Chair of the NATO Military commends Norway for steadfast support to the alliance
On 14th and 15th September 2023, the Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer visited Norway at the invitation of its Chief of Defence, General Eirik Kristoffersen. The visit occurred in the run up to the Military Committee Conference for Allied at Invitee Chiefs of Defence. During his visit, Admiral Bauer met with HRH Crown Prince Haakon, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt and Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram. He also travelled up to Ørland air base, home to Norway’s F-35 aircraft.
After being welcomed to Ørland by the Chief of Defence, General Eirik Kristoffersen and the Chief of the Air Force, Major General Rolf Folland, Admiral Bauer received a tour of the air base, which houses Norway’s F-35A and the Air Defence Battalion, as well search and rescue helicopters that operate all along the Norwegian coast and beyond. Ørland is also the only air base in Scandinavia equipped to host NATO’s AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) aircraft, who use it when patrolling in the area. During his visit, the Chair was briefed on Norway’s approach to Nordic air defence, which entails an even closer cooperation with Finland, Sweden and Denmark and by reinforcing its air capabilities and plans.
Arriving at the Akershus Fortress, the Chair joined General Kristoffersen for the traditional honour guard, led by His Majesty The King’s Guard, who have been protecting the Norwegian Royal Family since 1856. Admiral Bauer subsequently met with Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mrs Anniken Huitfeldt. The exchanges focused on the outcomes of the NATO Summit in Vilnius, the implications for Nations and the military, as well as the agenda for the impending NATO Military Committee Conference.
In his meeting with the Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram, Admiral Bauer spoke about the Regional Plans and their importance to NATO’s collective defence. “The plans agreed in Vilnius Plans will impact the development of all our armed forces for decades to come. Never before have NATO and national defence plans been so closely interlinked. We are taking bold steps to further strengthen our deterrence and defence posture but a strong collective defence must be underpinned by even stronger national defence”, underscored the Chair.
The official programme concluded with an audience with the HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, at the Royal Palace in Oslo. Discussions centered on the importance of fostering leadership in younger generations, the role defence industry has to play, not only in helping the Armed Forces become greener, but ensuring that production demands can be fulfilled in a timely manner, with minimal impact on national security and defence.