The NOK 259 million (€30.2 million) base will have 250 full-time employees and a total of 600 persons subordinated to the Commander of 139 Air Wing in Bardufoss.
“This foundation stone marks the Storting’s [Norwegian Parliament] decision to locate the main helicopter base in Bardufoss and that the Armed Forces have a considerable presence in Troms,” State Secretary Øystein Bø of the Minsitry of Defense said when he placed the foundation stone.
Øystein Bø underlined that the helicopter base also will contribute to higher preparedness in the north and support to the police in civilian missions.
The base will, when ready in 2016, have 9000 square meters of hangars and offices and 7000 square meters of apron for Norway’s new NH90 helicopters, Norwegian Defence Estates Agency writes in a press release.
Norway has a contract on delivery of 14 NH90 helicopters. Eight of these will replace the Coast Guard’s old Lynx helicopters, while six will be operating from the Navy’s new Fridtjof Nansen class frigates. Delivery of the helicopters has been delayed, and Norway has so far only received five NH90.