1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Field Artillery Brigade fires a Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) from a multiple launch rocket system during the Thunder Cloud live-fire exercise in Andoya, Norway, Sept. 15, 2021. The GMLRS is a surface-to-surface system used to attack, neutralize, suppress and destroy targets using indirect precision fires up to 70-plus kilometers.
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Field Artillery Brigade fires a Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) from a multiple launch rocket system during the Thunder Cloud live-fire exercise in Andoya, Norway, Sept. 15, 2021. The GMLRS is a surface-to-surface system used to attack, neutralize, suppress and destroy targets using indirect precision fires up to 70-plus kilometers. (Photo Credit: Spc. Joshua Thorne) VIEW ORIGINAL
The 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Field Artillery Brigade stages “Lorraine 1918”, a multiple launcher rocket system, during a rehearsal during the Thunder Cloud live-fire exercise in Andoya, Norway, Sept. 15, 2021. The MLRS received coordinates gathered from high-altitude balloons to deliver long-range precision fires. Long-range precision fires are the U.S. Army’s top priority in expanding modernization efforts.
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Field Artillery Brigade stages “Lorraine 1918”, a multiple launcher rocket system, during a rehearsal during the Thunder Cloud live-fire exercise in Andoya, Norway, Sept. 15, 2021. The MLRS received coordinates gathered from high-altitude balloons to deliver long-range precision fires. Long-range precision fires are the U.S. Army’s top priority in expanding modernization efforts. (Photo Credit: Spc. Joshua Thorne) VIEW ORIGINAL
Spc. Robert Delrio, multiple launcher rocket system driver, 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Field Artillery Brigade maintains the rocket launcher system ahead of the Thunder Cloud live-fire exercise in Andoya, Norway, Sept. 14, 2021. During Thunder Cloud, multiple domains such as land, air, and sea were utilized to conduct long-range precision fires in the Arctic Circle.
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Robert Delrio, multiple launcher rocket system driver, 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Field Artillery Brigade maintains the rocket launcher system ahead of the Thunder Cloud live-fire exercise in Andoya, Norway, Sept. 14, 2021. During Thunder Cloud, multiple domains such as land, air, and sea were utilized to conduct long-range precision fires in the Arctic Circle. (Photo Credit: Spc. Joshua Thorne) VIEW ORIGINAL

ANDOYA, Norway — The U.S. Army's newly activated 2nd Multi-Domain Task Force, and 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Field Artillery Brigade, converged with allies and partners to test and expand modernization efforts Sept. 9-20, 2021.

The exercise - "Thunder Cloud," tested high-altitude balloons, sensor to shooter capabilities, and long-range precision fires to experiment with new warfighting methods. Thunder Cloud was the first exercise of its kind and the first of the newly activated 2nd MDTF.

“Thunder Cloud is about three things: modernization, partnership, and readiness...part of multi-domain operations is finding the new sensor’s best shooter, so this asset here is a unique way to conduct targeting,” said Lt. Col. Dave Henderson, commander, 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Field Artillery Brigade.

Partnerships made Thunder Cloud a success in the Arctic Circle

An engineering and electronics team from Raven Aerostar prepares to launch a high altitude balloon into the stratosphere as a part of the Thunder Cloud live-fire exercise in Andoya, Norway, Sept. 15, 2021. High altitude balloons are filled with helium, tethered to solar panels, and released into the stratosphere where they collect targeting coordinates and information to relay to fire capabilities within other domains to deliver lethality.
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – An engineering and electronics team from Raven Aerostar prepares to launch a high altitude balloon into the stratosphere as a part of the Thunder Cloud live-fire exercise in Andoya, Norway, Sept. 15, 2021. High altitude balloons are filled with helium, tethered to solar panels, and released into the stratosphere where they collect targeting coordinates and information to relay to fire capabilities within other domains to deliver lethality. (Photo Credit: Spc. Joshua Thorne) VIEW ORIGINAL
Staff Sgt. Dor Snodgrass, multiple launcher rocket system section chief, 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Field Artillery Brigade awaits the Thunder Cloud live-fire exercise to begin in Andoya, Norway, Sept. 15, 2021. 1-6 FA worked with 2nd Multi-Domain Task Force-Europe to test sensor to shooter systems in the Arctic Circle. The multi-domain capabilities in Europe will integrate assets to overcome adversary anti-access/area denial tactics through integration and synchronization of a variety of capabilities.
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Staff Sgt. Dor Snodgrass, multiple launcher rocket system section chief, 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Field Artillery Brigade awaits the Thunder Cloud live-fire exercise to begin in Andoya, Norway, Sept. 15, 2021. 1-6 FA worked with 2nd Multi-Domain Task Force-Europe to test sensor to shooter systems in the Arctic Circle. The multi-domain capabilities in Europe will integrate assets to overcome adversary anti-access/area denial tactics through integration and synchronization of a variety of capabilities. (Photo Credit: Spc. Joshua Thorne) VIEW ORIGINAL
Erik Grant, a rigging lead at Raven Aerostar, conducts high altitude balloon (HAB) pre-launch checks during the Thunder Cloud live-fire exercise in Andoya, Norway, Sept 15, 2021. Raven Aerostar facilitated the coordination of long-range precision fires through high altitude balloons. Commercial partners such as Raven Aerostar, help support U.S. forces in modernizing defense technology.
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Erik Grant, a rigging lead at Raven Aerostar, conducts high altitude balloon (HAB) pre-launch checks during the Thunder Cloud live-fire exercise in Andoya, Norway, Sept 15, 2021. Raven Aerostar facilitated the coordination of long-range precision fires through high altitude balloons. Commercial partners such as Raven Aerostar, help support U.S. forces in modernizing defense technology. (Photo Credit: Spc. Joshua Thorne) VIEW ORIGINAL

