Home Europe US Navy’s newest aircraft carrier visits Oslo, prompting Russia’s discontent

US Navy’s newest aircraft carrier visits Oslo, prompting Russia’s discontent

USS Gerald R. Ford in the Oslo fjord. Photo: Norwegian defense ministry

The USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), US Navy’s newest and most advanced aircraft carrier, reached Oslo, Norway, as part of its planned port visit on May 24th.

During USS Gerald R. Ford’s visit, which marked the first US aircraft carrier visit to Norway in 65 years, the ship held a reception in Oslo to pay tribute to the US-Norway relationship, welcoming local officials and important leaders.

Prior to arrival, the Gerald R. Ford Strike Group (GRFCSG) integrated His Norwegian Majesty’s Ship (HNoMS) Roald Amundsen (F311) as the GRFCSG Surface Warfare Commander, demonstrating strong interoperability between the US Navy and the Royal Norwegian Navy.

“Norway is a strategic partner in the continued efforts to maintain a secure and stable Arctic and North Atlantic region that benefits global order,” said Rear Adm. Erik J. Eslich, Commander, Carrier Strike Group 12.

“We are committed to our NATO ally and fostering our strong relationship built on a foundation of shared values, experiences, and vision,” he added.

However, as press reports indicate, Russian officials have criticized the carrier’s visit during the port call, referring to it as “illogical and harmful”.

“There are no issues in the North that require a military solution, nor issues that require outside intervention,” Russian embassy spokesman Timur Chekanov told AFP by email.

“Considering that Oslo admits that Russia poses no direct military threat to Norway, such shows of force seem illogical and harmful,” he added.

As the lead ship of the Ford-class, CVN 78 represents a step forward in the Navy’s global power projection capabilities as showed during the combat systems qualification trials.

Introducing 23 new technologies, including the electromagnetic aircraft launch system, arresting gear, and weapons elevators, the Ford-class carriers enable higher sortie rates with a 20% reduction in crew size compared to Nimitz-class carriers.

Since departing from Norfolk, Virginia on May 2, the Gerald R. Ford has been engaged in joint and combined training, exercises, and operations aimed at mitigating maritime security risks in the high north region, in response to the heightened activity in the area.