Seabees prep for chilly conditions for upcoming Norway deployment

by Vern Evans

U.S. Navy Seabees are gearing up for chilly conditions as they completed a cold weather survival training course in Norway last month.

Ramsund Naval Base’s Force Protection Company in Norway provided training to Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11 regarding survival techniques in the Arctic Circle, ahead of the battalion’s upcoming deployment based out of Ramsund.

“Winter operations demand patience, discipline, and a focus on every individual in the team working as one unit,” Lt. Mason Mullins, the officer in charge of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11′s Nordic Detail, said in a Navy news release. “Unit effectiveness and morale are highest when every Sailor has a job and is accountable for their role in ensuring the group’s success and survivability.”

The battalion, which is forward-deployed across the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, is poised to work alongside Norwegian counterparts on construction projects and support NATO exercises during their deployment to the region, the Navy said. The Navy did not disclose when the deployment would commence.

Navy leaders have claimed there is a need for a strong military presence in the Arctic as global warming opens more waters in the freezing-cold territory to navigation. In response, the service has conducted cold weather exercises to allow sailors to advance their skills operating in the Arctic.

That report also says China will beef up its naval activity “on, below and above Arctic waters.”

In January 2021, the Navy released its “Blue Arctic” strategy for the region, calling on the sea service to “operate more assertively” there. It also warned that Russia is reopening old bases in the Arctic and “reinvigorating” regional exercises – a trend that’s expected to continue.

The exercise kicked off Feb. 18 and concluded on Feb. 22.

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