Commander of U.S. 6th Fleet Completes Visit to Norway


The commander of U.S. 6th Fleet completed a four-day trip to Norway Sept. 1.

While in Norway, Vice Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. visited with U.S. ambassador to Norway, Barry B. White, at the U.S. Embassy, and with Sailors aboard attack submarine USS Montpelier (SSN 765) at Haakonsvern Naval Base. Harris also had the opportunity to visit Andoya Air Station.

“It was a great privilege and honor for me to welcome Vice Adm. Harris to Norway,” said White. “These visits are very important to keep me updated on the activities of 6th Fleet and U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa.”
White also said that because Norway has a vast coast line and history of shipbuilding and naval operations, Norwegian and U.S. working relationships have always been strong.

Our meeting gave me and my team the opportunity to discuss some of the concrete projects that form the backbone of close cooperation between Norwegian and U.S. military forces,” said White. “It gave us a chance to bring his team up to date on the embassy’s goals and current discussions between top civilian leaders in the U.S. and Norway.”

Harris also visited Haakonsvern Naval Base where he toured two Royal Norwegian Navy ships, the Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad (F313), and the Skjold-class coastal corvette HNoMS Steil (P963).

“It’s been very nice to show him the capabilities of the Royal Norwegian Navy,” said Cmdr. Bjorn Kvisgaard, commander of the Royal Norwegian Navy’s corvette service. “Our new corvettes are very fast, stealthy vessels.”

Harris also visited Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Montpelier (SSN 765), which was making a port call to Bergen and moored at Haakonsvern.

We are very excited to have joined 6th Fleet and to have the opportunity to visit Norway,” said Cmdr. Tom Winter, commanding officer of Montpelier. “We are focused and ready to accomplish any mission tasking that comes our way.”

Harris flew farther up Norway above the Arctic Circle to visit Andoya Air Station, home to the Royal Norwegian Air Force’s P-3 Orion squadron, the 133rd Air Wing.

“I’m honored to have a U.S. fleet commander up here in the Norwegian P-3 community, to show him exactly how and where we operate and the product we provide,” said Col. Gerhard Larsen, 133rd Air Wing commander. “We want to cooperate with the U.S. since we are closely tied to you with our weapons and communication programs and would like to do more training together. Out here, we are in a perfect maritime air location.”

Harris joined the Royal Norwegian Air Forces’ 133rd Air Wing on a maritime patrol mission above the Arctic Circle aboard a P-3 Orion.

Source: navy, September 2, 2011;