US deploys tanks and equipment to classified Cold War-era caves in Norway near the NATO-Russia frontier

Friday, February 19, 2016
By Paul Martin

The move is a push by Washington to bolster NATO’s defenses in Europe and have weaponry ‘ready to go’ should a crisis with Russia arise
Russia shares a 121.6-mile long border with Norway
The partnership between the Norwegian military and U.S. Marines enables NATO to support broad-spectrum military operations
The six-cave classified facility is in central Norway
The caves contain enough equipment to support 15,000 Marines
They were first used as an arms depot in 1981 during the Cold War

DAILYMAIL.COM
19 February 2016

The US military has deployed tanks and artillery equipment to Cold War-era caves in Norway in an effort to better equip stations near the NATO-Russia frontier.

The move is part of a push by Washington to bolster NATO’s defenses in Europe and have weaponry ‘ready to go’ should a crisis with Russia arise.

Russia shares a 121.6-mile long border with Norway.

‘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, operations officer for the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, told CNN on Thursday.

The six-cave system, located in central Norway, is considered classified.

However the caves were first used by the US as an arms depot in 1981 during the Cold War.

They are climate controlled and operated by about 100 Norwegian and US personnel.

The cave system contains enough equipment to support 15,000 Marines.

In a drill scheduled to take place later this month, called Cold War Response 16, 6,500 pieces of equipment from inside the facility will be deployed, according to CNN.

Twelve NATO allies and partners and more than 16,000 troops will be involved in the drill.

Heather Conley, director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Europe Program, told CNN the caves had once again become a strategic asset because of their location.

‘Now that we have a very new security context with Russia, it now makes sense to rethink what is needed,’ she said.

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