This is how US Marines will take the fight to Russia in the Arctic

US Marine CorpsU.S. Marine with 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit posts security at Keflavik Air Base, Iceland, Oct. 17, 2018, during Exercise Trident Juncture 18.

About 90 Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit from Camp Lejeune carried out a mock air assault in Iceland last week as part of the initial phase of NATO’s largest war games since the end of the Cold War.

The NATO war games, called Trident Juncture 2018, will begin on Thursday in Norway and include more than 50,000 troops from 31 countries.

According to NATO, the purpose of Trident Juncture is “to ensure that NATO forces are trained, able to operate together, and ready to respond to any threat from any direction.”

But the war games are also largely seen, by the East and West, as de facto training for a fight with Russia.

Along with the carrier USS Harry S. Truman, the US has sent about 14,000 troops to the games, and the initial mock air assault was to help prepare Marines for a large-scale amphibious assault to be carried later in Norway.

But that’s not all the Marines did.

Here’s how they trained in Iceland for a potential cold-weather fight with Russia.


The 90 US Marines aboard the USS Iwo Jima were first loaded onto MV-22 Ospreys and CH-53 Sea Stallions.

US Marine CorpsMarines load onto a CH-53E Sea Stallion aboard USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) while conducting an air assault in Icelandic terrain on Oct. 17.

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US Marine Corps


Then they were transported to Keflavik Air Base in Iceland.

US Marine CorpsA V-22 Osprey departs from USS Iwo Jima for an air assault in Icelandic terrain on Oct. 17.

Where they set up a security post.

US Marine CorpsA US Marine posts security at Keflavik Air Base in Iceland on Oct. 17, 2018.


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US Marine Corps


“During the air assault we landed on an airfield and immediately set up security which allowed for the aircraft to leave safely,” Cpl. Mitchell Edds said.

US Marine CorpsUS Marines post security at Keflavik Air Base in Iceland on Oct. 17, 2018.

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US Marine Corps


“We then conducted a movement to a compound where Marines set up security to allow U.S and Icelandic coordination,” Edds said.

US Marine CorpsA US Marine aims his weapon while posting security during a mock air assault in Iceland.

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US Marine Corps


After seizing the compound, the Marines hiked inland to a training site.

US Marine CorpsUS Marines hike to a cold-weather training site in Iceland on Oct. 19.

“The climate Iceland offers allows us to test our gear in colder weather rather than just the heat,” Cpl. Riley Woods said.

US Marine CorpsA Marine adjusts a fellow Marine’s gear as they prepare to move for a cold-weather training hike in Iceland on Oct. 19, 2018,

In fact, they appear to have tried out their new cold-weather boots, which were just issued by the Corps.

US Marine CorpsCold-weather insulated boots used by US Marines in Iceland on Oct. 19, 2018.

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US Marines


After what looked like a lengthy hike, the Marines finally reached the cold-weather training site.

US Marine CorpsUS Marines overlook a training area from a hill in Iceland on Oct. 19, 2018.

Where they began setting up camp.

US Marine CorpsUS Marines set up camp during cold-weather training in Iceland in October 2018.

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US Marine Corps


“We’re just getting the gear out — the tents, stoves and stuff like that, making sure we know how to use it … and making sure we know how to use it before we get to Norway,” one US Marine said.

US Marine CorpsUS Marines set up tents in Iceland in October 2018.

Business Insider contacted the US Marine Corps to find out more about the cold-weather training they conducted, but the Corps did not immediately respond.

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US Marine Corps

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