Working and Living in Norway

  • Published
  • By TSgt. Aaron Thomasson
  • 501st Combat Support Wing

It was a bright and chilly day at the NATO Joint Warfare Center in Stavanger, Norway. Jennifer Comstock, the School Liaison Officer for the 426th Air Base Squadron, is working at her computer, typing away.


She welcomes visitors into her office with a cheerful smile and loves to talk about the experience of living in Norway. This is her first time being stationed overseas with her spouse, who works in the JWC. She’s been working here since 2016, and is more than happy to share what she thought Norway would be like when she first heard the news.


“When I heard Norway, the first thing I went and bought was a big old winter coat and I was thinking Arctic temperatures and polar bears,” she said. “We knew nothing. So it was a big learning curve. And then we started to realize it was more of a coastal climate, like Seattle.”


Every day she guides families by navigating them through the Norwegian school system and assisting them with any issues that may arise during the process. As the SLO, this is her number one priority. But many personnel working at Stavanger are called on to handle additional jobs, and Comstock is no different. In addition to her work as the SLO, she is also the testing coordinator for American personnel. This includes promotion tests as well as language tests. And on top of that, she also runs the newcomer’s program, coordination for assigning sponsors and setting up briefings for all inbound personnel. Because the 426th is the National Support Element for all U.S. personnel at the JWC, this means supporting hundreds of servicemembers and civilians.

But the part that brings her the most joy is the opportunity to help families make the transition to living in Norway.

“I have a heart for the little ones,” she said. “I never want to see anything happen that could hurt their education, or their experience here so being able to help support in those times of need, where it’s very obvious that it’s needed, has been definitely the highlight.” 


Of course, for personnel stationed at Stavanger, there are many things to do besides work. Comstock and her husband enjoy the hiking and skiing, which is widely available in Norway.

“My husband and I love doing outdoors things, so it was a plus for us to be in this assignment because it’s just a beautiful landscape,” she said.


When asked if she could sum up her experiences working at Stavanger, Comstock gave a rueful smile.

“I enjoy my time here,” she said. “I enjoy what I do, it’s been fun and I’m going to be sad to leave Norway.”