SETERMOEN, NORWAY --
Marine Rotational Force-Europe held a transfer of authority ceremony, here, on May 27, 2020. The ceremony signified 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment assuming authority of Marine Rotational Force-Europe from 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment.
The ceremony was originally scheduled for early April 2020 but was delayed out of an abundance of caution due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After working with cognizant military organizations in the United States and Norway, the deployment and redeployment of the respective battalions were approved. 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines underwent a 14-day quarantine in Norway before their military training began.
“3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines is looking forward to continuing operations for Marine Rotational Force – Europe,” said Lt. Col. Brian Donlon, commanding officer of 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines. “I would like to thank 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines for the great work that they have done over the past eight months and confidently await the opportunity to continue the pursuit of excellence while working alongside our Norwegian allies."
Marines with 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines will redeploy back to Camp Lejeune, N.C. after an eight-month deployment that improved their arctic warfare skills alongside the Norwegian Army. Upon arrival at their stateside duty station, returning service members will undergo 14 days of restricted movement and monitoring, consistent with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Commanding MRF-E and experiencing the professionalism of the Spartan Battalion’s Marines and Sailors serving alongside the Norwegian Army and our Brigade North counterparts has been deeply rewarding,” said Lt. Col. L. Michael Stansberry, the commanding officer of 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines. “I feel extremely confident that our integration and interoperability strengthened our NATO alliance and furthered our strategic mission in the high north."
“The cold weather training to include bilateral training events, and the close, family-like relationships with both military and civilian leadership in the Bardu community has produced many, many special memories and was truly something remarkable,” Stansberry added.
The Marine Corps rotational presence in Norway facilitates military exercises in the Nordic regions that increase interoperability with allies and partners and improves the Marine Corps' cold weather and mountain warfare proficiencies. The U.S. has a long and steadfast relationship with our NATO ally Norway, on defense and security cooperation, and through its continued rotational deployment, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines will continue this proud tradition.