BREKSTAD, Norway --
The cool wind howled and the rain fell hard as Marines and Sailors with 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing persevered through the cold, wet weather environment. Although, the freezing temperatures were no match for the service members during Exercise Trident Juncture 18, the exercise provided opportunity for integrated cold-weather operations.
Over most of the last two decades, much of the Marine Corps focus has been in warm-weather, desert climates. Service members now have a chance to use Trident Juncture 18 to help acclimate new members and become a unified force that is ready to fight in cold climates, if called upon to do so.
“Everything is more difficult in the cold, whether it’s waking up in the morning or even something as simple as going from your tent to the shower,” said 1st Lt. Kyle Davis, the camp commandant at Orland Airfield at Brekstad, Norway. “I think [Lt. Gen. Mark Brilakis, the commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command] said it best, “If you can do anything below zero you can do anything anywhere.”
The United States has forged an incredible relationship with the Norwegian Ally, who are working with the Marine Corps on improving their internal winter warrior skills.
“The gravel site the Norwegians built for the cantonment site was awesome, said Davis. “We did have to engineer some new solutions to ground our generators and stake the tents, but it was just another bridge we had to cross.”
The exercise allowed NATO Allies and partners to put their procedures and tactics to the test to ensure they can develop the best practices and identify areas for improvement.
“I hope the Marines and [NATO Allies and partners] are more confident in the gear and their abilities to function in a cold-weather environment,” said Davis. “Marines need to know their jobs and what it takes to operate in these cold-weather environments, so we are ready when the nation needs us.”
Exercises like Trident Juncture provide the opportunities that help the Marines maintain the spirit of a winter warrior, and help them persevere through the cool and howling winds of Norway.