotational basis, with a permanent presence in the region for at least a decade. In London, this decision was associated with the strengthening of the Russian military presence in the Arctic and the allegedly growing activity of Russian submarines in high latitudes.
Created in 2014, the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force is not a permanent force. Participating countries (except the United Kingdom, it is also Denmark, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Estonia) periodically conduct joint military exercises.