RENA, Norway -- Explosive Ordnance Disposal Marines sent fresh Norwegian snow flying during a demolition range Feb. 22, in preparation for Exercise Cold Response 16 later this month. The exercise will provide a platform for NATO allies and partners to train together to improve operations and capabilities.
The EOD Marines detonated a number of C-4 explosives while working with Norwegians to test the effects the local weather and terrain has on demolitions operations.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to come out here to Norway and detonate explosives in the snow,” said Staff Sgt. Keith Winkeleer, explosive ordnance disposal technician with Combat Logistics Battalion 252. “We don’t get much snow in Camp Lejeune, and we were able to learn a lot.”
Cold Response 16 marks the first time EOD has been in Norway for the exercise, but the team came prepared for any challenges.
“The Marines are well trained and have adapted very fast to the weather conditions we have in Norway,” said Norwegian Army Capt. Raymond Andreassen, officer in charge of ammunition section, Marine Corps Prepositioning Program- Norway.
The Marines prepared explosives at the staging area and walked onto the range to prime them. They returned with detonator cords and warned personnel of the impending blast by yelling, “Fire in the hole! Fire in the hole! Fire in the hole!”
With each detonation the Marines increased the amount of C-4, creating craters that they then measured for depth.
“Knowing the depth of the crater is pertinent knowledge, so when we do come across something in the snow, we’ll be able to understand the effects various amounts of explosives will cause,” said Winkeleer.
The experience the Marines take away from this training will make them more knowledgeable on the effects of explosives in this new training environment and provide a better understanding of the capabilities of NATO allies and partner nations.
“A big part of the training was interoperability, so we can cross train to be able work hand-in-hand without any challenges,” said Winkeleer.
During Exercise Cold Response, the Marines will train alongside Norwegian EOD specialists to exchange tactics, techniques and procedures and enhance interoperability.
“Anytime the Marines can, we love to have them here to train with us,” said Andreassen.