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US Marines in Norway to prepare for Steadfast Defender 2024

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US Marines braved howling winds and frigid temperatures to prepare for Exercise Steadfast Defender 2024, the largest NATO exercise in decades.

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US Marines braved howling winds and frigid temperatures to prepare for Exercise Steadfast Defender 2024, the largest NATO exercise in decades.
The troops from 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment arrived in Setermoen, Norway in January for several weeks of cold weather training. They’ll need it when they move to the country’s remote Finnmark region for Exercise Nordic Response, which is part of the Steadfast Defender series.
After some classroom instruction, the Marines headed into the hills above Setermoen Camp, where they established a camp and honed their survival skills – boiling snow for water, digging defensive positions, and learning how to navigate around the snow-covered landscape. At night, the temperature dropped below -20 centigrade, forcing the Marines to rely on their training to avoid injury.
Towards the end of February, the Marines are heading north to practice defensive and offensive operations alongside troops from Finland, Norway and Sweden. Nine other Allies are also participating in Nordic Response, including Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Steadfast Defender is a series of exercises designed to test Allies’ ability to coordinate troop movements and operations across multiple regions. The drills will run until May and involve 90,000 troops from all 31 Allies and Sweden.

Transcript

---SHOTLIST—
(00:00) VARIOUS SHOTS – US MARINES PREPARE TO HEAD OUT ON PATROL IN SNOWY WOODS
(00:18) VARIOUS SHOTS – MARINES MOVE OUT
(00:44) VARIOUS SLOW-MO SHOTS (MUTE) – MARINES ON PATROL
(01:24) MEDIUM SHOT – MARINES HUDDLING BEFORE SIMULATED ATTACK
(01:31) WIDE SHOTS – MARINES MOVING OUT AGAINST ARCTIC LANDSCAPE
(01:41) VARIOUS SHOTS – MARINES CONDUCT SIMULATED ATTACK
(02:04) VARIOUS SLOW-MO SHOTS (MUTE) – MARINES IN SNOW
(02:21) VARIOUS SHOTS – MARINES LEARNING HOW TO SKI
(03:05) WIDE SHOT – MARINE CAMP AT DUSK
(03:10) VARIOUS SHOTS – MARINES MAINTAINING WEAPONS
(03:32) MEDIUM SHOT – MARINE RIDING PAST ON SNOW MOBILE
(03:39) VARIOUS SHOTS – MARINES UNLOADING DIESEL FUEL FROM TRUCKS
(04:08) VARIOUS SHOTS – MARINE TALKING TO NORWEGIAN SOLDIER
(04:18) VARIOUS SHOTS – MARINES BUILDING DEFENSIVE POSITIONS

(04:40) SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) – US Marine Lieutenant Colonel Ted Driscoll, Commander, 1st Bataillon, 2nd Marine Regiment
“So, we are in Setermoen, Norway, and right now 1st Batallion, 2nd Marines is conducting cold-weather training in preparation for Exercise Nordic Response, which is part of the Steadfast Defender NATO exercise.”

(04:53) SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) – US Marine Lieutenant Colonel Ted Driscoll, Commander, 1st Bataillon, 2nd Marine Regiment
“Now, we are transitioned from that kind of classroom and practical application, to a longer-duration field exercise where the Marines have to take all those individual small-unit tasks that they’ve learned, and then actually sustain operations over a longer period of time.”

(05:10) SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) – US Marine Lieutenant Colonel Ted Driscoll, Commander, 1st Bataillon, 2nd Marine Regiment
“We have a large number of Marines who have never been in the snow in their life before. So to take a Marine, this is the first time seeing snow, and then end up having them on skis, able to move around on skis, is a very large but rapid learning curve. And I think that’s one of the things that we see with our Marines and sailors in this training, is how rapid they can gain skills to meet a level of proficiency necessary to execute operations. But like anything, it just takes practice. You got to take that feeling of unknown and uncertainty with a new skill and you just got to attack it head-on, as the Marines have done, and just grow in that proficiency through the repetitions.”

(05:53) SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) – US Marine Lieutenant Colonel Ted Driscoll, Commander, 1st Bataillon, 2nd Marine Regiment
“So during Exercise Nordic Response, our battalion will be part of a larger Marine Air-Ground Task Force that will be operating under the II Marine Expeditionary Force, and fighting alongside a Norwegian division, and a Swedish and Finnish division in the ability to conduct offensive and defensive multinational operations.”

(06:13) SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) – Norwegian Army Lieutenant Colonel Petter Bakkejord, Commander, Armoured Battalion, Brigade Nord
“So far with the United States Marine Corps, we have done small unit exchange, from everything from heavy weapons to winter training, and in Nordic Response, we will move our units up to Finnmark, and train in a harsh Arctic environment, battalion by battalion, side by side, and confirm that in a multinational, joint environment, we can solve difficult operations in a difficult climate.”

(06:43) SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) – Norwegian Army Lieutenant Colonel Petter Bakkejord, Commander, Armoured Battalion, Brigade Nord
“Being in Finnmark, in the harsh temperatures, cold temperatures, lots of snow, very difficult to operate. That will enable us to operate anywhere in the world. It could be a desert, it could be tropical areas, but the Arctic climate prepares you for most environments on the planet.”

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NATO929249
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