It can get humid and crowded in pubs and restaurants in Oslo when 5,000 sailors from the US Navy occupy the city. The ambassador jokes that he is a little worried.
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– I’m a little worried about that. I think there will be close to 5,000 sailors if you count the other ships that come along, says the US ambassador to Norway, Marc Nathanson, to NTB.
NTB met him on board the aircraft carrier USS Gerald Ford on Monday. Later in the week – probably on Wednesday – the giant warship will arrive in Oslo and will probably stay for four days.
On board is a crew of around 4,500 – and the vast majority get shore leave and a few days off in Oslo.
– I think it will be good for them. Remember that due to covid they have not had the opportunity to disembark. This will be the first port they get to visit, and they get to enjoy the wonders of modern Oslo, says the ambassador.
– Do you think they will be a little crazy?
– Maybe. But why not?
Promises trading effect
The gigantic ship will lay down deep in the Oslo Fjord, but not right next to the quay. Shuttle ferries will transport the crew in and out to the ship almost around the clock.
On board there are many people who are looking forward to coming to Norway. NTB also hears that many of the crew have saved up a lot of money which they now want to use.
The trade industry in the capital can probably expect a small boost.
– They want to visit the shops, have a beer, have a coffee. Go to the museums, go to Vigelandsparken. They should grab a Skagen sandwich and experience everything Oslo has to offer. I think it will be a fantastic experience for the American sailors, says the ambassador.
– And what should Norwegians do?
– I wanted to run and hide, he says and laughs.
– No, then, I’m just kidding. Welcome them as friends.
The captain: – They will be on their best behavior
The weather forecast for Oslo looks very good for the rest of the week. Many on board have noticed that. They have also heard that the city is suitable for strolling.
– I’m almost surprised by how much the sailors here enjoy themselves, says the captain on board, Rick Burgess, to NTB.
He says that the crew on the ship think it is very cool to work close to the Arctic Circle.
– The one thing I think is a bit silly is that everyone says they want to see the northern lights. But we probably won’t be able to get that. I hear it’s not that dark this time of year.
He says that the US Navy often goes down to the equator, to the tropical ports.
– You can be 20 years in the navy and visit the same 5-6 ports over and over again. Eventually they lose their exotic appeal. Almost no one on this ship has been to Norway, so they will be around, everywhere. And they will be on their absolute best behavior, I promise. But they are looking forward to seeing the city, says the captain.
Watch video: “VG Explains: Weapons in the USA”
Published: 23/05/23 at 06:57
Updated: 23.05.23 at 07:28