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    Marines conduct simultaneous operations for different COCOMs in “High North”

    U.S. Marines with VMGR-252 and VMFA-312 conduct flight operations in preparation for Exercise Nordic Response 24

    Photo By Sgt. Christopher Hernandez | A U.S. Marine Corps pilot with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 312, 2nd Marine...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Fleet Marine Force Atlantic, Marine Forces Command, Marine Forces Northern Command

    Thousands of Marines, separated by nearly 4,000 miles, are taking on the harshest conditions and roughest terrains on two continents at the same time this winter. Operating from remote regions in Alaska, active duty and reserve Marines are exercising alongside Joint Force, allied, and interagency partners during U. S. Northern Command’s (USNORTHCOM) Arctic Edge 2024. At the same time, II Marine Expeditionary Force (II MEF) Marines face harrowing winter conditions in Norway during U.S. European Command’s (USEUCOM) Nordic Response 2024. Both exercises call on the Marine Corps to flex its warfighting muscle in a strategically important region. With extreme cold, limited daylight hours, and treacherous terrain, these concurrent exercise environments offer equally optimal conditions for Marines to sharpen their cold-weather expertise and execute precision maneuvers and live-fire drills with specialized equipment designed to perform within the harsh Arctic environment.

    Arctic Edge 2024, linked to the USEUCOM’s Large Scale Global Exercise 2024, is a USNORTHCOM-led joint and combined multi-domain Field Training Exercise (FTX) that began in multiple areas of Alaska on February 23, 2024, and will continue until March 11, 2024. Arctic Edge 2024 demonstrates USNORTHCOM’s Globally Integrated Layered Defense (GILD) capabilities with forces postured to assure, deter, and defend the U.S. and Canada in an increasingly complex Arctic security environment.

    Focused on Joint Force operations and interoperability in extreme cold at a high latitude, Arctic Edge 2024 showcases force projection capabilities on the Arctic approaches to the homeland with Marine Forces Reserve (MARFORRES) units and Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF) Marines testing emerging concepts and demonstrating lethal warfighting capabilities.

    “Operating in these extreme conditions is an unequivocal strategic priority in the preservation of security on the continent and the defense of our nation,” stated Lt. Gen. Brian Cavanaugh, commander, Marine Forces Northern Command. Cavanaugh further emphasized that “Arctic Edge 2024 provides Marines with a unique opportunity to exercise interoperable power projection from the homeland and fortify simultaneous global efforts to deter adversarial advance along the Arctic approaches.”

    Meanwhile, II MEF Marines assigned to U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa (MARFOREURAF)-USEUCOM’s lead component for U.S. participation in Nordic Response 2024 - continue to exercise alongside forces from our stalwart NATO ally, Norway. Nordic Response 2024, an exercise designed to demonstrate multinational, joint force multi-domain operations in the high north, is USEUCOM’s contribution to NATO’s exercise series, Steadfast Defender. Since January, II MEF Marines assigned to MARFOREURAF’s Marine Rotational Force-Europe (MRF-E) have been conducting offensive and defensive tactical operations to test U.S. forces’ ability to operate in mountainous Arctic conditions and defend against a near-peer adversary with allied and partner reinforcements and combined joint operations.

    In a February statement, the commanding general of II MEF, Lt. Gen. David A. Ottignon, commented,
    "Being a Marine isn’t about doing what’s easy. It’s about being the best and being prepared for the challenges of the future. This exercise in this environment is designed to do just that by building on the grit, skills, and determination within every Marine so they can operate in any clime and place.” Ottignon added, “Norway is special to us. Our countries have been working together for more than a century. II MEF has trained side-by-side, strengthening bonds and operating as one cohesive team in Norway during the last decade of Cold Response exercises. The Arctic is a fluid, strategic place. It’s important for our allies to know that we’re here today and we’ll be here when needed to respond swiftly to any threat."

    The Marines, renowned for bringing maritime lethality to the Pacific Island chain littorals with the Navy, are proving that their time-honored commitment to defending our nation in any clime and place is unwavering. Despite different locations, commanders, and time zones, the Marine Corps’ ability to project power to the Arctic proves their ability to protect the homeland along northern approaches in the harsh conditions of the “High North”.



    Date Taken: 03.05.2024
    Date Posted: 03.05.2024 12:26
    Story ID: 465382
    Location: NORFOLK, VA, US

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