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  • Feb
  • 2016
Combined arms, combined forces: U.S. Marines, Norwegian Army take to firing line

By Cpl. Dalton Precht, II Marine Expeditionary Force

A member of the Norwegian Army looks at the down range area as U.S. Marines conduct a live-fire exercise in Rena, Norway, Feb. 17, 2016. The Marines are preparing themselves for Exercise Cold Response 16, which will bring together 12 NATO allies and partner nations and approximately 16,000 troops in order to enhance joint crisis response capabilities in cold weather environments.
Combined arms and combined forces: U.S. Marines and Norwegian Army take to the firing line
A member of the Norwegian Army looks at the down range area as U.S. Marines conduct a live-fire exercise in Rena, Norway, Feb. 17, 2016. The Marines are preparing themselves for Exercise Cold Response 16, which will bring together 12 NATO allies and partner nations and approximately 16,000 troops in order to enhance joint crisis response capabilities in cold weather environments.
A U.S. Marine Corps M1A1 Abrams Tank creates some warmth as it takes part in a live-fire exercise in Rena, Norway, Feb. 18, 2016. Tanks with Combined Arms Company took to the firing line as part of a training exercise integrating both U.S. and Norwegian forces. The Marines and Norwegians are preparing themselves for Exercise Cold Response 16, which will bring together 12 NATO allies and partner nations and approximately 16,000 troops in order to enhance joint crisis response capabilities in cold weather environments.
Combined arms and combined forces: U.S. Marines and Norwegian Army take to the firing line
A U.S. Marine Corps M1A1 Abrams Tank creates some warmth as it takes part in a live-fire exercise in Rena, Norway, Feb. 18, 2016. Tanks with Combined Arms Company took to the firing line as part of a training exercise integrating both U.S. and Norwegian forces. The Marines and Norwegians are preparing themselves for Exercise Cold Response 16, which will bring together 12 NATO allies and partner nations and approximately 16,000 troops in order to enhance joint crisis response capabilities in cold weather environments.
A M1A1 Abrams tank fires its main gun as it takes part in a live-fire exercise in Rena, Norway, Feb. 18, 2016. The Marines are preparing themselves for Exercise Cold Response 16, which will bring together 12 NATO allies and partner nations and approximately 16,000 troops in order to enhance joint crisis response capabilities in cold weather environments.
Combined arms and combined forces: U.S. Marines and Norwegian Army take to the firing line
A M1A1 Abrams tank fires its main gun as it takes part in a live-fire exercise in Rena, Norway, Feb. 18, 2016. The Marines are preparing themselves for Exercise Cold Response 16, which will bring together 12 NATO allies and partner nations and approximately 16,000 troops in order to enhance joint crisis response capabilities in cold weather environments.
A M1A1 Abrams Tank fires its main gun as it takes part in a live-fire exercise in Rena, Norway, Feb. 18, 2016. The Marines are preparing themselves for Exercise Cold Response 16, which will bring together 12 NATO allies and partner nations and approximately 16,000 troops in order to enhance joint crisis response capabilities in cold weather environments.
Combined arms and combined forces: U.S. Marines and Norwegian Army take to the firing line
A M1A1 Abrams Tank fires its main gun as it takes part in a live-fire exercise in Rena, Norway, Feb. 18, 2016. The Marines are preparing themselves for Exercise Cold Response 16, which will bring together 12 NATO allies and partner nations and approximately 16,000 troops in order to enhance joint crisis response capabilities in cold weather environments.
The Mk 19 of an amphibious assault vehicle fires across the valley of a range in Rena, Norway during a live-fire exercise Feb. 17, 2016. The Marines and the Norwegian Army are preparing themselves for Exercise Cold Response 16, which will bring together 12 NATO allies and partner nations and approximately 16,000 troops in order to enhance joint crisis response capabilities in cold weather environments.
Combined arms and combined forces: U.S. Marines and Norwegian Army take to the firing line
The Mk 19 of an amphibious assault vehicle fires across the valley of a range in Rena, Norway during a live-fire exercise Feb. 17, 2016. The Marines and the Norwegian Army are preparing themselves for Exercise Cold Response 16, which will bring together 12 NATO allies and partner nations and approximately 16,000 troops in order to enhance joint crisis response capabilities in cold weather environments.
Cpl. Cody Stoffel, an amphibious assault vehicle crewman with Combined Arms Company, gives firing commands to the gunner of an amphibious assault vehicle crewman as Marines with 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade conduct a live-fire exercise in the frozen hills of Rena, Norway, Feb. 17, 2016. The Marines are preparing themselves for Exercise Cold Response 16, which will bring together 12 NATO allies and partner nations and approximately 16,000 troops in order to enhance joint crisis response capabilities in cold weather environments.
Combined arms and combined forces: U.S. Marines and Norwegian Army take to the firing line
Cpl. Cody Stoffel, an amphibious assault vehicle crewman with Combined Arms Company, gives firing commands to the gunner of an amphibious assault vehicle crewman as Marines with 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade conduct a live-fire exercise in the frozen hills of Rena, Norway, Feb. 17, 2016. The Marines are preparing themselves for Exercise Cold Response 16, which will bring together 12 NATO allies and partner nations and approximately 16,000 troops in order to enhance joint crisis response capabilities in cold weather environments.
U.S. Marines with Combined Arms Company break loose their Light Armored Vehicles during the ice driving course in Rena, Norway, Feb. 17, 2016. The Marines were getting behind the wheel on the icy pathway in order to understand how to control their heavy vehicles on the slick terrain. The Marines worked and learned alongside members of the Norwegian Army in order to better understand how one another operate.
Combined arms and combined forces: U.S. Marines and Norwegian Army take to the firing line
U.S. Marines with Combined Arms Company break loose their Light Armored Vehicles during the ice driving course in Rena, Norway, Feb. 17, 2016. The Marines were getting behind the wheel on the icy pathway in order to understand how to control their heavy vehicles on the slick terrain. The Marines worked and learned alongside members of the Norwegian Army in order to better understand how one another operate.
U.S. Marines with the Combined Arms Company and members of the Norwegian Army took to the firing line as part of their integration during a live-fire exercise in Rena, Norway, Feb. 18, 2016.

