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Battle Griffin

Battle Griffin is a triennial joint allied field exercise (FTX), that exercises the Norway Air-Landed Marine Ground Task Force (NALMAGTF) concept to reinforce Norway and Norwegian National Forces in cooperation with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), National Headquarters, and other designated NATO forces.

The Norway Air-Landed Marine Expeditionary Brigade (NALMEB), also called the Norway Air Landed Marine Air Ground Task Force (NALMAGTAF), is the Marine Corps' only land-based prepositioned stock. The expeditionary force flies into Norway using a minimum amount of strategic airlift, marries up with the equipment and supplies, and redeploys throughout Norway as needed.

The Battle Griffin exercise is designed to test all aspects of NALMEB (deployment of forces from CONUS, withdrawal of equipment and supplies from cave sites, redeployment of equipment and supplies, integration of U.S. and Norwegian forces, etc.).

Battle Griffin `96, which began in mid-February 1996 and concluded in late March, involved well-trained forces from the United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Norway, Germany, France, Denmark and Spain. The cold weather and rough terrain create a challenging training environment for the participating troops. The exercise scenario called for amphibious landings, convoy operations and a wide range of maritime, air and land-based operations.

Battle Griffin '96 was the only live-fire exercise of a pre-positioned artillery battalion in its entirety that has occurred in the 20th century. While reinforcing the NATO commitment to the security of Norway, Battle Griffin was an intense, powerful exhibition of the rapid activation and deployment of an allied marine-air-ground task force. The alliance clearly demonstrated its ability to reinforce Europe's northern region in the event of a regional crisis. The American contingent included over 6,000 soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen, who were joined by their counterparts from Germany, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, and Norway.

Three Military Sealift Command (MSC) chartered cargo ships supported nearly 6,000 U.S. military personnel participating in the two-month long NATO Exercise Battle Griffin `96 in the waters off Norway. The exercise was designed to test the ability of NATO countries to reinforce Norway in the event of a regional crisis. MV American Falcon led the MSC ships on the North Atlantic criss-cross by transporting 80,000 square feet of Marine Corps equipment from Moorehead City, N.C., to Narvik, Norway. MV Mercadian Senator and MV Liz Weber are also exercise participants. The MSC cargo ships transported equipment and supplies to and from the East Coast of the United States and key Norwegian ports, and from other stored equipment sites in northern Europe. MSC ships played a crucial role in the exercise by making sure that needed cargo is positioned where it needs to be for proper issue to exercise forces.

Approximately 20,000 soldiers participated in the NATO exercise, Battle Griffin 99, from 16 February to 3 March in central Norway. The exercise involved the deployment of NATO forces in a crisis situation with the aim of practising the Alliance's readiness to secure the collective defence of its members. Land, sea, air and Home Guard Forces from 8 NATO countries (Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States) were involved.

The 3rd Battalion 2d Marine Regiment participated in Exercise Battle Griffin '99 in Norway, in February 1999. Battle Griffin '99 was a joint, allied field exercise that exercised the Norway Air-Landed Marine Ground Task Force and Norwegian National Forces.

Three complementary exercises took place under the common scenario of Strong Resolve 2002: Exercise Adventure Express, Exercise Affirmative Alert and Exercise Battle Griffin.

Elements of the 2d Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion worked with the Norwegian 6th Division Armor during Battle Griffin, the second phase of NATO exercise Strong Resolve '02. Norwegian instructors led the cold weather drivers training course that each driver in Marine Air Ground Task Force-2 [MAGTF-2] was required to complete before taking to the icy roads of Norway.

Approximately 20 percent of the Marines with HMLA (Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron)-773 were reservists. During Battle Griffin, HMLA-773 did almost exclusively attack type missions. When an aircraft carrying troops is to be inserted into an area prone to enemy attack, the Cobras act as an escort. The squadron provides close air support. If enemy is spotted, the helicopters can be called in and directed where to eradicate enemy presence.

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