In the heart of Norway’s countryside, the U.S. military is bolstering its arsenal of weapons with tanks, gun trucks and other armored vehicles along with hundreds of containers of equipment.

The Marine Corps is overseeing the effort, which expands the existing Marine Corps Prepositioning Program. It stashes weapons, vehicle and armor in several locations across the world, including Norway, which first signed an agreement with the United States to do so in 1981, Marine officials said.

The equipment is kept in climate-controlled caves in central Norway, giving the Marines equipment that is closer than the East Coast to use in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Much of what stored in the caves was pulled out and sent to the Middle East ahead of the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.

It also bolsters the amount of military equipment in Norway as tensions with nearby Russia remain high. Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that he may send a military convoy to eastern Ukraine on a humanitarian mission, something Western officials see as a potential pretext for a Russian invasion.

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