U.S. Marines have concluded their rotational deployment to Norway for arctic and mountain warfare training and have returned to their home station in the United States.
After months of cold weather and arctic combat training, Marine Rotational Force-Europe concluded their rotational deployment with a final exercise, dubbed Arctic Littoral Strike, designed to test new Marine Corps operational concepts as part of their bilateral training with the Norwegian Armed Forces.
”Our deployment to Norway provided an opportunity to increase our readiness in several different ways,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Gordinier, the MRF-E battalion commander. “Specifically, we applied our combined arms lethality in the winter arctic environment ensuring that we can fight in any clime or place, we reinforced our relationship with our NATO allies demonstrating our commitment to collective defense, and we tested out different Marine Corps Force Design initiatives and opportunities here to support the fleet in the European theater.”
Through close coordination with the Norwegian military and public health officials, the Marine contingent implemented measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission and ensured the safe execution of deployment and training. This deployment to northern Norway further enhanced the operational readiness, interoperability, and security cooperation of U.S. and Norwegian forces.
“The Norwegian Army and the U.S. Marine Corps coordinated and adjusted plans together throughout the period, in accordance with the changing COVID situation,” said Maj. Gen. Lars Lervik, chief of the Norwegian Army.
“Working closely together increases our understanding of each other’s culture and our ability to operate together. It has been a good period of winter basic training for the U.S. Marines supported by the Norwegian Army. We look forward to continuing the training together with the U.S. Marines, both here in Norway and in the United States.”
After MRF-E’s redeployment to Camp Lejeune, smaller numbers of Marines will train in Norway, conducting more specialized field training and planning exercises alongside Norwegian forces and planning for larger training events in the next year – especially Cold Response 22.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our NATO allies, our brothers and sisters, in the Norwegian Armed Forces,” said Gordinier. “It has been an absolute pleasure learning from their Arctic expertise. Norway, with its more than 1,600 miles of coastline, provides excellent opportunities to train in a high-north littoral setting. We look forward to building on the relationships that we have formed.”