A Look at How the Norwegian and Danish Navies Are Preparing for Syria

Dutch sailors

There are four Norwegian and Danish ships are getting ready to leave the Cyprian port of Limassol this weekend to take up positions off the Syrian coast, waiting for the word to pull into the Syrian port of Latakia to begin loading up to 700 metric tons of chemical weapons and precursor materials for destruction.

The Norwegian military’s Lars Magne Hovtun is aboard the Frigate Helge Ingstad, and has been Tweeting pictures of the ship along with the cargo ship Taiko, providing a steady stream of operational updates on the crew’s training for the mission and their location as they wait for the “go” order to head to Syria.

Then there are the Danish ships. Denmark sent the support ship Esbern Snare and cargo ship Ark Futura to the Med to take part in the mission, as well.

While Hovtun has been offering an engaging and highly informative account from the Norwegian side as the ships wait for the mission to start, while the crew of the Esbern Snare is taking a slightly different approach.

From their Twitter account, we’ve learned a few things about how different countries prepare for overseas deployments. For instance: Did you know that Danish sailors pack their civilian suits (with bowties!) for New Year’s Eve parties? (See above).

And that they have no issues with open displays of affection:


They hold pig roasts on the helo deck of their ships:


We’re not making fun of the crew of the Esbern Snare – pig roasts or no the fact of the matter is that they were deployed away from their families over the holidays, and they appear trained and ready to carry out a very dangerous mission. It’s just not the way Americans are used to doing things.

But the Danish Navy doesn’t look like such a bad life, huh?

Follow me:

Paul McLeary

McLeary covers national security policies at the White House, Pentagon, the Hill, and State Department.
Follow me:

Latest posts by Paul McLeary (see all)