MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- As a reward for being dubbed the Swedish Marine of the year, Swedish Reconnaissance Marines Pfc. Eric Ramstrom, and Sgt. Marc Rantanen toured several Marine Corps bases along the East Coast, rounding off their trip with a visit to Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 14.
The purpose of the tour was two-fold. The first was to further strengthen ties between the Swedish military and the Marine Corps. The second was to allow the Swedish Marines the opportunity to gain insight on different tactics and training.
Ramstrom and Rantanen visited Washington, D.C., meeting with Sgt. Maj. Carlton Kent, the sergeant major of the Marine Corps, before travelling to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Pairs Island, S.C. where they observed future Marines during boot camp.
“Seeing the Marines there, it was quite similar to the movies, with all the screaming and yelling,” Ramstrom said of Parris Island, adding “[the drill instructors] were larger than life.”
Upon their arrival to Camp Lejeune, Ramstrom and Rantanen observed the Marines of Force Reconnaissance Company, II Marine Expeditionary Force as they conducted exercises at the team and platoon level, inspected equipment and vehicles, and spoke with Marines participating in a reconnaissance and surveillance exercise.
“It’s great because these kinds of things open up future opportunities for bilateral training,” said Staff Sgt. Joshua Swann, a training non-commissioned officer with Force Reconnaissance Co., II MEF. “For example; if we wanted to do training in the mountain ranges and training camps in Sweden,”
Sharing knowledge between different militaries on training and operational skill sets is paramount for future security as it increases the Marine Corps’ ability to work with other nations and build bridges with other world powers with whom we are likely to depend on for future security and stability operations.