Two Russian and Norwegian warships today practiced firing live artillery and machine gun rounds at simulated surface and aerial targets in waters west of Norway, BarentsObserver reports.
– The exercises are historical, says Commanding Officer of the exercises Commodore Henning Amundsen on the Norwegian Armed Forces’ web site. – It is the first time the Norwegian and the Russian navies have joint shooting drills, he explains.
The Northern Fleet’s anti-submarine destroyer “Severomorsk” practiced firing live 100 mm artillery rounds at simulated surface targets, while the Norwegian frigate “KNM Otto Sverdrup” fired with 12.7 mm heavy machine guns on simulated aerial targets.
– The Russians shot very well, and had several direct hits, says Commander of the “KNM Otto Sverdrup” Captain Per Morten Sandquist.
Cross-deck swaps and personnel exchange
During the exercises Russian and Norwegian helicopters will be conducting so-called cross-deck swaps, where Russian helicopters land on the Norwegian vessel and vice versa, the Northern Fleet’s press secretary Vadim Serga says to RIA Novosti.
The two navies will also be exchanging personnel, Serga says. Every morning five people from each side go by boat or helicopter to the other vessel and spend the day there, learning about the other navy’s service and onboard life while taking part in the exercises. – This helps the sailors to learn about the other side in order to be able to cooperate more effectively in the future, he explains.