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Bardufoss, Norway
6903'21"N 1832'25"E

Combat Equipment Group - Europe [CEG-E] is accountable for equipment stored in Bardufoss, Norway, belonging to a self-propelled field artillery unit of the Minnesota National Guard. This unit forms part of a four-nation NATO Composite-Force (other contributors are Germany, Norway, and Canada) and conducts regular training with this equipment located 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle. No personnel are assigned there.

The Adventure Express exercise provides a demonstration of the capabilities of the Army pre-positioned stocks (formerly called Army war reserves). There is plenty of military activity in this area, because most of the Norwegian army is situated in the Bardudalen (the Bardu Valley).

Bardufoss Air Station is both military and civilian. Helicopters at Bardufoss Air Station are operated on behalf of the Norwegian Coastguard. The strategic importance of Norway for NATO is largely attributable to existing airfields there. Use of these facilties, located at Banak, Tromso, Bardufoss, Adoya, Evenes, Bodo, Vaernes and Orland would allow control of the North Cape.

The tragic loss of HMS Glorious was one of the greatest disasters suffered by the Royal Navy during the second world war. The evacuation from Norway, in May 1940, took place at one of the blackest and most confused periods of the war. At that time, the German army had invaded France. British forces, including the Royal Navy, were heavily involved in these operations, which culminated in the fall of France and the evacuation of the British expeditionary force from mainland Europe. Moreover, Italy had just entered the war on the side of the Axis powers and, understandably, the risk of a German invasion was regarded as a serious threat. The aircraft carriers Ark Royal and Glorious had sailed from Scapa Flow for Narvik, in Norway, on 31 May. Ark Royal was tasked with providing fighter cover during the withdrawal from Norway. Glorious was tasked with the evacuation of RAF aircraft from Bardufoss in the north of Norway; those aircraft would be urgently required for the defence of the United Kingdom. At about 16.00, Glorious sighted the mastheads of the battle cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, which were on course to close on the Glorious. The Scharnhorst opened fire at 16.31, followed shortly after by the Gneisenau. The order to abandon Glorious was given at 17.20. At 17.40 Glorious sank.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:42:59 ZULU