en_200_innorwaytotraininexten_200_innorwaytotraininexthttp://forsvaret.no/en/Lists/RelatedMedia/DispForm.aspx?ID=291 The Marines conducted a avalanche exercise as a part of their winter training in Norway. Photo: Ina Nyås Moe /media/PubImages/20180207inm_IMG_1473.JPG

In Norway to train in extreme weather conditions

Duch Marines have for several weeks been trained in the Northern parts of Norway to handle Norwegian winter conditions.

– The Netherlands Marine Corps is able to operate anywhere in the world. Trainbing in extreme climate conditions in Norway is good practice for us. We also like being here in Åsegarden, said Lieutenant Colonel Harro De Vries from the Netherlands Marine Corps.

He is the commander of 400 Dutch marines who have been located in Åsegarden camp outside Harstad since the beginning of February.

Recently, the Dutch marines were participating in the Joint Reindeer exercise together with the Army, the Home Guard and US Marine Corps. But before they were ready for the exercise, it was necessary for them to learn how to take care of themselves in the Norwegian winter climate.

Challenging weather conditions

– Our biggest challenges are cold temperatures in combination with wet weather, navigating and moving in full winter equipment as well as keeping the weapon operational in the Arctic climate, said De Vries.

The Dutch Lieutenant Colonel believes that it is necessary to train at least once or twice a year in Norway in order to operate in the country.

The Dutch contribution consists of both marines and support personnel from the Navy. Organizationally the marines belong to The Royal Netherlands Navy. The equipment, which mainly consists of vehicles and containers, are transported from the Netherlands by sea to Harstad or Bogen while the personnel are transported by air to Evenen military airport.

Some of them have trained in Norwegian winter conditions before, while others are here for the first time.



en_200_innorwaytotraininexten_200_innorwaytotraininexthttp://forsvaret.no/en/Lists/RelatedMedia/DispForm.aspx?ID=292A Dutch marine uses an avalanche transceiver during an avalanche exercise. Photo: Ina Nyås Moe /media/PubImages/20180207inm_IMG_1465.JPG
en_200_innorwaytotraininexten_200_innorwaytotraininexthttp://forsvaret.no/en/Lists/RelatedMedia/DispForm.aspx?ID=293An instructor shows the Dutch marines how to use their ski poles to find a person as a part of the avalanche exercise. Photo: Ina Nyås Moe/media/PubImages/20180207inm_IMG_1513.JPG
en_200_innorwaytotraininexten_200_innorwaytotraininexthttp://forsvaret.no/en/Lists/RelatedMedia/DispForm.aspx?ID=294Dutch Marine use their ski poles to find a person taken by an avalanche as a part of an avalanche exercise. Photo: Ina Nyås Moe/media/PubImages/20180207inm_IMG_1535.JPG
en_200_innorwaytotraininexten_200_innorwaytotraininexthttp://forsvaret.no/en/Lists/RelatedMedia/DispForm.aspx?ID=295Dutch Marine use their ski poles to find a person taken by an avalanche as a part of an avalanche exercise. Photo: Ina Nyås Moe/media/PubImages/20180207inm_IMG_1508.JPG

Good cooperation

Dutch forces have been training in Norway every year since 1972.
–I want to describe the cooperation we have with the Norwegian Armed Forces as very good. It is important that we not only train in Norway, but that we also are training together with Norwegian soldiers, "said Major-general Frank van Sprang, 2nd in command of the Royal Netherlands Navy, who visited the marines at the beginning of their training in Norway.

