Marines and Sailors of II Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group have entered 2020 hitting the ground running as they kick off support for Exercise Cold Response 20 in the frigid climate of Northern Norway.
The Norwegian-led, large-scale exercise officially begins in mid-March and is designed to boost NATO Allies and partners’ ability to operate together in extreme sub-zero conditions. The Marines and joint service members will train alongside the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, with a total of nearly 15,000 participants.
The Exercise serves as a way to increase interoperability between the NATO Allies and strengthen the bonds between the militaries, affirming partnerships built over decades of diplomacy and military training.
Elements of 2nd Law Enforcement Battalion, 2nd Air Naval Gunfire & Liaison Company (ANGLICO) and 2nd Radio Battalion will join the exercise, spending the next month learning cold weather survival techniques and how to conduct operations in punishing temperatures on mountainous terrain.
“The Cold Weather training offers our host nation partners and AWIC instructors the opportunity to work side by side in the planning and execution of the cold weather package.” Capt. Jennifer Norena, executive officer of Charlie Company, 2nd LE Bn
“They instruct the Marines on how to survive in extreme cold weather conditions. Completing the training and enhancing their skillsets is vital in this cold weather environment,” said Capt. Jennifer Norena, executive officer of Charlie Company, 2nd LE Bn. “As a result, the training they are conducting increases interoperability and strengthens our relationship with our host nation partners.”
So far the Marines have learned skills such as driving tactical vehicles through icy conditions and keeping dry during marches and patrols. Some of the Marines participating have been to Norway before, supporting previous exercises such as Trident Juncture 18.
“I looked forward to coming back to Norway, especially with all the cold weather training we would be receiving,” said Cpl. Anthony Tressler, a communications operator with 1st Brigade, 2nd ANGLICO. “We also made great relationships with the Norwegians through our training and integrating into small tactical teams, having Lance Corporals work with senior ranking soldiers and vice versa.”
The trans-Atlantic strategic relationship between the U.S. and Europe has been forged over the past seven decades, and it is built on a foundation of shared values, experiences, and vision.
II MIG’s capabilities will be tested during the next month as they work to overcome physical barriers and understand cultural differences with Allies. As a result of continuous rotational training, U.S. Marines will have the experience to operate in the harsh Arctic climate and mountainous terrain, and to adapt and thrive in those operational environments, despite those challenges.