1,000 US Marines arrive in Norway for cold-weather training
By STARS AND STRIPES Published: January 8, 2021
More than 1,000 Marines and sailors have arrived in Setermoen, Norway for Arctic warfare training, Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa said Friday.
The Camp Lejeune, N.C.-based Marines are part of a rotational force that trains with the Norwegian military and other NATO allies.
“The opportunity to strengthen this historic relationship with the Norwegian Army and improve our Arctic warfare proficiency is invaluable to the readiness of our forces,” Lt. Col. Ryan Gordinier, commander of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, said in a statement.
The Marines have been a regular presence in Norway since the Cold War and continue to keep large stockpiles of weapons in Norwegian caves. The Marine mission in Norway expanded three years ago when the Corps launched six-month rotations that involved keeping Marines in Norway all year, with back-to-back rotations.
But in October, the Marines ended the continuous rotations, opting instead for a more periodic training regimen that offered added flexibility. At the time, the Marines also said the shift would enable shorter, but larger troop rotations.
On the latest rotation, Marines were all tested for the coronavirus upon arrival in Norway to mitigate health risks, the Corps said.
Marines with Marine Rotational Force-Europe 21.1, Marine Forces Europe and Africa, maneuver during a cold-weather live-fire training event in preparation for Exercise Reindeer II in Setermoen, Norway, Nov. 20, 2020. More than 1,000 Marines from Camp Lejeune, N.C., arrived in Norway in Jan. 2021 to build winter warfare skills.
WILLIAM CHOCKEY/U.S. MARINE CORPS