POMOR-2012 in full swing

A Russian medic helping an "injured" Norwegian sailor. Military relations between Norway and Russia have improved a lot over the years, something the exercise POMOR has contributed to. Photo: Trude Pettersen

THE BARENTS SEA: Norwegian and Russian warships are right now training together outside the coast of Norway. See photos from the exercises.


Since the vessels left Severomorsk on Friday May 11, the crew of the Russian destroyer “Admiral Chabanenko” and the Norwegian frigate “Fridtjof Nansen” has conducted many different types of drills together, involving Su-33 Flanker fighter jets, Orion and Il-38 maritime surveillance planes and the coast guard vessel “KV Senja”.

Captain of the ”Admiral Chabanenko” Captain Stanislav Varik is very pleased with this year’s exercises: “This type of exercises are of big importance, not only when it comes to strictly military education of the  crew, but also when it comes to learning how to cooperate with sailors from abroad”.

According to Varik the POMOR exercises have developed over the years: “The drills are more detailed and better planned than before and the intensity is higher. At the same time the exercises are now conducted in a more calm and controlled way”. “The emphasis is on safety”, he adds.

Personnel exchange between the two countries’ vessels  plays an important role in establishing good relationships, and all through the exercise there are Russian crewmembers  on board the Norwegian vessel and vice versa. 

Both “Fridtjof Nansen” and “Admiral Chabanenko” have been active in anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden, actually at the same time, in the end of 2009. 

Large parts of the exercise are devoted to search and rescue operations and drills on helping vessels in distress. This are issues that vessels operating in the High North can meet in real life, says Captain 1st rank Lars Saunes, Chief of naval operations at the Norwegian Joint Headquarters. “In case of an emergency situation at sea, there is a high possibility that either a Norwegian or Russian naval vessel will be nearby”. 

POMOR-2012 continues for two more days, and ends in Bodø on May 17.