Marines from Marine Rotational Force-Europe 19.1 recently participated in Exercise White Ulfberht in Northern Norway, approximately 500 kilometers from the Russian border. Moreover, the exercise gave Marines the opportunity to improve combat and survival skills in a harsh, arctic climate.
Marine Rotational Force-Europe 19.1 includes approximately 700 Marines deployed from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Additionally, members of 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, comprise the force. Also, this marks the Corps’ largest training deployment to Noraway to conduct cold weather training, according to marinecorpstimes.com.
Marines Conduct Arctic Training
“The training we do here is to enhance the Marine’s skills to survive in Arctic warfare so Marines will know how to handle themselves, how to keep themselves warm, how to keep themselves fed, how to keep themselves safe while operating in a harsh environment such as this,” said Cpl. Ryan Hammonds, Military Police, Marine Rotational Force-Europe 19.1.
Footage shows Marines conducting basic operating procedures such as building fires, melting snow into water, and building field-expedient shelters out of snow. Because the climate delivers temperatures and conditions that can quickly become life-threatening, Marines must learn the very basics in order to remain operational.
However, the video only hints at the higher-level training Marines received during the course of the exercise. The exercise included movement, live fire and survival techniques such as surviving submersion in water in an arctic climate.
The Marine Corps’ participation in Exercise White Ulfberht is part of a continued mission. Last year, Norway and the Marine Corps announced details of the extended role for Marines in Norway.
“The Marine Corps rotational presence in Norway facilitates military exercises in the Nordic regions that: supports NATO and USECOM (U.S. European Command) campaign plans; increases interoperability with Allies and partners; and improves the Marine Corps’ cold weather and mountain warfare proficiencies,” said Maj. Adrian Rankine-Galloway in a statement published by marinecorpstimes.com.