~ 100 men
Coordinates (approximate location)
Cold War a number of military caves were built in Norway under a
plan to position a US Marine Corps equipment in Europe in case of
the war with the Soviet Union. The first cave opened in 1982. It is
known that there are at least 8 of such military caves are in
different locations around the region of Trondheim. The whole
complex was completed in 1988. These military caves are managed by
the US Marines. Three of them are used to store military vehicles,
three are storing munitions while two hold aviation support
equipment. In case of war
the US Marines could briefly deploy from Norway to nearby regions.
The whole program is officially called the Marine Corps
Prepositioning Program-Norway, or MCPP-N.
collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War weapons and
equipment stored in these caves were used during numerous military
conflicts. Currently this facility has a very wide reach.
Equipment from the caves can go to conflict areas all over the
world. A map in the complex depicting worldwide deployments showed
vehicles used as far as Cambodia.
of these military caves were purpose-built, rather than modified from
existing geological formations. All of the vehicles,
gear and equipment stored there are in well maintained order. Even
though many vehicles have been used hard before, all of them are in
good running order and await for their next assignment.
are large and wide passageways with high ceilings and concrete
floor. The caves are well lit and have constant temperature and
humidity. So there are no issues with corrosion.
vehicles, gear and equipment are constantly taken out for various
operations and exercises. In 2003 more than 6 000 items were
withdrawn for the invasion of Iraq. In 2005 the caves were only
about 30% full, but were gradually filled back up. Currently the
facility is about 70% full and it is planned that in the near future
the caves will be nearly 100% full.
In 2012 these facilities
were modernized to support a modern Marine air and ground task
force. Modernization process was planned to be completed in 2016. It
has been reported that armored vehicles and equipment stored in
these caves can support an expeditionary force of roughly around 15 000 US
Marines. Also there are enough supplies stored in the caves for such force to operate
for 30 days. However currently there are no plans to expand the
variety of vehicles are stored here, including
amphibious armored personnel carriers,
armored reconnaissance vehicles,
heavy high mobility trucks,
HMMWV light tactical vehicles, recovery vehicles, artillery
systems, construction and earthmoving equipment, trailers, towed
carriages, generators, bulk fuel, tents, shelters, various tools.
Aircraft support equipment includes towing tractors, cranes,
de-icing equipment, and so on.
stored here display a variety of paint and camouflage schemes. Once
new vehicles appear from the United States, or various combat
theaters, these are being fixed up, refurbished and prepared for the
future missions. Their engines and transmissions can be rebuilt or
replaced on the spot. Most of the maintenance work is done by more
than 70 Norwegian soldiers, who work here under the leadership of
around 30 US Marines.
All of this
forward-deployed gear is ready to respond anytime in case of
military crisis. All equipment from the caves can be redeployed by
aircraft, ships, railroad or using road and motorway network.