U.S. European Command and Norwegian military leaders concluded a full day of bilateral staff talks on March 3 in Stuttgart, Germany, to discuss near and long-term security cooperation in the High North.
The bilateral staff talks were led by the Norwegian Defence Staff’s deputy chief of staff for operations, Rear Adm. Solveig Krey, and USEUCOM’s deputy director for security cooperation, policy, partnering and space capabilities, U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Edward Vaughan. Also in attendance were representatives from U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa (USAFE-AF), USAFE-AF directorate of space forces, U.S. Marine Forces Europe, Minnesota National Guard, U.S. senior defense official to Norway and chief of the U.S. military’s office of defense cooperation in Norway.
“In many ways, Norway is a gatekeeper to the Arctic,” Vaughan said. “Our continued synergy is essential to maintaining the rules-based international order during these uncertain times.”
Norwegian and U.S. subject matter experts discussed a wide array of defense-related topics, ranging from planned exercises in the Arctic’s extreme cold environment, to the future of Arctic security forums. Also discussed were strategic initiatives, such as agile combat employment and defense integration between USNORTHCOM, USEUCOM and the Norwegian Defence Staff in over-the-pole activities.
“Geography isn’t changing – we have to look at the globe from the top to truly understand how to approach security in the High North,” said Krey.
During the staff talks, Norwegian Defence Staff announced that its political leaders had just approved USEUCOM’s proposition to invest more than $200 million in Norway’s Rygge airfield over the next five years. These infrastructure investments are foundational to the future of Norway and USAFE’s integrated air defense of the High North.
As one of two U.S. geographic combatant commands with vested interests in the Arctic, USEUCOM routinely plans and trains alongside Norwegian forces in order to operate effectively across all domains, and in all harsh, rugged environments of the Arctic.
U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) is responsible for U.S. military operations across Europe, portions of Asia and the Middle East, the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean. USEUCOM is comprised of more than 64,000 military and civilian personnel and works closely with NATO Allies and partners. The command is one of two U.S. forward-deployed geographic combatant commands headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. For more information about USEUCOM, visit https://www.eucom.mil.