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Warm weather alters Norwegian exercise logistics

To prepare for Arctic transportation challenges in 'Cold Response 2022' in Norway this March, US Marine Corps logistic units trained using chains on their wheeled vehicles. (Janes/Mike Fabey)

Unseasonably warm temperatures in northern Norway have created new logistical hurdles and concerns during Exercise ‘Cold Response 2022', according to US Marine Corps (USMC) officials.

Hosted by the Norwegian Armed Forces, ‘Cold Response 2022' combines NATO allies and partner forces, totalling 27 states, about 30,000 troops, 20 aircraft, and more than 50 vessels.

Normally, temperatures are well below freezing and daily highs during this time of the year maintain a stable, frozen landscape for logistical movements, USMC officials told Janes . Such was the weather earlier in March.

During the exercise, however, temperatures hovered above freezing, and the frozen ground layer at times gave way to icy and slushy surfaces, which can and have bogged down some logistics vehicles, USMC officials said. There is a greater concern of avalanches, too, they added.

“It adds another area we have to worry about,” 1st Lieutenant Benjamin Artime, the Combat Logistics Detachment (CLD) commander, told Janes during a media tour of USMC ‘Cold Response 2022' logistical operations at the Setermoen military camp in far north Norway.

“They [the Norwegians] recommend reducing the number of people on the ground [in certain areas] to the lowest level possible,” 1 st Lt Artime said. “We have to use more air assets.”

1st Lieutenant Katie Hass, the CLD for motor transport, said she had to check special maps for zones of higher avalanche potential before sending vehicles out for operations, and had to send out teams of vehicles to prevent single vehicles from getting stuck.

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