en_227_thelocalheroesoftriden_227_thelocalheroesoftridhttp://forsvaret.no/en/Lists/RelatedMedia/DispForm.aspx?ID=568Lieutenant Torstein Sem of the Norwegian Home Guard District 12. Photo by Kristian Kapelrud, Norwegian Armed Forces/media/PubImages/20181017KK_012.jpg

A local hero for the U.S. Marines

During exercise Trident Juncture, the soldiers of the Norwegian Home Guard not only serve as local guides. They are also important links between the foreign troops and the local communities.

Text and photo by: Kristian Kapelrud, Norwegian Armed Forces

The soldiers of the Norwegian Home Guard know their local districts like their own backyards. And they know how to use their local surroundings to give their forces the best operational advantages. However, during NATO's exercise Trident Juncture, the Home Guard soldiers are far more than just local guides.

On of them is Lieutenant Torstein Sem from the Home Guard District 12. In his civilian life he works with pensions, but this autumn he coordinates and facilitates for the U.S. Marines exercising in Norway during Trident Juncture.

"Fortunately, thanks to a good employer and great colleagues it is no problem being away from my civilian job for so long", Sem says.

Talks to everyone

Until now Sem has been the link between the U.S. Marines, local suppliers and the local population at Voll village, central Norway.

"I have catered for the Americans. By talking directly to all the civilian suppliers – for instance the company building the food tent – I make sure that everything is exactly how the Americans want it."

He also has close communication with local landowners who have lent out their land to NATO forces.

"This to ensure the landowners that our heavy vehicles won't damage their property."



en_227_thelocalheroesoftriden_227_thelocalheroesoftridhttp://forsvaret.no/en/Lists/RelatedMedia/DispForm.aspx?ID=569Emergency services visiting the American camp. Photo by Kristian Kapelrud, Norwegian Armed Forces/media/PubImages/20181017KK_008.jpg
en_227_thelocalheroesoftriden_227_thelocalheroesoftridhttp://forsvaret.no/en/Lists/RelatedMedia/DispForm.aspx?ID=570Emergency services visiting the American camp. Photo by Kristian Kapelrud, Norwegian Armed Forces/media/PubImages/20181017KK_009.jpg

Called an ambulance

Sem also continuously informs the emergency services about all the military activity in and around Voll.

"We invited them on a tour so that they can learn and establish routines if anything should happen", he says.

Shortly after the tour, the U.S. Marines had an incident where one of the troops fell ill. They suspected appendicitis and called an ambulance. 

"This illustrates how important it is that the emergency personnel know exactly where we are", Sem says. 

Close cooperation

Captain Joseph Koffman, is camp commander and responsible for the camp at Voll. He is pleased with the work Sem has done for them.

"Working with Torstein and the Home Guard District 12 means a lot to us. It gives us the opportunity to work with Norwegians at a tactical level", Koffman says, adding:

"Through Sem, we demonstrate that we are building our long relationship with our NATO partners. Sem does a fantastic job, and I am happy to work with him", Koffman explains.

Published 28 October 2018 19:23.. Last updated 29 October 2018 19:48.