Norway and the United States are in discussions on stationing several hundred US troops at a Norwegian military base near the city of Trondheim, local media said Monday.
The US-initiated move to station 300 US marines at the Royal Norwegian Air Force Vaernes Air Station could be soon implemented after being in the planning for some time, The Local news website reported, citing Trondheim’s daily Adresseavisen newspaper.
“The work is underway but the initiative has not yet been debated politically in the Ministry of Defence, so we do not have any more detailed answers at this time. Any concrete proposals will naturally be handled by the government and parliament in the usual way,” Norwegian Defense Minister Eriksen Soreide told Adresseavisen.
Norwegian parliamentarians involved in foreign affairs were unaware of the plans, according to the publication. A formal inquiry has been filed by one member of parliament in response to the revelation.
Norway is one of the founding members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). As NATO allies, the United States and Norway cooperate on a number of defense issues. US Marines were among the 15,000 troops from 14 countries to participate in Norway’s “Cold Response” military exercises held early this year.