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UK establishes new military base in Northern Norway

UK Royal Navy commandos conduct cold weather training in the Arctic. (UK Royal Navy/Crown Copyright)

The UK has set up a military base in Northern Norway that will act as a hub for Royal Marines commandos operating in the region.

The purpose-built site, called Camp Viking, is located in Øverbygd, about 40 mile south of Tromsø, and will be used to support the UK's commando-led Littoral Response Group (LRG) (North), which is designed to operate alongside NATO and UK Joint Expeditionary Force partners in the High North and Baltic Sea regions.

In an 8 March announcement, the UK Royal Navy (RN) said Camp Viking will remain open for 10 years, as Norway does not host permanent bases for foreign soldiers.

The facilities can accommodate all personnel from the LRG, and will be the focal point for delivery of mountain and cold weather warfare training, as well as act as a forward operating base to support NATO operations. The RN said the location was ideal for deterring threats in the region and was situated so that the UK can respond rapidly if needed to protect NATO's northern flank and Norway.

The camp is strategically located near the Norwegian Army's Skjold Base and the airbase at Bardufoss, where the Commando Helicopter Force that supports Royal Marines in their operations is established.

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