Press release | Date: 13/06/2018 | Ministry of Defence| No: 37
-The Norwegian government is positive towards the proposed EDI-measures at Rygge Air Station, and are satisfied that the plans will move ahead, says Minister of Defence, Frank Bakke-Jensen.
Hangars for four fighter aircraft at Rygge
The US authorities are increasing the US military presence in Europe through the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI). Through the EDI, the US is contributing to NATO’s deterrence and collective defence capabilities. The plans at Rygge under the European Deterrence Initiative involve setting up a row of four pads with light hangarettes for fighter aircraft at Rygge Air Base, as well as a taxiway, a fire protection building, lighting, and signs. They involve the building of infrastructure, but does not mean stationing of aircraft or personnel in Norway. The US authorities envisage that there will be exercises and training at Rygge periodically, and the project will allow for allied reinforcements in the form of fourth generation fighter aircraft (F-16 or F-15) possible in times of tension or war.
- Under the EDI, the US authorities are investing in military infrastructure in Norway to support adjusted NATO reinforcement plans. This approach is by no means new to us. A significant proportion of the military infrastructure that has been put in place in Norway since the Second World War has been financed with the help of contributions from the NATO Infrastructure Programme, says Bakke-Jensen.
The US has earmarked USD 4.8 billion for the EDI in 2018.
In line with established policy
- Receiving allied reinforcement in the event of crisis or war is of vital importance to Norway’s security. But preparations for such reinforcements must be made in peacetime if they are to be effective when needed. The need for allied support was the main reason we chose to be a founder member of NATO. Norway, like most other European countries, would be dependant om allied reinforcements to defend ourselves against foreign aggression. That is why we have chosen to be part of a collective defence alliance – namely, NATO. This has kept Norway secure for 70 years, he says.
- The US investments at Rygge are in line with established Norwegian policy. Our aim is to ensure that allied reinforcement of Norway is as effective as possible, should the need for this arise. Building the infrastructure needed for the reinforcement of Norway does not conflict with Norway’s policy on the stationing of foreign forces; as it has already been done a number of times since the Second World War, says Bakke-Jensen.