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  • 2016
2nd AA Bn., coalition forces storm a Fjord during Cold Response 16

By Lance Cpl. Brianna Gaudi, II Marine Expeditionary Force

NAMSOS, Norway -- As waves crashed against the shoreline, Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicles took the beach and fought toward inland objectives in Namsos, Norway, March 3, 2016.

Marines with 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion attached to 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade conducted amphibious operations while Marines with 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion, partnered with coalition forces, provided security for the assault.

“We’re simulating war at sea in which we have to fight our way into and protect a fjord area,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jason Ziebold, an amphibious warfare expert with the Combined Maritime Coordination Element.

Marines carried out the operation across the road from Norwegian homes where residents ate breakfast while watching the exercise unfold outside their windows.
“We’re right here in their back yards; the locals couldn’t be more anymore accommodating,” said Cpl. Dustin Moore, team leader with 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion.

The landing was the first phase of the exercise for AA Bn. and allowed the Marines to familiarize themselves with operating the vehicles through the Norwegian inlet and onto the beach.

“Standard beach landings like we do in the U.S. with large sandy beaches differ greatly from the now deep inland or essentially long finger of ocean that sticks into the land,” said Ziebold.

Once the vehicles emerged from the water the Marines moved inland to secure objectives with the Norwegian-led Brigade North.

“The purpose was to show how well we can come together and work with our NATO allies and partner nations,” said Moore.

The training reinforces security cooperation efforts, enabling allies and partners to respond more effectively to regional crises.

“It gets us back into that mindset that we may have to support our allies and partners up in this side of the world,” said Ziebold.