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Norwegian frigate underway for first ever deployment with a US carrier strike group

Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate with Nimitz-class aircraft carrier
Royal Norwegian Navy file photo HNoMS Thor Heyerdahl alongside USS Harry S. Truman during operations in the Norwegian Sea in 2018

The lead ship of the Royal Norwegian Navy’s Fridtjof Nansen-class of frigates got underway from its Bergen homeport on August 25 to start a deployment to the United States.

Over the next eight months, HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen will become the first Norwegian warship ever to fully integrate with a US Navy aircraft carrier strike group.

The ship will first join the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman for the COMPTUEX, a major naval exercise each carrier strike group undergoes ahead of a deployment, before taking part in the actual deployment.

While a Norwegian warship did previously take part in COMPTUEX maneuvers off the US east coast, this will be the first time a Norwegian vessel will be integrated with a CSG for operations. In 2018, Royal Norwegian Navy frigate HNoMS Roald Amundsen (F 311) participated in the COMPTUEX alongside a German frigate, however, it did not subsequently deploy with the carrier.

“The purpose of the assignment is to further develop and strengthen bilateral defense cooperation between Norway and the United States,” the Norwegian defense ministry said.

Preparations for HNomS Fridtjof Nansen’s deployment will last until November/December, and the frigate is not expected to return home before April 2022.

The Norwegian defense ministry first announced a frigate would be integrating with a US carrier strike group in May this year. The main purpose of the cooperative deployment is to show allied unity and mark a presence in security policy areas of interest. The defense ministry noted back then that Norwegian authorities would retain full control over which assignments the Norwegian vessel will join.