Classified Norwegian cave system hosts combat equipment for 15,000 Marines

US deploys tanks and equipment to classified Cold War-era caves in Norway near the NATO-Russia frontier

epa03943822 Japan-based US Marine Corps soldiers embark an aircraft for typhoon Haiyan hit areas in the Philippines at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, southern Japan, 10 November 2013. More than 100 US Marine Corps members and tons of rescue supply left the Futenma base for the typhoon Haiyan hit areas in the Philippines. Thousands are feared dead or missing by one of the strongest typhoon ever recorded. EPA/HITOSHI MAESHIRO
epa03943822 Japan-based US Marine Corps soldiers embark an aircraft for typhoon Haiyan hit areas in the Philippines at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, southern Japan, 10 November 2013. More than 100 US Marine Corps members and tons of rescue supply left the Futenma base for the typhoon Haiyan hit areas in the Philippines. Thousands are feared dead or missing by one of the strongest typhoon ever recorded. EPA/HITOSHI MAESHIRO

 

The United States wants to deploy Marines at a base in Norway only 60 miles from Russia.

If the proposal is approved by the Norwegian government, a rotating force of 300 Marines would be deployed at Vaernes, an air station located outside the city of Trondheim near the Russian border.

marine-cave-2
The Norwegian facility has the space to fit enough equipment for 15,000 Marines for up to 30 days

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The request was confirmed in a statement from the commanding officer of Marine Forces in Europe.

“We enjoy a very close relationship with the Norwegian Armed Forces and a limited rotational presence in Norway would certainly enhance this relationship and our ability to operate together,” Major General Niel E. Nelson, commander of US Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa, said in a statement. “If approved by the Norwegian government, a Marine Corps presence in Norway will increase NATO’s ability to rapidly aggregate and employ forces in northern Europe.”

A spokesman for the Norwegian Defense Ministry, Lars Gjemble, said “the Unites States is a long-term and close ally to Norway.”

“US participation in military exercises and training in Norway is one element in this long-standing and close security policy relationship,” he added. “Considerations about how to tailor allied exercise activity in Norway is a continuous effort.”

“A limited rotational US Marine Corps presence in Norway is a possible option currently being considered. Even though dialogue has been ongoing at the military level, the process at the political level is still ongoing…”

Norway, a member of NATO, already hosts a significant amount of pre-positioned military equipment in climate-controlled caves across the country in preparation for possible war with Russia.

Maintained by a crew of 100 Americans and Norwegians, the complex houses enough combat equipment to support 15,000 Marines.

Spacious: Humvees are stored inside the Frigaard Cave in central Norway. The cave is one of six caves that are part of the Marine Corps Prepositioning Program in Norway
Spacious: Humvees are stored inside the Frigaard Cave in central Norway. The cave is one of six caves that are part of the Marine Corps Prepositioning Program in Norway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cave complex was used during the last decade of the Cold War, but the United States questioned whether or not to continue maintaining the complex following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Norwegian government ultimately decided to pick up the costs of maintenance.

“Any gear that is forward-deployed both reduces cost and speeds up our ability to support operations in crisis, so we’re able to fall in on gear that is ready-to-go and respond to whatever that crisis may be,” said Colonel William Bentley, operations officer for the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade.

US President Barack Obama (L) holds a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G8 summit at the Lough Erne resort near Enniskillen in Northern Ireland, on June 17, 2013. The conflict in Syria was set to dominate the G8 summit starting in Northern Ireland on Monday, with Western leaders upping pressure on Russia to back away from its support for President Bashar al-Assad. AFP PHOTO / JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (L) holds a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G8 summit at the Lough Erne resort near Enniskillen in Northern Ireland, on June 17, 2013. The conflict in Syria was set to dominate the G8 summit starting in Northern Ireland on Monday, with Western leaders upping pressure on Russia to back away from its support for President Bashar al-Assad. AFP PHOTO / JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

The deployment of NATO forces to Norway is clearly a provocative act directed at Russia. Norway shares a 121 mile border with Russia, while the Russian Northern Fleet is based in the Murmansk Oblast, approximately 100 miles from the border.

Support us with $5.00 donation

LEAVE A REPLY