News: Cold calculations: 2nd Supply Bn. prepares for Arctic training part 3
Story by Lance Cpl. Sullivan Laramie
Author’s note: This is the third story of a three-part series covering the integration of 2nd Supply Battalion and Norwegian Forces during Cold Response 2014.
VAERNES GARRISON, Norway - United States and Norwegian forces have worked together numerous times since Exercise Northern Wedding/Bold Guard in 1982, but this is the first time they have integrated their forces.
“Staff integration during Cold Response teaches the Norwegians the processes of reception, staging, onward-movement and integration and is a good opportunity for Marines to learn a lot,” said 1st Lt. Owen T. Trotman, the operations officer for the reduced and reinforced 2nd Supply Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 25, 2nd Marine Logistics Group. “The operations are going very well considering that the Norwegians were able to deploy in 72 hours. I’m very impressed their ability to go from the crawl to walk phases [so efficiently].”
The new method of operating gives 2nd Supply Bn. and the Host Nation Support Battalion the ability to work shoulder-to-shoulder and increase the efficiency of both units.
“What we do now will give us very good knowledge and make us able to evaluate the RSO&I plan,” said Norwegian Maj. Mekal Klaeth, the operations officer with the HNSB. “It’s not parallel planning, it’s integrated planning. [In previous exercises] we planned separately, we staged separately and … it was smaller than this.”
The greater interoperability created by consolidating forces gives service members from both nations an experience from which Marines and soldiers at every level can learn. The combination of units is meant to prove that the partnering nations can depend on each other during Cold Response and future endeavors.
“This is going to be fun to try out,” said Capt. Ole Neass, a Minnesund, Norway, native and commander of the Bandvagn Company with HNSB. “[2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division] shouldn’t feel any different than requesting something from 2nd Supply Bn. It might be a Norwegian truck driven by a Marine, or a request might be made to a Norwegian officer with an American supply point.”
Cold Response 2014 will involve approximately 15,000 troops from 15 nations working together to test crisis-reaction operations, the interoperability of multinational forces and the ease with which the partnering nations can respond to a crisis.