What was the experience like for soldiers in the field in one of the biggest Allied military exercises in 2022?
While many regions of Europe were getting the first glimpses of the spring season, the fjords in northern Norway were covered in frigid, wet , rain that was driven by the relentless winds.
It struck at the US Marines of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment while they set up an observation post for command near Bogen, Norway. Their camouflage-themed woodland uniforms clung to their backs while they sunk into defensive positions. They’d been living in their Vikings troop transports specifically designed to be used in high-altitude areas like the High North – since they’d been on the beach just two days earlier, and were transported to shore with Dutch boats that landed. It was a bit cramped in the Vikings were cramped, but they were dry.
A little further The Finnish and Swedish soldiers who were acting as opponents for the exercise looked through the rain-slick hatches of their armored vehicles and were dug between berms of icy slush.
The exercise Cold Response 2022 was certainly meeting its title.
Cold Response, also known as Cold bi-annual exercise that has been conducted and conducted by the Norwegian Armed Forces since 2006 except for 2020, when the drill was postponed due to the COVID-19 virus the year’s version all the more significant. This exercise provides NATO Allies and their partners the chance to experience some of the toughest conditions Europe can offer. The Norwegian Fjords are an exceptional lesson in hardship and force any soldiers that train in the area to be able to learn the lessons of Arctic conflict, or face the consequence.
The obstacles presented are formidable The challenges are daunting, said the Lieutenant Colonel Ryan Gordinier, commander of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines. The fjords are steeply rising out of the Norwegian Sea, presenting an immediate obstacle for amphibious troops trying to create an area for a beachhead.
“As when you get on the water in of the mountain,” he said. “This is an unusual scenario for amphibious actions. The amphibious vehicle literally lands on the ground and then look towards a cliff.”
The Marines of 3/6 battled narrow coastal roads while they travelled into the interior, making slow movements as they waited for ambushes. They were screened ahead, Norwegian mechanized infantry troops carried Carl Gustaf anti-tank missile launchers through deep snow, allowing them to block the armoured forces of the opposition.
This is a well-known pairing. For many years it has been the case that it has been the case that the US Marines have deployed forces to Norway to learn the tough lessons of fighting and training in frigid temperatures. They have been working with the Norwegian Army and their counterparts from the British Royal Marines, whose training collaboration with Norway is also decades old The American soldiers have refined the strategies for combating cold weather in their Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, California. Lima Company came clothed in the lessons learned from previous rounds literally. Shoes made of rubber ensured their feet were dry, and water-resistant shells worked hard to keep rain out. The waterproof bags in their rucksacks made sure socks and uniforms dry, even when their rucksacks were getting wet.
As it was the US Marines were developing their abilities to deal with the elements while the NATO Allies learned to function in harmony with their arsenal of firepower. When Italian Marines of The San Marco Marine Brigade launched an amphibious air attack using their carrier aircraft known as the ITS Giuseppe Garibaldi, their advance was tracked with two US Marine Corps attack helicopters. In the event that they realized that the Italian troops were attacked by the opposing forces shortly after their landing, they signalled to request close-air support employing English to guide the attacks. In the event, the US Marine Corps AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter cut through trees at the top of the air and allowed the Italians the chance to put on their snowshoes , and then push toward their goal.
It was a harrowing experience. San Marco Marines couldn’t get this kind of experience in the garrison they have at Brindisi located in the southern part of Italy where they were experiencing a bright, 15 degree Celsius (59deg Fahrenheit) day while the Italians struck through the snow. When another helicopter filled with Marines came in the direction of Commander Daniele Lucidi, he turned his back to the rotors as they dropped a snow-covered wall over the landing area.
“What we’re experiencing here in Norway is vital, since weather is a major enemy,” he said. “And we need to be prepared for this type of situation like ever before.”
After having learned to live in extreme conditions and honed their capacity to work in a team The 30,000 soldiers who took part at Cold Response 2022 – whether they came of Italy, Norway, the United States or any of the 27 NATO Allies and partner nations who took part and are now more prepared for any crisis or threat.
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