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
|en_227_thelocalheroesoftrid||en_227_thelocalheroesoftrid||http://forsvaret.no/en/Lists/RelatedMedia/DispForm.aspx?ID=569||Emergency services visiting the American camp. Photo by Kristian Kapelrud, Norwegian Armed Forces||/media/PubImages/20181017KK_008.jpg|
|en_227_thelocalheroesoftrid||en_227_thelocalheroesoftrid||http://forsvaret.no/en/Lists/RelatedMedia/DispForm.aspx?ID=570||Emergency 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.
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.