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US has doubled the number of marines in Norway to tackle Russian threat

According to the Ministry of Defense of Norway, 400 additional US Marines have been approved to set their feet in Norwegian soil. Currently, Norway has 300 US Marines on a rotational basis for training and military exercises. With the recent approval, the total number will amount to 700 for at least the next five years. The additional US Marines will go to Setermoen in Troms according to the Defense Ministry. After the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the rising tensions between the US and Russia, 300 US Marines were sent to Vaernes in Norway.  

Eric Pahon, the Pentagon representative, stated that the Department of Defense welcomes the announcement made by the authorities of Norway. He further added that the rotational training of US Marines in Norway allows them the opportunity to train in winter and mountain warfare. Moreover, this will also strengthen relations with Norway and will prepare both countries for a crisis. Norway and Russia share a 122-mile border and the positioning of US Marines in Vaernes sets them around 250 miles from the border. Russia has previously criticized Norway's decision to house US Marines and one Russian official stated that the Russian military might attack Norway.  


The United States also uses the underground caves in Norway to position its heavy weaponry to be used in a crisis situation between Russia and the NATO. Frank Bakke-Jensen, Norway's Minister of Defense, stated that it is the part of Norway's security policy to ask for US help in the times of crisis and war. He further asserted that rotational activities with key allies of Norway like the United States have strengthened the Norwegian military.  

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