Marines on a six-month deployment to Norway learned how to slaughter reindeer and drink their blood for energy.
In March, 300 Marines traveled to Porsangermoen to participate in Joint Viking, a NATO training exercise including Norwegian, American and British forces for the purpose of crisis management and defending Norway, Military.com reports.
During the exercise, Marines slaughtered reindeer, drank their blood and ate their meat.
The Marines, who first deployed to Norway in January to a base near the city of Trondheim, received the Navy Arctic Service Ribbon in recognition of their training accomplishments in the frozen north. About 200 Marines out of the total deployed earned the ribbon.
“There’s a lot of ribbons you don’t have to do s— to get,” said Marine Corps Forces Command Lt. Gen. John Wissler, according to Military.com. “This ain’t one of them.”
“As a Marine Corps, we’ve been very used to operating in sort of jungle and desert environments, but we’re not as good at operating in Arctic environments as we need to be,” he added. “This company of Marines, and those Marines that accompanied you in your training, are capable of engaging and locating, closing with and destroying by fire and maneuver any enemy that we would encounter in an Arctic environment. So my heartiest congratulations to you.”
The U.S. military has long kept large weapons stores in Norway in a network of caves. This equipment can readily be transported all across Europe.
Russia has criticized the Joint Viking exercise as provocative and based on a mythical threat from the East. Norwegian Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide has defended the exercises and said they’re not directed at any particular country but rather designed to defend the country.
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