Press release from the Norwegian Armed Forces
The winter exercise Cold Response will take place in an area that stretches from the town of Narvik to Finnmark district in northern Norway. The main part of the exercise will be located in the district of Troms.
Activities related to the exercise will take place from 2 to 18 March. The field exercise will take place from 12 to 18 March. However, from January there will be visible military activity in some parts of the country, as some of the allied participants arrive in Norway to prepare for the exercise.
THE AIMS OF THE EXERCISE
Norway is a leading nation in NATO when it comes to cold weather operations, and has extensive experience in this field. This makes Norway a natural and experienced host for winter exercises such as Cold Response.
The main aim of the exercise is to secure the Norwegian Armed Forces and allies’ ability to conduct multinational joint exercises with a high-intensity combat scenario in demanding winter conditions.
Another important aspect of the exercise is to train the large amphibious capacities. This means practicing how to master the transition between the coast and the shore by, for example, practicing attacking a target on land from ships with the assistance from amphibious assault ships and helicopters.
Through exercises such as Cold Response the participants exercise together in demanding weather conditions in a realistic way. This makes Cold Response an important exercise.
Our ability to receive allied reinforcements is essential when it comes to defending Norway in a crisis situation. As a part of the exercise the Norwegian Armed Forces will receive allied forces by collaborating with civilian actors through the total defence concept. The concept is the sum of Norway’s civilian and military resources working together to prevent and manage crisis, armed conflicts and wars. If a serious situation should arise, civilian and military forces are mutually interdependent.
OPENNESS IS IMPORTANT
Openness is important for building trust and preventing misunderstandings. Therefore, the Norwegian Armed Forces will make sure to follow the Vienna Document. This is an agreement made between the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) member states. The agreement aims to secure military stability and reduce the risk of war by imposing states to implement security and confidence building measures. Norway will invite observers from all the 56 member nations in OSCE, which also includes Russia, to the exercise.
Cold Response is a Norwegian-led exercise in which NATO-allies and partner nations are invited to participate. As of February 2020, forces from the USA, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, Denmark, Finland and Sweden – as well as Norwegian forces – are participating in the exercise.
Between 15,000 and 16,000 soldiers will participate in the exercise. The final number of participants and participating nations may change slightly as we get closer to the exercise. More information on this will be available on this website.
Cold Response is lead by the Norwegian Joint Headquarters and has been conducted biennially since 2006 – with the exception of 2018. In odd-numbered years, the Norwegian Armed Forces conduct a smaller winter exercise.
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