The Navy aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford arrived in Oslo on Wednesday for a stopover en route to NATO military exercises in the Arctic, and one Norwegian airline is extremely excited.
The world’s largest warship, the Ford sailed into the Oslo Fjord near Norway’s border with prospective NATO member Sweden on Wednesday, the aircraft carrier’s first stop on its inaugural combat deployment and the first visit to Norway from any U.S. aircraft carrier in 65 years, according to the U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa./U.S. 6th Fleet.
Nearly 4,000 sailors and Marines from the aircraft carrier are currently enjoying shore leave in the Norwegian capital, and with the expectation that sailors will, well, do what sailors do on shore leave, nascent long-haul airline Norse Atlantic Airways is using the sudden presence of U.S troops potentially enamored with the Nordic country to boost their business.
An advertisement from Norse Atlantic Airways that circulated in the r/military community on Reddit on Thursday appeared to show an offer for super low-cost airfare for U.S. troops to return to Oslo nine months after their stopover there, presumably for the birth of any international spawn conceived during a raucous weekend of, er, projecting American power throughout the local populace.
This predicted behavior from visiting U.S. troops isn’t unexpected, of course. In October 2018, thousands of U.S. military personnel drank up all the beer in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavík ahead of a major NATO exercise in the region; in August of last year, more than 1,500 sailors and Marines spent a stay at the port city of Alexandroupoli in Greece exhausting the local eateries of eggs and meat, all while clogging up the lines for tattoo parlors as well.
Subscribe to Task & Purpose Today. Get the latest military news and culture in your inbox daily.
A founding member of NATO, Norway’s northernmost region shares a land border with Russia, while the countries also share a maritime border in the Barents Sea. The induction of Finland into NATO in April nearly doubled the alliance’s border with Russia in the east, according to the BBC.
The Ford is slated to participate in NATO’s Arctic Challenge exercise which, spearheaded by Finland from Rovaniemi Air Base in the Arctic Circle, will see a record 150 fighter jets from 14 nations, including Norway, participate in expansive air-to-air drills, according to the Barents Observer.
“Norway is a strategic partner in the continued efforts to maintain a secure and stable Arctic and North Atlantic region that benefits global order,” Rear Adm. Erik J. Eslich, commander of Carrier Strike Group 12, said in a statement. “We are committed to our NATO Ally and fostering our strong relationship built on a foundation of shared values, experiences, and vision.”
While the Norwegian Armed Forces stated the visit from the Ford will “allow [Norway] to further develop our cooperation and relationship with our most important ally,” the United States, the widespread insemination of Oslo’s population is probably not what they meant.
The latest on Task & Purpose
- 7 Hollywood actors who made the most realistic GWOT operators on screen
- How a Marine’s COVID-19 vaccine refusal led to 113 days in the brig
- Russia lost a hypersonic missile trying to destroy one of Ukraine’s Patriot missiles
- Air Force F-15 takes an accidental bath in drainage canal after botched landing
- Fort Cavazos battalion commander fired for misconduct