rainy Norwegian autumn weather did not trouble the official welcoming ceremony
in Hangar E at Ørland Air Station this Friday afternoon. Just before the
ceremony started, two of the Norwegian F-35 fighter aircraft pierced the sky above
Ørland to greet the many guests present.
aircraft arrived last week, being the first F-35s in Norway. The official
ceremony was held this Friday – coinciding with the Norwegian Air Force's 73rd
anniversary. Among many prominent guests were Norway's King Harald, Norwegian
Prime Minister Mrs Erna Solberg and Secretary General of NATO, Mr Jens
will provide a substantial capability for securing Norway and Norwegian
territories in the High North. Norway is NATO's northern border, and the F-35s
will therefore be important for the Alliance.
is an important day for Ørland, for Norway and for NATO. Ørland Air Station
will be the centre in the modernised Norwegian Air Force, and Norway will have
the most modern fighters" Mr Stoltenberg said, adding:
Alliance is renewing and changing, and the Norwegian F-35s are important in
this work. The aircraft have a unique military power and a one-of-a-kind
survivability. They will contribute in making the world's most powerful
alliance even more powerful".
ceremony was also broadcast live on Norwegian television, allowing everyone to
follow the event.
|en_188_f35ceremony||en_188_f35ceremony||http://forsvaret.no/en/Lists/RelatedMedia/DispForm.aspx?ID=50||Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg during the ceremony. Photo by Torbjørn Kjosvold, Forsvaret||/media/PubImages/20171110tk_I9641.jpg|
|en_188_f35ceremony||en_188_f35ceremony||http://forsvaret.no/en/Lists/RelatedMedia/DispForm.aspx?ID=51||Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg. Photo by Torbjørn Kjosvold, Forsvaret||/media/PubImages/20171110tk_I9679.jpg|
|en_188_f35ceremony||en_188_f35ceremony||http://forsvaret.no/en/Lists/RelatedMedia/DispForm.aspx?ID=52||Norwegian Minister of Defence, Frank Bakke-Jensen. Photo by Torbjørn Kjosvold, Forsvaret||/media/PubImages/20171110tk_I9707.jpg|
|en_188_f35ceremony||en_188_f35ceremony||http://forsvaret.no/en/Lists/RelatedMedia/DispForm.aspx?ID=53||Chief of the Royal Norwegian Air Force, Major General Tonje Skinnarland. Photo by Torbjørn Kjosvold, Forsvaret||/media/PubImages/20171110tk_I9631.jpg|
the Air Force, Major General Tonje Skinnarland, pointed out that there is still
a lot of work to be done in the years ahead. Majord General Skinnarland will be in
charge of incorporating the aircraft into the Norwegian Armed Forces
organisation and prepare the aircraft for Norwegian conditions. The Norwegian F-35
will reach initial operating capability in 2019.
marks the start of reaching the next milestone: Making the aircraft combat
ready. This work stretches far beyond the Air Force. F-35 facilitates joint
operations, and the Armed Forces will work together to reach that potential,
the Air Force chief said.
Minster Erna Solberg stressed the importance of receiving the first F-35s in
aircraft provide the Armed Forces with capabilities far beyond those of today.
F-35 will strengthen not only the Armed Forces, but also Norway's security",
the Prime Minister said.
highlight of the ceremony happened midway, when a dark carpet fell, marking the
official unveiling of the first F-35s on Norwegian soil.
main F-35 base, Ørland Air Station, will play an important role in the the
years coming. In 2019, the new aircraft will gradually be taking over for
today's F-16. The Norwegian government has decided to buy up to 52 new F-35A,
and the whole F-35 fleet will be fully operating in 2025.