US aircraft carrier arrives in NATO member Norway to take part in exercises
Copenhagen, Denmark — A US aircraft carrier arrived in Oslo on Wednesday with the Norwegian Armed Forces, saying it gives them “a unique opportunity to further develop cooperation and work more closely with our most important ally, the United States.”
The nuclear-powered ship USS Gerald R. Ford entered the Oslo Fjord escorted by a speedboat with armed personnel on board. The Norwegian armed forces have declared that any boat must stay within half a kilometer (half a mile) of the aircraft carrier and a no-fly zone has been created over the area where the aircraft carrier was located.
Described as the largest aircraft carrier in the world, the ship will remain in the Norwegian capital until Tuesday. He should then take part in exercises with the Norwegian armed forces, apparently in the Arctic.
The ship’s first overseas call was broadcast live on Norwegian public television. Onlookers, some using binoculars, were seen ashore watching the large aircraft carrier glide deeper and deeper into the fjord and eventually reach the city of Oslo.
Laila Wilhelmsen, who stood along the road in Droebak, said she grew up in the small town halfway up the fjord during the Cold War in the 1950s and “there were warships here all the weather”.
“I don’t know, but now we’ve teased (Russian President Vladimir) Putin even more. It’s scary, I think,” she told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.
The Scandinavian country’s prime minister, Jonas Gahr Støre, told Norwegian news agency NTB that there would be “predictable reactions from Russia to this”, adding that Oslo was “carrying on the line we had these years of wanting Allied exercises in Norwegian waters”. ”
The Russian embassy in the Norwegian capital said “such displays of power seem illogical and harmful”.
Relations between Oslo and Moscow have been strained since Russia invaded Ukraine. Norway and Russia have a 198 kilometer (123 mile) long border in the Arctic.
The Norwegian Coastal Administration said two of its pilots were on board to navigate through the more than 100 kilometers (62 miles) long fjord, and that the depth of the 76-meter (250-foot) high ship was ” the big challenge. ”
“The aircraft carrier remains slightly within the maximum depth of navigation regulations for the Oslo Fjord,” the administration said.
Later Wednesday, the aircraft carrier dropped anchor off the island of Ormoeya in the inner part of Oslofjord, NTB wrote.
In early May, the US Navy said the ship had departed Norfolk, Va., for its “first combat deployment”, following a shorter two-month deployment in the fall of 2022.
The ship is the first of the US Navy’s new class of Ford aircraft carriers. Two more Ford-class transporters are under construction.
The ship houses around 2,600 sailors, 600 fewer than the previous generation of aircraft carriers.
A previous version of this story corrected that the carrier’s name is Gerald R. Ford, not General Ford.