FRIGAARD CAVE, Norway — Lit by fluorescent lights backing a ceiling, a canvas-walled corridors looked even longer and some-more cavernous than they did full.
For a singular few days, a caves were mostly empty, a hundreds of quarrel vehicles, backhoes and trucks they routinely reason parked in neat “sticks,” or columns, outside.
Logistics Marines flown in usually for a purpose were in a center of hustling all a rigging out of a caves, behaving teenager upkeep, and returning it to storage, all with a stopwatch running.
Known as a Strategic Mobility Exercise, or Stratmobex, a cavalcade gave a Marines a probability to exam their reflexes in box of a vital quarrel strait or other predicament that competence need them to male a car and weapons with minimal notice.
As a universe changes and some-more courtesy shifts to Europe, planners are exploring a probability of expanding a rigging cache stored in a caves — presumably even doubling or tripling a capacity.
The save is stored and confirmed underneath a shared agreement between a Marine Corps and Norway that dates behind to a Cold War. It’s housed in a sequence of 6 caves that winds by a Trondheim segment of executive Norway. In all, there are 6 caves and dual airfields. Three of a caves reason all from rolling batch to towed artillery, and another 3 are packaged full of ammunition, officials said.
Gear from Marine Corps Prepositioning Program-Norway, that a Corps calls “McPippin,” has been used to supply units for exercises in Europe and Africa over a years, yet it also has been frequently sent to war.
“The caves were scarcely emptied for [Operation] Iraqi Freedom,” pronounced Maj. Tom Stona, a Marine prepositioning programs officer formed during a Pentagon.
When Military.com visited Norway in May, officials had usually sent ammunition from a caves to support a belligerent quarrel opposite a Islamic State in a Middle East, Stona said. Norway-based rigging has also been used for charitable assistance and disaster use missions around a world.
While a apparatus is kept adult with prudent caring by a Norwegian group — a Marine light armored car crewman pronounced he had never seen an LAV as good confirmed as a one pulled out of a caves for him — a rigging cache is evaluated for vital changes each few years.
The final time that happened was 2012, Stona said. At that time, with a primary quarrel bid in Afghanistan impending a close, Marine planners refashioned a apparatus save from a some-more ubiquitous purpose array to a “MCPPN MAGTF,” he said, regulating a acronym for Marine air-ground charge force.
The caves now reason adequate to supply a fighting force of 4,600 Marines, led by a colonel, with all yet aircraft and desktop computers. But a save shortly could get bigger — a lot bigger.
“Our customers, [Marine Forces Europe] and [Marine Forces Command], their enterprise is to be means to total a [Marine Expeditionary Brigade,] so MCPPN is going to find to promote that with whatever apparatus we can get over here to assistance mount a MEB adult as fast as possible,” Stona said.
Marine Expeditionary Brigades are one of a largest fighting units that a Corps sources, and can include of 8,000 to 16,000 Marines, or even more. At this point, what a MCPPN MEB competence include of is not wholly clear.
“You ask dual people what a MEB is, we get dual opposite answers,” Stona said.
Planners are completing an research of a stream rigging cache that should hang adult in a subsequent 12 months. The vital mobility practice gave them a probability to weigh not usually what was stored, yet how. Stona pronounced officials are exploring a probability of storing a apparatus in response-ready packages, so it could be unloaded and sent to a quarrel or disaster even some-more quickly, yet upkeep hurdles might make such a pierce impractical.
Regardless, a Norwegian supervision will have a final word on how large a save gets and what is stored.
“We do a feasibility of support with a Norwegians, and tell them, ‘We’d like we to store this. Do we have a space?’ and they will give us an answer,” Stona said. “So that will occur as we continue to tailor.”
Officers with a prepositioning module declined to assume on because a Corps wants to grow a save of rigging to support a bigger force. But with some-more infantry courtesy focused on Europe as Pentagon efforts to encourage allies and deter Russian charge come to a forefront, a series of exercises regulating a cave-stored rigging has grown “exponentially,” Stona said.
For a initial time in January, a use deployed a rotational force of about 300 Marines to a Trondheim segment on a hearing basement to sight with Norwegian infantry and practice a gear.
Lyle Layher, prepositioning officer for Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa, pronounced there is no doubt a store of quarrel rigging will see illumination even some-more mostly in entrance months.
“Now that we have a rotational force that comes here, and a attribute with a Norwegians is growing, we consider that a event to sight on a some-more unchanging basement is going to happen,” he said.2017-06-17