On March 8, 2023, the United Kingdom announced a new operations base ‘Camp Viking’ located far north of Norway that will support the military for the next 10 years.
The base has come about amid the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. It will strengthen the NATO presence in the region as Norway shares a 122-mile border with Russia. Furthermore, the base will house elite British forces that are trained to fight in extremely cold weather.
Norway has been a part of NATO since it was established in 1949, and it is one of twelve founding members of the organization. The country regularly participates in political, military, peacekeeping, and decision-making activities within the organization.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a political and military alliance between countries in America and Europe, and the organization’s primary goal is to promote the security and stability of its member countries through collective defense. NATO operates under the principle of collective defense, meaning that an attack on one member is considered an attack on all members, and all members are committed to coming to the defense of any member that is attacked.
The base will only be in operation for 10 years as Norway refused permanent foreign military bases. Camp Viking will accommodate 1,000 military personnel who will carry out NATO operations and aid Norway.
The Russia-Ukraine war has prompted other countries in the region, including Finland and Sweden, to apply for a NATO membership.
In their announcement, the British royal navy said that “At its heart Joint Viking is designed to demonstrate how Norway would defend itself in harsh winter conditions and its ability to operate efficiently with allies.”
Gen Jenkins, a senior royal marines officer stated that “To come back and see the contemporary marines, commandos, sailors and soldiers operating in such an exciting, challenging environment as Norway, is a real personal thrill for me.”
The establishment of Camp Viking could result in Russia increasing its forces towards the Norwegian border. To Russia, Camp Viking could be perceived as a step towards more aggressive and hostile action by the NATO forces. In return, Russia may decide to further advance its attack on Ukraine instead of slowing it down.
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