15 nations take part in military exercise in Norway

Norway offers good opportunities for winter exercises.

Norway’s largest military exercise in ten years has started in the northern parts of the country. Over 16 000 soldiers from 15 nations participate in exercise Cold Response 2012.


Exercise Cold Response is a Norwegian led winter exercise carried out in the counties of Nordland and Troms from the 12th to the 21st of March.

The main purpose of this year’s winter exercise is to rehearse high intensity operations in winter conditions within NATO with a UN mandate. Participants will rehearse deploying and using military reaction forces in an area of crisis where they have to handle everything from high intensity warfare to terror threats and mass demonstrations.

The soldiers have to balance the use of diplomatic and military force. Also, forces get to train in an international environment where they have to master a common language and procedures, the Norwegian armed forces’ web site read.

Over 16 000 soldiers from 15 nations will participate in the exercise. The forces come from all defense branches, including some Special Forces. The largest participation come from Canada, France, The Netherlands, Great Britain, Sweden and the United States. Several of the forces have trained in Norway earlier in 2012 to prepare for participation in the winter exercise.

“This is the largest exercise we’ve had in ten years”, information officer Lieutenant Colonel John Espen Lien says to NRK. “In view of the recent development for example in Libya and Afghanistan, we see how important it is that many nations can cooperate”.

The main goal of the exercise is to rehearse high intensity operations in winter conditions. “Many of the forces have been training under winter conditions for months already, and they believe that if you can cooperate under winter conditions, then you can do it in any situation”, Lien says.