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Published: 19 Feb 2016 12:59 GMT+01:00
Once dormant Cold War era caves are being restocked by the US Marines.
Russian spying can 'damage' Norway: PST (10 Feb 16)
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.Catch all the coverage: http://(link tracking not allowed)/coldResponse16 #AlliedStrong
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.
NATO is deploying tanks and military equipment to a series of caves in Norway. They have been largely redundant since the end of the Cold War, but now the alliance is stocking up on hardware, which will be deployed near NATO’s border with Russia.
It may seem like something from a James Bond movie, but NATO has been operating a slick operation in hillside caves built in the Norwegian countryside for decades. However, now the US-led alliance feels it is time to beef up its military presence, to prepare for what it perceives as a Russian threat.
The caves were all built-for-the-purpose, not modified from existing formations, and were conceived under a Cold War plan to preposition Marine equipment in Europe for the defense of NATO. The first cave opened in 1982, the complex was completed in 1988. The caves are managed by the Marines' Blount Island Command, which oversees all Corps prepositioning programs.
But in 2012, the program began to reconfigure and modernize the facility to support a modern Marine Air Ground Task Force. "We're now at the tail-end of that effort," Finch said. "It'll be completed in 2016."
But gear routinely is broken out for operations and exercises. More than 6,000 items were withdrawn in 2003 for Operation Iraqi Freedom. By 2005, the caves were down to about 30 percent full, but have gradually built back up. Across the facility in September, about 70 percent of the storage capacity is being used. More gear, from multiple sources, is expected to arrive in Norway in coming months, driving capacity up to nearly 100 percent.
Exercises drive some withdrawals — a map in the complex depicting worldwide deployments showed vehicles used as far away as Cambodia. A major breakout will take place early next year, when the Norwegian-led Exercise Cold Response takes place. The exercise, held every two years, will involve about 2,000 US Marines and up to 16,000 military personnel altogether, and take place in February and March.
The equipment is kept in climate-controlled caves in central Norway, giving the Marines equipment that is closer than the East Coast to use in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Much of what stored in the caves was pulled out and sent to the Middle East ahead of the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.
The planned U.S. military expansion in Norway has been under discussion since 2013, Marine officials said. That’s before Russian-backed separatists seized the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine in February, and Putin declared it to be part of Russia in March.
originally posted by: Zaphod58
From RT. I'm so surprised they're going to say that.
Russian Roulette: US Risks Turning New Cold War Into a Nuclear One
13:57 13.02.2016(updated 11:47 14.02.2016)
US policy towards Russia and its recent decision to quadruple military spending on NATO’s forces on Russia’s border resembles Russian roulette, a deadly game of chance, and risks turning the new Cold War into a hot one, according to Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at New York University and Princeton University.
Professor Stephen F. Cohen has been recently very critical of the Obama administration’s policy towards Russia and the “reckless escalation of its confrontation” with Moscow.
“The Pentagon’s announcement that it will more than quadruple military spending on the US-NATO forces in countries on or near Russia’s borders pushes the new Cold War toward actual war-possibly even a nuclear one,” he wrote in his article for The Nation magazine.
The political analyst stressed that “with the exception of Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union, Western military power has never been positioned so close to Russia.”
Sputnik is an international multimedia service launched on 10 November 2014 by Rossiya Segodnya, an agency wholly owned and operated by the Russian government, which was created by a Decree of the President of Russia on December 9, 2013. Sputnik replaces the RIA Novosti news agency on an international stage (which remains active in Russia) and Voice of Russia. According to its chief Dmitry Kiselyov, Sputnik intends to counter the "aggressive propaganda that is now being fed to the world".
originally posted by: Zaphod58
You put far more faith in US intelligence services than anyone else if you think they knew Russia was moving into the Crimea a year ahead of time.