US nuclear aircraft carrier “Gerald R. Ford”considered the largest warship in the world, was placed under the command of NATO to participate in some maneuvers in the Norwegian Sea, the Atlantic Alliance reported on Monday.
The aircraft carrier, which arrived on May 24 in the waters of the Oslo fjord, has been under allied command since Friday with the aim of carrying out a series of maritime security and training activities planned with the NATO Naval Attack and Support Forces. (SFN) in the Norwegian Sea, the organization said in a statement.
This demonstrates the Alliance’s ability to integrate the high-end capabilities of a premier US aircraft carrier, its strike group escorts, and its carrier air wing.
This is a “scheduled” deployment of the US aircraft carrier, said the Alliance, which indicated that the activities in which he will participate together with other capabilities from allied countries will take place over the next week with Norway as the host.
The strike group consists of its flagship and namesake, the Ford-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), Carrier Air Wing Eight (CVW 8), Destroyer Squadron Two (DESRON 2), the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage (DDG 61).
As explained by the Alliance, the cooperation and the transition of Gerald R. Ford to the command of NATO they reinforce the interoperability of allied forces and the agility of the command and control structures of the transatlantic organization.
“This transfer of authority is a tangible and transparent display of the Alliance’s advanced capabilities in ‘omni domain’ operations and defensive commitment throughout the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) area of responsibility,” the Alliance said.
The last time NATO assumed command of a US aircraft carrier strike group was in March 2023, during the scheduled deployment of the USS George HW Bush to the Mediterranean and its involvement in exercise Neptune Strike.
The Gerald R. Ford measures 333 meters long and 41 meters wide, has a crew of 4,500 people and can hold up to 90 planes and helicopters.
The United States will open its first diplomatic representation north of the Arctic Circle, in the Norwegian city of Tromso, with a view to increasing its “commitment” in the Upper North and that this region continue to be a zone of “peaceful cooperation”, announced last week in Oslo the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken.
“In order to deepen our own engagement in the High North, I am announcing today that the United States will open an American presence post in Tromso,” Blinken said during a news conference following an informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers held in the Norwegian capital.
The Secretary of State stressed that it will be “our northernmost diplomatic mission, and the only facility of its kind above the Arctic Circle.” Blinken assured that they are “eager to work with like-minded allies to advance our vision of a peaceful, stable, prosperous and cooperative Arctic.”
The head of North American diplomacy stressed that the United States is building “very strong bilateral associations” not only with Norway but also with Finland and Sweden, a country that is confident that “soon” it will also become an ally within NATO, once Turkey and Hungary ratify their entry into the Atlantic Alliance.
(With information from EFE)
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