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USMC tests Arctic refuelling system during ‘Cold Response 2022'

The US Marine Corps created a unique Arctic-refuelling system that combines a transportable bladder with Bv206 tracked, articulated all-terrain carriers. (Janes/Mike Fabey)

The US Marine Corps (USMC) is testing a new refuelling system during the ‘Cold Response 2022' exercise hosted by Norway along its northern coast.

Tasked with moving significant volumes of fuel for platforms and personnel over Arctic terrain during the exercise, 1st Lieutenant Benjamin Artime, the Combat Logistics Detachment (CLD) commander, and his team combined a road platform used by Norway and other nations for Arctic transport with a larger portable bladder, 1st Lt Artime said.

“In California, we used a Humvee to transport 500 lb fuel pods in the desert,” 1st Lt Artime told reporters on 19 March during a media tour of USMC ‘Cold Response 2022' logistical operations at the Setermoen military camp in far north Norway. “Here we've applied the same concept, ‘borrowing' the fuel pod and the fuel pump from the Norwegians.”

The bladder was initially developed to facilitate aerial refuellings of ground areas. The system being tested directly hooks hoses from the bladder to the platforms and other systems that need to be refuelled.

The ground vehicle the marines will be using to transport the bladder in the Arctic is the BAE Systems Platforms & Services Bandvagn 206 (Bv-206) tracked articulated, all-terrain carrier.

The combined refeulling systems are meant to create forward arming and refuelling point (FARP) or forward area refuelling points in Arctic regions, and help establish an Expeditionary Advanced Base Operation (EABO) in such a climate, 1st Lt Artime noted.

“[The] EABO [concept] forces us to think outside the box,” he said. “That is exactly what this is.”

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