Cold Response 20 is a Norwegian national defense exercise in conjunction with its NATO allies and partners taking place in an area stretching from the town of Narvik to Finnmark district in northern Norway.
“Norway offers a unique arctic environment that’s very challenging and provides a great opportunity to improve our ability to operate in an austere environment,” said Capt. Hannah Crawford, II Marine Expeditionary Force lead logistics planner.
U.S. Marines prepared and transported gear in the weeks leading up to the exercise which officially kicks off March 2.
Gear was pulled from the Tromsdal, Frigaard, and Bjugn caves and then convoyed over the course of six days to Værnes Garrison. After consolidation, 12 convoys moved the gear over two days to Orkanger Port where it was combined with stateside equipment and loaded on a Britannia Seaways shipping vessel. Equipment was transported on the vessel more than 400 miles north to Bogen Port. U.S. Marines, Norwegian Forsvaret soldiers, and Norwegian civilian contractors off-loaded equipment from the Britannia Seaways cargo ship at Bogen Port February 19.
“It’s a great opportunity to improve our interoperability with The Kingdom of Norway,” said Capt. Crawford.
Also on February 19, the main body of Marines participating in Cold Response arrived to Evenes Airfield. Along with those Marines, 550 pieces of principal end items convoyed to Elvegårdsmoen training camp near Bjerkvik, Norway. In total there are approximately 1,500 U.S. military personnel participating in the exercise.
“With todays current environment, no nation can operate effectively on its own," said Capt. Crawford. "It takes allies and it takes working together to ensure the defense and the safety of all countries in the NATO alliance."