The marines are training together with the  Norwegian Army as well as the Coastal Rangers Command during the weeks they are spending in Norway.
After completing the winter training in Norway and a mountain training course in Scotland, the marines are given a patch with a reindeer image. This is a symbol of them being experienced soldiers who can operate in an extreme climate.



en_200_innorwaytotraininexten_200_innorwaytotraininexthttp://forsvaret.no/en/Lists/RelatedMedia/DispForm.aspx?ID=296Dutch Marines receive skiing lessons in a slalom hill near Åsegarden camp. Photo:Hedda Geoline Trandem/media/PubImages/2018-02-08 ATS-2.jpg
en_200_innorwaytotraininexten_200_innorwaytotraininexthttp://forsvaret.no/en/Lists/RelatedMedia/DispForm.aspx?ID=297Dutch Marines receive skiing lessons in a slalom hill near Åsegarden camp. Photo: Ina Nyås Moe/media/PubImages/20180207inm_IMG_2070.JPG
en_200_innorwaytotraininexten_200_innorwaytotraininexthttp://forsvaret.no/en/Lists/RelatedMedia/DispForm.aspx?ID=298Dutch Marines receive skiing lessons in a slalom hill near Åsegarden camp. Photo: Ina Nyås Moe/media/PubImages/20180207inm_IMG_2037.JPG
en_200_innorwaytotraininexten_200_innorwaytotraininexthttp://forsvaret.no/en/Lists/RelatedMedia/DispForm.aspx?ID=299Dutch Marines receive skiing lessons in a slalom hill near Åsegarden camp. Photo: Ina Nyås Moe/media/PubImages/20180207inm_IMG_2010.JPG

–For Norway it is important to have allies who are able to operate in Norwegian winter conditions in northern Norway. The allies must be able to cope with weather conditions such as  snow and wind, said commander of Allied Training Center, Colonel Trond Thomassen.

Allied Training Center, which is organizationally located under the Norwegian Joint Headquarters, is responsible for providing the best possible conditions for allies training on land in Norway. In addition to Åsegarden camp, Allied Training Center has personnel and facilities at the Porsanger Garrison.

Must be able to survive to fight

– It is important that the allied soldiers are well trained in basic individual skills in winter conditions. This must be in place for them to be able to operate in Norway. Without this basic and gradual training they will be more concerned with surviving than fighting, says Thomassen.

 The knowledge and experience they achieve in Norway can also be used in other parts of the world, as being able to take care of themselves and ther equpipment is essential to being able to participate in a battle.

– When the marines see that they master winter conditions with rain, cold, snow and wind and the individual know how to cope with the influence of the elements, combat efficiency is maintained. Then they can move on and practice mobility, combat techniques and solve the mission as a part of a unit. It is only when the unit is trained and is able to conduct operations in winter conditions that they are able to support us in a crisis or war, said Thomassen.



en_200_innorwaytotraininexten_200_innorwaytotraininexthttp://forsvaret.no/en/Lists/RelatedMedia/DispForm.aspx?ID=300Dutch Marines have settled in a mountain area in the vicinity of Harstad: Photo: Ina Nyås Moe/media/PubImages/20180207inm_IMG_1798.JPG
en_200_innorwaytotraininexten_200_innorwaytotraininexthttp://forsvaret.no/en/Lists/RelatedMedia/DispForm.aspx?ID=301A Dutch Marine is brushing snow off his tent. Photo: Ina Nyås Moe/media/PubImages/20180207inm_IMG_1764.JPG
en_200_innorwaytotraininexten_200_innorwaytotraininexthttp://forsvaret.no/en/Lists/RelatedMedia/DispForm.aspx?ID=302Dutch Marines skiing as a part of their winter training in Norway. Photo: Ina Nyås Moe/media/PubImages/20180207inm_IMG_1390.JPG
en_200_innorwaytotraininexten_200_innorwaytotraininexthttp://forsvaret.no/en/Lists/RelatedMedia/DispForm.aspx?ID=303Dutch Marines skiing as a part of their winter training in Norway. Photo: Hedda Geoline Trandem/media/PubImages/2018-02-07 snøscooter og felt-kopi-3.jpg


Published 16 March 2018 11:58. by Ina Nyås Moe, Norwegian Joint Headquarters.