News: Deputy Commander of MarForEur attends Cold Response 2012 Distinguished Visitor Day
Story by Lance Cpl. Marcin Platek
BARDUFOSS, Norway— In an ongoing effort to build stronger relationships between the Marine Corps and Norway, Brig. Gen. Charles G. Chiarotti, the deputy commander of Marine Forces Europe, visited Norway, March 14 to attend the distinguished visitor day for Exercise Cold Response 2012.
“For the Marine Corps, the Norwegians are one of our closest partners and we have a long history with them,” said Chiarotti. “We have a deep-rooted commitment with our programs here.”
The commitment, which includes storage of a portion of Marine Corps’ equipment in Norway, also involves Marines taking part in Norway’s biggest military exercise this year, Cold Response 2012.
The multinational invitational exercise focuses on rehearsing mid-intensity operations in winter conditions and exercising the interoperability with the NATO allies. This year, Company K, 3rd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, is taking part in the biennial exercise. The exercise also involves 16,000 troops from 15 other nations.
Along with distinguished visitors from Norway, Sweden, Turkey, Japan, and South Korea, Chiarotti began the day by embarking on a Norwegian frigate. Aboard, he watched the Norwegian maritime program scheduled for the distinguished visitor day. It consisted of a Royal Norwegian navy submarine display, a Skjold-class patrol boat display, and a simulated air attack by Norwegian Air Force.
The maritime program demonstration was a good representation of Norway's naval diversity and capability, said Capt. Sean Cawley, Chiarotti’s aide-de-camp, who also attended the event.
With the commandant’s intent of going back to Marine Corps’ amphibious roots, the demonstration could relate to the Marines.
“It gets us back to commandant’s intended direction, in which we do more amphibious operations,” Chiarotti added. “It shows our Marines what amphibious operations are about and it shows Marines our partner-nation’s ability to conduct amphibious operations.”
After disembarking the frigates, the visitors made their way to the land-program portion of the day. There, they took a brief break for field lunch provided by a platoon from Norwegian Combat Service and Support Battalion.
The day continued with several briefings by Norwegian officers, a tour of the Norwegian Land Operation Command Center and a counterattack demonstration by Norwegian forces.
The demonstration was very well orchestrated and accurately demonstrated the use of combined arms, said Cawley.
The day concluded with a military-mess dinner at Bardufoss Airport, where Chiarotti departed afterwards.
“Our partnership with the Norwegians is very vital and it’s a great partnership,” said Chiarotti. “The visit continues to demonstrate our commitment toward our partnership.”
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