Okkupert: Occupy Norway 2016, late October 2016. Hypothetical Scenario.
A Harpoon Commander's Edition introductory scenario for the EC2003 Battle for the GIUK GAP Battleset and the HCDB-150928 1980-2015 era Platform Database. This scenario is designed with advanced Scenario Editor and to be run with HCE 2015.008+ or later.
Image: Spanish build and designed Norwegian AEGIS frigates "KNM Fridtjof Nansen" and "KNM Helge Ingstad", in Oslo, April 14, 2010. Photo by Bjoertvedt, took from Wikipedia Commons with permission GFDL.
This scenario is designed to be played from the Blue/Norwegian and partners side or from the Red/Russia side. You should play a few times first the Blue/Norwegian and Partners side to avoid spoilers, and only later play the Red/Russia side.:
With the world on the brink of an open war, but pending of the US presidential elections and the hard and transcendent struggle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the straw that broke the camel happened. President Vladimir Putin saw the TV series Okkupiert / Occupied, and get the inspiration for improve even more his historical career and his image of powerful man, perform a covert invasion of Norway, finishing so the disputes on Artic gas and oil fields, and controlling the world's energy market, all this taking advantage of the multiple distractions of security that had place in the world. The excuse was to prepare the Admiral Kuznetsov CVBG supposedly to steam towards the Mediterranean and to support the Russian intervention in the Syrian (Historically sailing from October 16, 2016, with other Russian surface forces in theatre, coming or going from the Baltic Fleet), when it would actually be used to cover the forces of invasion of Norway. Norway's NATO partners, as well as the EU countries closest to Russia, were threatened with an initial nuclear attack Russian and would not intervene against such threat. In these matters the word of Putin was not put in doubt. The only outside support of Norway would come from the few forces of Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, USA and the UK available in the area (some of them in exercise Joint Warrior 16-2), and a squadron of Swedish fighters operating in UK (deployed at RAF Leeming for exercise Noble Arrow), which have decided to opposite the position of his Government and put the Gripen (and its new Meteor air-to-air missiles) at the service of the allies of Norway.
The use by Putin of the limited and theoretical defensive Russian surface fleet to occupy Norway in a bold and swift action should be clearly a reminiscence of the 1940 Hitler invasion of Norway.
In the actual Norwegian TV series, Okkupiert / Occupied started in April of an undeterminated year, perhaps 2017.
Remember the Second Cold War was originated middle in the second presidential term of Vladimir Putin, from May 2012. As related, after the full of naval, military and security incidents year of 2014 the world was beginning the so-called Second Cold War. Mostly as result of President of Russia Vladimir Putin (ex-KGB lieutenant colonel) actions, provoking in succession the Crimea, Ukraine, Donetsk, Baltic States, October 2014 Swedish submarine incursion, G-20 Brisbane meeting naval crisis, November 2014 Faslane submarine incident, frigate Yaroslav Mudryy February "Channel Dash", April 2015 Finnish submarine incursion (for many observers causing the pre-mobilization of Finland reserve forces), Russian intervention in Syria from 30 September 2015, violation by Russian military helicopters of the Finnish and Georgian borders on 10 December 2015, March 2016 detection by the French of a Russian submarine near Bay of Biscay, violation by Russian military helicopters of the Polish border on 18 April 2016, the confuse Russian submarine B-265 Krasnodar incident with Polish warships (and the consecutive Putin sack of Russian Baltic Fleet numerous commanders), the HMS Montrose confuse and dangerous encounter with the new Baltic Sea Fleet Russian corvette Soobrazitelnyy in middle of the BALTOPS 2016 exercise in June 2016, and with constant and multiple overflies with military warplanes entangled in potential incidents with commercial and military flights in Europe. That without counting with other unrelated naval incidents, just as the Iranian seizure of the Maersk Tigris in 28 April 2015, or the mid-October 2016 launching of anti-ship missiles against UAE and US warships from the Yemen shores and the successive retaliation (and neither counting in landlocked actions, as the continuous counter-Daesh operations in Middle East).
And all those incidents without counting more towards Far East with China as a less perceived and growing problem, and his own generated incidents. China was building structures with military capabilities, including from 2012 more relevant structures, as the 3000+ meters long (Very Large Airport in Harpoon parameters) runway in Fiery Cross Reef (finished at March 2016), and more important, building multiple artificial reefs and islands above previous simple shoals for claiming territory, and for. At last in an undetermined date late April 2015 China claims as territorial waters the 12 nautical miles circling his "new" islands.
As the US official doctrine is Freedom of Navigation (FON) worldwide on international waters (same in Baltic and Black Seas), and as in this case with fears about a decision not to send naval vessels into the zone would inadvertently help the Chinese build their own case for sovereignty in the area, some air and surface elements of US Navy begin to orbit near the Chinese claims, but not crossing the 12 nm line.
Speculatively in this scenario because the international situation many of the forces deployed in the BALTOPS 2016 exercise remained in Europe, and in high state of availability.
And the situation goes to the boiling point very fast, as at last, after the NATO Warsaw Summit (8-9 July 2016) showing the allied firm resolution to oppose the Russian ambitions, Putin was forced to increase his bets and act.
To keep his security promises to the Russian people and keep his image of strong man, Putin is forced occupy Norway, but with less political correctness consideration than in the TV series, employing an open military action.
The state of readiness of the NATO forces is low, the first three days of the open conflict can count only with the remaining forces at disposition after the recent exercises, but with the complete Norwegian order of battle, in high state of readiness because the international situation (as commented forces deployed in Sweden, Finland, Baltic States and rest of Europe are inoperative because the Russian nuclear blackmail).
Will be vital for both sides to prevail these three first days of war, for Russia as propaganda and to show his force occupying Norway, for Norway and his few remaining partners for resist and mobilize all the Western forces the next days, if is showed resolution and positive results in the opposition against Putin's Russia.
Enrique Mas,October 16, 2016.