Marine Corps Prepositioning Program Norway supports Black Sea Rotational Force

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PANZER KASERNE, Germany -Marines move equipment that is earmarked to support Black Sea Rotational Force 11, Bjugn, Norway. Under the guidance of Marine Forces Europe, Marines with Marine Forces Reserve are utilizing equipment sets in Norway to save tremendously on transportation costs. USMC Photo

PANZER KASERNE, Germany -Personnel from Marine Forces Reserve examine equipment that is earmarked to support Black Sea Rotational Force 11, Bjugn, Norway, during an inspection. The Marines will deploy to Romania and support security cooperation missions throughout the Black Sea region from April through September. USMC Photo

PANZER KASERNE, Germany — Well guarded within 671,000 sq. feet of six climate-controlled caves, $420 million worth of Marine Corps equipment and supplies lie ready for real world use. The caves, located in Norway, serve as a key strategic storage site for the Marine Corps.

Marine Forces Europe coordinated the draw and inspection of equipment and supplies from the cave site in Bjugn, Norway, Feb. 14 – 17 in support of the Black Sea Rotational Force. The gear is allocated to support a Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force with Black Sea Rotational Force 11.

The SPMAGTF that will participate in BSRF 11 includes personnel from the Marine Forces Reserve, with the 4th Tank Battalion forming the command element. The equipment stored in Norway is a part of the Marine Corps Prepositioning Program Norway which is managed by Blount Island Command.

“Marine Corps Prepositioning Program Norway is the Marine Corps’ only land based prepositioning program,” said Mike Harvey, MarForEur prepositioning officer. “MCPPN was established in 1981 through a bilateral memorandum of understanding between the governments of Norway and the United States. Since its creation, MCPPN has been transformed into more of a global capability with a regional focus.”

The Marines serving with BSRF 11 will deploy to Constanta, Romania and support security cooperation missions throughout the Black Sea region from April to September. The ability to store and maintain Marine Corps equipment and supplies in Norway continues to provide the Marine Corps a flexible, scalable capability and saves thousands of dollars in transportation cost when deployed in support of Marine Forces throughout the European Command’s area of responsibility.

The program is currently undergoing a transformation to gain greater efficiencies and enhance its ability to support lower to mid level spectrum operations.

“The Norwegians maintain the gear in a very high state of readiness,” said Maj. Timothy E. Robertson, logistics plans officer for MarForEur. “As a part of their agreement with NATO, the Norwegians originally stored the gear in response to the Soviet threat to Scandinavia during the Cold War. Now, the gear is consistently utilized by Marine Forces Europe and has been used in support of exercises and operational contingencies all over the globe.”

The Norwegian caves are strategically located to provide support to the United States Marine Corps’ operations around the globe, according to Robertson. In the struggle to bring freedom and stability to the world, the equipment from the climate controlled caves of Norway has seen action in places as diverse as the deserts of Iraq and mountains of Afghanistan in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

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