Well, perhaps the NATO military regiment needs to cut down on the Big Macs.
Over 400 complaints have poured in from Norwegian citizens, upset about NATO soldiers defecating in the country’s public spaces. The NATO and US military troops are in Norway for their annual “Trident Juncture”, and have been training alongside the Norwegian military.
According to NRK, the soldiers have been relieving themselves in public areas, including kindergartens and leisure centers.
“This terrible, it’s about having common decency. We have to claim up after soldiers who have relieved themselves. It’s literally a s**ty job” said Major Marianna Bo of Norway’s Armed Forces in an interview with a public news agency.
Major Bo claims the complaints have been about both US and Swedish soldiers.
“We actually have a system for treating this. The soldiers bring their equipment to clean up afterwards. But next time we have a major exercise, we must tighten this,” he said.
The compaints poured in at the same time that US soldiers were drinking all the alcohol out of the pubs and bars all over Reykjavik, Iceland, during one of their procedural operations. So, their reputation hasn’t exactly been stellar up this point either.
A lot of the bars had to make emergency beer runs to accommodate the herds of thirsty American sailors in Marine in town at the start of the Trident Juncture.
Their conduct in Norway could be attributed to soldier comradery and hijinks and therefore excused, the same could not be said about soldiers defecating in Norway.
Most of the anger among Norway’s populous comes from farmers who are upset about NATO’s tanks and trucks tearing up their land during their exercises.
Over 119 complaints referenced the damages the farmer’s fields received at the hands of the US military’s heavy artillery.
Bynjar Heli, a resident of Orkdal, Trondelag, told NRK that he is relieved Norway’s Armed forces will be taking responsibility for the damage done to their property by US tanks.
“There isn’t a problem as long as they clean up afterwards, and they have said they should do” said Mr. Heli.
“I understand that the defense forces must practice, and fortunately, there is no major devastation.”
NATo spokesman Eystein Malkenes Kyarving attempted to apologize for the conduct of the soldiers, specifically with regards to the public defecation.
“Sometimes unfortunate things happen which are not planned. Of course, it is not okay for people to defecate in public areas.”
He said he was regretful it occurred and that NATO was taking the complaints very seriously.
Despite the ‘s**t’ that went down, most Norwegians were more than happy to host NATO’s joint operations. Since it started its exercises with the US army, its reported that support for the Norwegian Armed forces has risen from 64 to 69%.
James G. Foggo, US Admiral and Chief Commander of the Trident Juncture, told NRK:
“This exercise has given us a lot. We have learned a lot about the weather in Norway and we have created lasting relationships.”
These exercises are major drills, and involve over 50,000 troops from 30 nations that have been in Norway for over a month.