Nordic Chiefs of Defence Stress Narvik as a Central Port in the North

Forsvarssjef Eirik Johan Kristoffersen. (Foto: Torbjørn Kjosvold/Forsvaret)
The four Nordic chiefs of Defense from Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark agree on a joint professional military plan, which deals with how the countries can cooperate in receiving allied reinforcements, among other things, says Norway's Chief of Defense Eirik Kristoffersen to VG. (Photo: Torbjørn Kjosvold/the Norwegian Armed Forces)

Next week, the four Nordic Chiefs of Defense will present a plan for how the countries can coordinate their defenses. Norway's Chief of Defense Eirik Kristoffersen stresses the Ofotfjord and the Port of Narvik in Northern Norway as central in securing allied reinforcements to the Nordic region. 

The four Nordic Chiefs of Defense now agree on joint advice to give their respective governments on how the countries can coordinate their defenses when Sweden and Finland join NATO. That is reported by VG.

On Monday, Norway's Chief of Defense Eirik Kristoffersen will forward the Nordic recommendation to the Norwegian Ministry of Defense, writes the newspaper.

The Port of Narvik will be central

To VG, Kristoffersen says that a prominent point in the Nordic plan is to coordinate the reception of allied reinforcements. He further emphasizes four very central fjords and ports for securing allied military reinforcements to the whole of the Nordic region. These are the Ofotfjord with its ice-free port in Narvik, Northern Norway, the Trondheimsfjord in the middle of Norway, the Gothenburg region in Sweden, and the Esbjerg harbor in Denmark. 

If the Chiefs of Defense's joint defense plan is approved, it will lead to an increase in training activities in and around the Ofotfjord, writes Fremover. Kristoffersen says to the newspaper that the significance of the Ofotfjord has increased since 2014, after a scale-down until the turn of the millennium. 

"It is probably most visible in Evenes, but there is and has been a significant investment in both Ramsund and Bjerkvik," he says and adds:

"There will be more training and there will be an increase of activity above the Port of Narvik."

Narvik har alt som skal til for å være et knutepunkt for logistikk i nord. Isfri og dyp havn, jernbane, nord/sør- og øst/vestforbindelse som kan videreutvikles. (lIlustrasjon: Narvik Havn KF)
The Port of Narvik is a core network port in the EU and EEA area, and the Ofototen Railway is part of the same core network of border crossing corridors. (Map/Illustration: Port of Narvik)

Nordic Response

The Chiefs of Defense in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland have cooperated closely over many years, including in the Nordic Defense Cooperation which also includes Iceland.

As High North News has previously reported, the four Chiefs of Defense have discussed a new format for the military exercise Cold Response.

According to VG, the joint plan, which is now completed, will aim towards this joint military exercise, which will take place in the winter of 2024 and which will test the Nordic defense cooperation.

"We are looking at all opportunities to strengthen the security in the Nordic region together. Among other things, it is important to train each other's countries regularly. We are looking at the use of air bases and logistics across national borders, such as the railway from Gothenburg to Narvik. We are also looking at how we can do more jointly in terms of preparedness," said Chief of Defense Kristoffersen in an interview with High North News in August.

High North News will follow up. 

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This article was originally published in Norwegian and has been translated by Birgitte Annie Molid Martinussen.