Saab Theissen Training Systems Saab Cubic MIL SIM FX Marathon Thargets Rheinmetall Meggitt MTSN eblanks argon microflown avisa
LOF c/o Fenco AG
Höglerstrasse 73
CH-8600 Dübendorf

Mari Thorsen

The Norwegian All Female Hunter Platoon, aka ”Jegertroppen”
Patrol leader/next in command

Military Experience
The courses and exercises throughout the year:
Patrol course, SERE (survival course), urban and rural shooting course, winter training, Close Quarter Combat Course (CQB), close combat training, static course (automatic parachute), urban special reconnaissance

Final exercises for every course.
The most advanced special reconnaissance exercises consisted of approximately 15km infiltration, a mission on one or several target(s) followed by an 30km exfiltration. Equipment to carry out the mission had to be brought in with the patrol/platoon, which resulted in the backpack and gear weighting approximately 55-60kg per pax.

Other work experience
Assistant in polar excursion training

High school
1 year language studies in Australia
Arctic Nature Guide study on Svalbard

European handball
Outdoor activities (hiking, cross country- and downhill skiing, kayaking, cycling, running, stand up paddle boarding, swimming etc.)
Strength training, travelling and cooking

The world’s 1st all female Special Forces Unit, Simulation & Training perspective from a member

Personal Background
Grew up in a “traditional” Norwegian family. Weekends and holidays were spent x-country and downhill skiing, hiking, ice skating, kayaking, travelling etc. Dad working in the adventure/tourism business, mum as an intensive care nurse, brother (18), sister (16) and two dogs Many nights with the family in a tent, snow cave or simply under the open sky Played European handball on a good and professional team, additionally sports education in high school. Training approx. 15-20hrs all together pr. week, depending on the season Jegertroppen Selection and Training Course Now studying to become an Arctic Nature Guide on Svalbard, an archipelago located on 78 degrees North.

Summary of female Jegertroppen training profile/tasks
Exercise “Hjortefot” (autumn): Special rural reconnaissance - the first “complex” exercise of the year. Heavy backpack (approx. 50-60kg), long infiltration on foot, target phase, even longer exfiltration (on foot) Exercise “Ammonia” (winter): Scenario-based ‘Follow-up’ from Operation “Gunnerside” (Tinnsjøaksjonen) during WW2, a military sabotage operation to prevent the Germans from accessing the heavy water produced in Rjukan. Drop off over Hardangervidda (static parachute) - infiltration on skis with backpack and pulka, crossing Hardangervidda – target phase – exfiltration. Exercise "Joint Viking” (winter): Finnmark, with large parts of the Norwegian Army. Special reconnaissance, collaborating with other armed forces and having a “real enemy”. Exercise “Valkyrie” (spring): Ålesund. Special urban reconnaissance. Complex exercise consisting of both rural and urban reconnaissance, working alongside the local police.

Pre-military technology and simulation interest/experience
No previous experience except trying out laser tag and paint ball.

Qualification/Selection Process
Recruit school:
Pre-testing of physical- and psychological requirements and medical check. 3 intense weeks of recruit school with military discipline and physical training. Learning the basics of weapon handling, navigation, medical training, combat training/drills (emergency action drills etc), physical training alongside continuous check ups and testing on what we learned. Many already saw that this program was too demanding, especially mentally, and got transferred to different army recruit programs. The knowledge and skills gained were important for the coming selection/hell week. Physical, psychological and medical checks before hell week”

Selection/ Hell week:
Approx 6-7 days with little to no food and sleep, long marches with heavy backpacks and navigation, tests and tasks, both individual and in teams, physical and mental. Constantly hard work, where instructors evaluate along the way. A lot of uncertainty (which selects out a large amount of the girls starting).

Jegertroppen training course
1. Recruit school (3 weeks)
2. Selection/hell week (approx. 1 week)
3. Weapon training
4. Patrol service and shooting (don’t know the proper term in English)
5. SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) (approx. 2 weeks)
6. Shooting course (C8, P80, MP7)
7. Comms/technical tools(1 week)
8. Patrol course (2 weeks)
9. Exercise “Hjortefot” (10 days)
10. Medic/Comms/Patrol leader course (3 weeks)
11. Static/automatic parachute course (2 weeks)
12. Winter training/patrol- and shooting course (1 week)
13. Exercise Ammonia (8 days)
14. Exercise Joint Viking (9 days)
15. Vehicle/operative urban driving course (1 week)
16. Combat course (1 week)
17. SIBO/CQB (1 week)
18. Urban special reconnaissance (3 weeks)
19. Exam/final exercise Valkyrie
20. Physical training and testing towards becoming a qualified “jeger”

CQB/Urban Training > encountering Live Simulation (SAAB)
Exercise in Northern Norway, we were used as OPFOR for the SF
Operators Equipped with SAAB TES – very new and “fancy” for us who had previously just used blanks

The task was to capture and hold a mountain (with no vegetation), which the SF were to take back during the night. We had little to no experience with either live simulation or combat/ambush events and dealing with a “real” and live enemy, and had no night vision devices. We were lying in position, waiting for something that we couldn’t predict or see. Suddenly we could see muzzle flashes from a far distance, and heard the voice of the SAAB-speaker on our vest say that we were hit/dead etc. The entire operation probably lasted for about 50 minutes from the first fire engagement until most of us were “dead”, but we were waiting on that mountain around 3 hrs. It was an extremely valuable and realistic lesson in how live simulation adds realism to training and clearly identifies tactical mistakes and lessons to be learned.

We had a brief explanation of how the system worked and how to fit it, but none of us quite understood how it worked tactically in a training scenario before actually being engaged. One of the most obvious benefits was the realism it brought to training and how valuable it was to measure performance and tactical competence. All of us would like to have used it much more during our training.

Pros/Cons of Live-Simulation

Possible improvements to Live Simulation
At the end of the course we had a SIBO (warfare in urban areas), and urban reconnaissance course where we used blank ammunition and dummy hand grenades to secure houses for setting up observation posts inside, or to simply clear the buildings of enemy. This was in one way a very good course, however not as realistic as expected.

Because of safety constraints we often had to resort to shouting “bang bang” without pulling the trigger, instead of shooting an approaching enemy or an enemy inside a room. This often resulted in still having full magazines with blanks left after the end of the exercise, and not being able to practice magazine changes and possible jams in a building, where training time is often more limited than in rural areas. Increasing simulation solutions to enable ‘blankless’ training would be valuable for this type of training.

On this SIBO course, we practiced only with the C8, however later in the urban exercises we used the MP7 or the P80 Glock. It would have been good to have a live simulation system connected to these weapons so that we could have practiced with these as well.