USMC V36 (13)

Winter training of U.S. Marine Corps

This winter, the Centre of Excellence Cold Weather Operations (COE CWO) has conducted winter training of USMC V3/6. The training was made possible thanks to support from the Norwegian Army and the Home Guard.

U.S. Marine Corps V3/6 made a pre-unit deployment to Troms, autumn 2020 to prepare for the full unit deployment in the start of January 2021. The unit is a Marine Corps battalion with detachments. In total, the force consisted of around 1000 men and women. The goal of the deployment to Norway was to conduct winter training and to participate in exercise Joint Viking 2021.

The plan for the winter training was to execute the full COE CWO recommended 4-week programme for this type of training. This training programme (NATO Basic Cold Weather Unit Training) is established based on previous experiences from winter training with units from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the USA. The programme is aimed at units that are not trained to operate in cold weather environment. The end state is to make the units able to start independent training and joint training with allied forces under cold weather conditions.

This year’s training has been challenging for V3/6. Factors like COVID-19, quarantine restrictions, the storm Frank and other extreme weather conditions have changed the original plans several times. Despite this, the unit has achieved their main training objectives. These days, the battalion is running an independent live firing exercise at company level at Blåtind Firing Range. This is their final winter training before re-deploying back to the USA.

COE CWO would like to thank all the instructors who have contributed, and to the Allied Training Centre for their cooperation and support.