The Norwegian defense ministry is using commercial vessels to test a new concept of operations as part of the 31-nation NATO drill Trident Juncture which is taking place in Norway.
Norwegian company Simon Møkster has disclosed that its offshore supply vessel Stril Mar is taking part in the exercise and is helping the country test the Total Defence Concept, which involves military forces and a wide range of civilian departments and authorities.
Stril Mar has been taken out of her normal operation and in addition to the civilian crew, the vessel has a military crew from MARCSS (Maritime Combat Service Support). The vessel will be used as a platform for easy maintenance and fuel supply and logistics support.
This civil-military concept is called STUFT (ship taken out of trade). The concept implies that one takes a civilian ship out of normal operation, so that it can be used to support military departments at sea.
“To be able to test this capacity during Trident Juncture will enable the Armed Forces to support vessels that are in operation in a better way. Immediately, we will test the preparedness and civil society’s ability and willingness to support the Armed Forces in the framework of the total defense,” says MARCSS, Kommandør Kaptein Frode Staurset.
Naval Today has contacted the Norwegian defense ministry to ask how many commercial ships or what other non-military sectors could be expected to take part in the concept test but we are yet to receive a response. In an earlier announcement, the ministry said it has signed contracts with Norwegian companies worth more than NOK 1.5 billion (USD 180 million, EUR 160 million) for various services supporting the drill.