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TRJE18 ~ The Battle For Oppdal

[© BM]

Today, D+1, the main objective for North (Yellow) Forces participating on TRJE18 was the town of Oppdal which was being defended by troops from the Italian-led NATO brigade, writes Bob Morrison.

North Forces advanced on Oppdal along two primary axis, from the west and the north, with the aims of both overpowering the defenders and capturing the town’s airfield, roughly ten kilometres to the north. A Norwegian Home Guard formation consisting of infantry and recce elements, Task Force ARCHERY, was given the role of slowing the enemy advance from the north to allow for an orderly withdrawal and the Italian-led multinational brigade commander assigned them a troop of three Spanish Leopardo main battle tanks to attempt to slow down the Yellow Force heavy armour.

In addition to Italian troops, the westernmost Blue (South) Force brigade also included both Spanish and Slovenian armour as well as Norwegian Home Guard units. The attacking Yellow (North) Force consisted primarily of US Marines from 24 MEU, who we photographed landing about 80 kilometres to the west earlier this week.

The accompanying images are a small selection shot today which will hopefully give readers a feel for the mix of forces fighting on the westernmost North-South axis. When the exercise is over we aim to produce a more detailed overview of Exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 2018 (TRJE18) in Norway.

{ images © Bob Morrison }

A brace of 24 MEU USMC LAVs approaching Oppdal from the north [© BM]

Spanish tank platoon commander discussing final defence plans with Norwegian Home Guard NCOs [© BM]

One of the Leopardo MBTs reverses to use a gap between hangars to watch a potential enemy advance route [© BM]

USMC M1 Abrams MBT on Oppdal airfield after defeating the defending Spanish tanks [© BM]

Dismounted US Marines clear through the airfield after the attack [© BM]

To the west of Oppdal Slovenian troops with Pandur APCs get ready to block the other USMC battlegroup [© BM]

Spanish Light Infantry with VAMTAC APCs formed the outer screen to the west [© BM]

Just before last light the second USMC battlegroup advanced towards the Spanish and Slovenian defenders [© BM]

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