New US Aircraft Carrier Arrives in Norway for NATO Exercises

03:43 May 24, 2023

New US Aircraft Carrier Arrives in Norway for NATO Exercises

Norway’s armed forces welcomed a nuclear American aircraft carrier on Wednesday. Norway called the U.S. its “most important ally” on the arrival of the U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford.

The huge warship entered a narrow Oslo waterway along with Norwegian military boats.

Norway’s armed forces said all boats must stay about half a kilometer away from the aircraft carrier.

The U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford is known as the largest aircraft carrier and largest warship in the world. It will stay in Oslo for almost one week before leaving to take part in drills with the Norwegian military in the Arctic.

That is the area where Norway and Russia share a nearly 200-kilometer land border.

A Norwegian broadcaster showed the ship’s arrival and many people watched from land.

Laila Wilhelmsen watched the large ship move through the small town of Droebak. She said she remembered seeing large ships in the area during the Cold War in the 1950s.

She spoke with the Norwegian broadcaster NRK and said: “Now we have teased Putin even more. It’s scary, I think.”

Wilhelmsen was referring to Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Norway’s Prime Minister is Jonas Gahr Store. He told a Norwegian news agency that he expected a reaction from Russia, but his country has long planned “allied exercises in Norwegian waters.”

The Russian embassy in Oslo said, “…Such demonstrations of power look illogical and harmful.”

The relationship between Russia and Norway has been tense since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Norwegian pilots were aboard the American ship to help navigate the narrow waterway, called a fjord. The main concern was the size of the ship and the depth of the fjord.

It is the first combat deployment for the U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford. The aircraft carrier left Norfolk, Virginia, earlier in May.

The ship is the first of three new aircraft carriers for the U.S. Navy. Two are still being built. The ships are nuclear powered and have 2,600 sailors, about 600 fewer than aircraft carriers of the past.

I’m Caty Weaver.

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