The northern flank of NATO's Allied Command Europe consists of Norway, Denmark, and the northern German state, Schleswig-Holstein. Defending the area is the mission of the Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Northern Europe (CinCNorth) whose headquarters are near Oslo, Norway. The maritime nature of the region makes it suitable for the possible employment of U. S. Marines in their traditional role as an amphibious force. Indeed, during the past several years, units of the 4th Marine Amphibious Brigade have participated in large-scale multinational NATO exercises as both an assault and a reinforcing force within the northern region.
These exercises have served to improve the coordination with allied military forces, but many problems remain to be overcome in order for the marines to be effectively employed within CinCNorth's area. A large share of these problems involves the aviation element of a marine air-ground task force (MAGTF) that may be employed within the region.
Marine Air Doctrine: The mission of Marine Corps aviation is stated as follows: