US Marines are using Cold War era Norwegian caves to store new tanks, artillery and other military equipment to ramp up their presence near the Nato-Russia border, CNN reported on Thursday
“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,” Col. William Bentley, said in a Marine video posted to Facebook:
“Norwegian Heimevernet soldiers and U.S. Marines are rolling out main battle tanks, artillery, and logistics equipment out of Norwegian caves to support the upcoming Exercise Cold Response 2016, later this month.”
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Posted by U.S. Marine Forces Europe and Africa on Monday, February 15, 2016:
According to a Marines statement, the military began using the caves to store military equipment in 1981. When Cold War tensions subsided, the US military transferred the costs of maintaining the caves to Norway, Magnus Nordenman, the director of the Transatlantic Security Initiative at the Atlantic Council, told CNN.
But with Russia flexing its muscles in the region, the cave complex is now back in active use. Nordenman told CNN that the caves hold enough equipment to support some 15,000 Marines.
Heather Conley, the director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Europe Program, told CNN that given the tense current relationship between Nato and Russia, northern Europe is now being viewed as a “theatre of operations”.