“Operating in the High North gives us a great opportunity to exercise with our allies, partners, and other services. Thunder Cloud is important to [the High North] specifically because we are looking to operationalize the stratosphere,” said Col. Samuel Ybarra, G3, U.S. Army Europe and Africa.

Commercial partners, like Raven Aerostar, enabled modernization efforts across the force by providing new technology to the U.S. Army.

Raven Aerostar provided high-altitude balloons, and launched the balloons into the stratosphere as a coordination effort for data on weather patterns and targeting coordinates.

2nd MDTF synchronizes efforts across domains to deliver joint freedom of action

Sgt. Stefaan Lee, gunner, 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Field Artillery Brigade, prepares the multiple launcher rocket system during the Thunder Cloud live-fire exercise in Andoya, Norway, Sept. 14, 2021. The MLRS is a U.S. Army capability that provides long-range fires to support commanders. A combat-credible Army force means we develop the necessary readiness and lethality to defend against a near-peer adversary in all domains. These efforts will also ensure increased interoperability between U.S., allies and partner forces.
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. Stefaan Lee, gunner, 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Field Artillery Brigade, prepares the multiple launcher rocket system during the Thunder Cloud live-fire exercise in Andoya, Norway, Sept. 14, 2021. The MLRS is a U.S. Army capability that provides long-range fires to support commanders. A combat-credible Army force means we develop the necessary readiness and lethality to defend against a near-peer adversary in all domains. These efforts will also ensure increased interoperability between U.S., allies and partner forces. (Photo Credit: Spc. Joshua Thorne) VIEW ORIGINAL
Brendan Branick, electronics lead at Raven Aerostar, prepares a high altitude balloon for launch in support of the Thunder Cloud live-fire exercise in Andoya, Norway, Sept. 15, 2021. Thunder Cloud was a sensor to shooter live-fire exercise that utilizes high altitude balloons to gather and send targeting coordinates to firing assets within multiple domains for accurate and precise fires.
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Brendan Branick, electronics lead at Raven Aerostar, prepares a high altitude balloon for launch in support of the Thunder Cloud live-fire exercise in Andoya, Norway, Sept. 15, 2021. Thunder Cloud was a sensor to shooter live-fire exercise that utilizes high altitude balloons to gather and send targeting coordinates to firing assets within multiple domains for accurate and precise fires. (Photo Credit: Spc. Joshua Thorne) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sgt. Stefaan Lee, gunner, 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Field Artillery Brigade, receives firing coordinates in a multiple rocket launcher system during the Thunder Cloud live-fire exercise in Andoya, Norway, Sept. 14, 2021. Sensor to shooter targeting and the utilization of the MLRS explores the multi-domain capabilities of the force. These capabilities support the theater commander to deter potential adversaries and assure allies and partners.
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. Stefaan Lee, gunner, 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Field Artillery Brigade, receives firing coordinates in a multiple rocket launcher system during the Thunder Cloud live-fire exercise in Andoya, Norway, Sept. 14, 2021. Sensor to shooter targeting and the utilization of the MLRS explores the multi-domain capabilities of the force. These capabilities support the theater commander to deter potential adversaries and assure allies and partners. (Photo Credit: Spc. Joshua Thorne) VIEW ORIGINAL

“The 2nd Multi-Domain Task Force brings a series of capabilities that span land, air, sea and space. We are out here to experiment in a cross-domain live-fire exercise,” said Lt. Col. Nicholas Stout, with 2nd Multi-Domain Task Force.

Two of the domains, land and space, were explored during Thunder Cloud and included the concept of long-range precision fires and high-altitude balloons. Integration of organic long range precision fires highlighted technology modernization efforts to develop fire strategies across NATO forces.

Thunder Cloud prioritized advancements within FA units and long-range precision fires

Andøya Space and the Norwegian military hosted the U.S. Army effort by facilitating location and support on the ground. Collaboration between Andøya Space, the Norwegian military, and the 2nd Multi-Domain Task Force allowed the U.S. Army to modernize its tactics and warfighting capabilities.

“Andøya Space Defence has had the great pleasure to plan and execute a complex and challenging operation in Northern Norway with both our U.S. friends and the Andøya airbase. The operation has been a success from our view, and there have also been important learning points,” said Tony Martin Klæboe, Andøya Space project manager.

The U.S. and its allies and partners are committed to facing emerging threats, and modernizing the force is essential in optimizing lethality and moving the joint force into the future.