US Marine Corps Hornets deploy to Norway

Hornets from the US Marine Corps’ VMFA-312 ‘Checkerboards’ have touched down at Andøya Air Station in Norway.

An F/A-18D from VMFA-312 at Andøya Air Station after making the North Atlantic crossing on February 21.
An F/A-18D from VMFA-312 at Andøya Air Station after making the North Atlantic crossing on February 21. US Marine Corps/Cpl Christopher Hernandez

The squadron has flown to northern Europe to participate in Exercise Nordic Response, which is taking place from March 3 to 14. After departing the unit’s home base of MCAS Beaufort in South Carolina the ‘Checkerboards’ stopped off in Goose Bay, Canada, before making the North Atlantic crossing on February 21 with US Air Force tanker support.

The ‘Checkerboards’ took part in the previous iteration of this exercise in 2022, deploying to Bodø Air Station, when it was called Cold Response. This training event has been renamed Nordic Response due to NATO expansion in Scandinavia with Finland and eventually Sweden joining the Alliance. Nordic Response is one of a number of exercises which fall under the umbrella of NATO’s largest training event for years – Steadfast Defender 24.

An F/A-18D taxies in at a wintry Andøya Air Station.
An F/A-18D taxies in at a wintry Andøya Air Station. US Marine Corps/Cpl Christopher Hernandez
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