The nuclear-powered USS Gerald R. Ford has become the first US aircraft carrier to visit Norway in the last 65 years.
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The US Navy’s newest and most advanced aircraft carrier, the first-in-class ship of Ford Class aircraft carriers, made its port visit to Oslo in Norway while deployed at the US Naval Forces Europe area of operations on 24 May.
The last visit to Norway was made by the CVA-11 USS Intrepid Essex Class aircraft carrier, which docked in Oslo in July 1958.
Carrier Strike Group 12 Commander Rear Admiral Erik J. Eslich said the Gerald R. Ford deployed from Norfolk, Virginia on 2 May and has been conducting joint and combined training, exercises, and operations to help reduce maritime security risks.
“Norway is a strategic partner in the continued efforts to maintain a secure and stable Arctic and North Atlantic region that benefits global order,” he said.
“We are committed to our NATO ally and fostering our strong relationship built on a foundation of shared values, experiences, and vision.”
During the visit to Oslo, the ship hosted local officials and key leaders for a reception to honour the US-Norway relationship. Sailors are also given leave to experience the rich heritage of Oslo through community relations events, popular cultural and historical landmarks around the city.
“This is Norway’s security. It is a clear expression of the security guarantees we have through NATO, not least the close cooperation and partnership we have with the United States,” said Norwegian Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram.
The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group is conducting a scheduled deployment in US Naval Forces Europe-Africa/US Sixth Fleet area of operations, demonstrating the commitment and power projection capability of the US Navy’s globally deployed force.
The arrival was not welcomed by the Russian Embassy in Norway. A Russian embassy spokesperson said there is no situation in the north that requires a military solution, nor topics where outside intervention is needed.
“Considering that it is admitted in Oslo that Russia poses no direct military threat to Norway, such demonstrations of power appear illogical and harmful,” they said.