The responsibilities of a superpower are many, as are the potential hotspots where American war-fighters might need to fight in the future. Consequently, in the modern multi-domain battlefield, allies and partners are essential to achieve mission success. Be it in the mountains of Afghanistan, the deserts of the Sahel, or the fjords of Scandinavia, American units will always benefit from partnerships with local forces, which have an unsurpassed understanding of their given battlespace.
One of the best ways to forge relationships with nations and units that you might find yourself fighting alongside is through realistic training. Recently, the Reconnaissance Marines of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division and Force Reconnaissance Company, 2nd Marine Division deployed to Norway for a month-long training tour with the Norwegian Kystjegerkommandoen (KJK), or Coastal Ranger Commandos. The training trip, dubbed Exercise Platinum Ren, was intended to improve bilateral training, interoperability, and familiarization with the unforgiving Norwegian environment.
During their stay in Norway, the Recon Marines and their KJK brethren were blended and formed small reconnaissance teams. They conducted patrolling, which is a staple for any reconnaissance unit; marksmanship drills, with the U.S. Marines shooting the Norwegian CB-90 rifle; and cold-familiarization exercises—that is, diving into freezing water and then trying to stay warm.
Alongside Norway’s special operations forces, which are comprised of the FSK—a unit based on Delta Force—and MJK—a unit based on the U.S. Navy SEAL teams—the KJK have been deployed numerous times to Afghanistan in support of the coalition effort.