Getting the Marine Corps Cold-Weather Ready in Norway,

…In January 2017, a company of marines arrived in Vaernes, near the Trondheim Airport in Norway, about a third of the way up the Norwegian coast and just shy of the Arctic Circle. I had the unique opportunity to visit with them a few weeks ago. Almost 300 marines spent 6 months training alongside their NATO allies and their other non-NATO Nordic partners (the Finns and Swedes). The company was replaced once last summer with a fresh 330 Marines, and will rotate at least two more times. Norway has committed to the Marine Corps presence at least through 2018…

The Russians have made their displeasure with the Marine Corps presence in Norway known, citing it as an affront to the Norwegian-Russian relationship. The Marine company is located only 1000 kilometers as the crow flies from the Norwegian-Russian border, living alongside the Marine Corps Prepositioning Program-Norway (MCPP-N) – a decades-long agreement to store equipment on the European continent. That gear is prepositioned for convenience, and could be used anywhere around the world. A few caves scattered around the Trondheim area hold enough equipment to sustain a Marine expeditionary brigade’s ground combat element for 30 days. This new rotational force is the first time that actual marines have been present in Norway for a sustained period of time. But marines are not there to guard equipment. They are there to train and exercise in Norway, near the Russian border.

In 1949, in order to allay Soviet fears when Norway joined NATO, Norway promised that no foreign troops would be permanently based on its territory, unless they are required as a response to a threat. Norway’s Defence Ministry believes that the rotational nature of the Marine Corps presence means they have kept their word . In the past, the presence of foreign military members as a part of joint headquarters elements or exercises has not been seen as violations of this policy. Russia has reacted angrily, citing Norway’s own claims that Russia does not currently pose a threat. Nevertheless, Moscow does not look poised to do more than complain for the time being. Läs artikel