The Marines are conducting this training to improve their abilities in cold weather environments.

U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Kyle Lloyd, the master gunner for the tanks of Combined Arms Company, said “After pulling the tanks out of the caves, we zeroed all the weapon systems to prove they would be ready if ever needed.”

The M1A1 Abrams Tanks were joined by the Norwegian Leopard 2 Tanks as the Marines zeroed their weapon systems.

Lloyd talked about the integration and working alongside the Norwegian Army, “They know they can rely on us and we can rely on them.”

The mix of forces provided insight into different capabilities as well as similarities.

“It is important for us to train with our allies and see how the equipment works in this environment,” said Norwegian Army 1st Lt. Nagnus Babsvik, the tank platoon commander with Telemark Battalion. “This week, we have shown an American tank platoon how we operate."

While in Rena, the Marines conducted an ice driving course, testing their maneuverability skills on the icy Norwegian terrain. 

“We don’t get this kind of training on Camp Lejeune,” said Lloyd. “Driving in the snow and hills is something we never do at Camp Lejeune, being out there and learning how to drive in very slick conditions was fun to do.”

The Combined Arms Company is comprised of multiple vehicles with multiple capabilities, including amphibious assault vehicles, M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks and light armored vehicles. 

“If we were ever to be a combined unit, we all know the limitations and capabilities of the weapon systems that we have. We’d have the same idea of how we train and how we fight,” said Lloyd.

“Telemark Battalion operates in this environment quite frequently,” said Babsvik. “It’s a good thing that the Marines can come here and learn from us.”

The Marines and Norwegian Army are working together as part of Exercise Cold Response, a joint NATO and allied country exercise comprised of 12 countries and approximately 16,000 troops.