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Feb 27 2024

Allies prepare for collective defence exercise in Nordic environment

RAMSTEIN, Germany – Military staff from 13 NATO Allies and Partners are preparing their participation in exercise Nordic Response 2024, part of the Steadfast Defender exercise series, in Norway, Finland and Sweden. 

We all need to know the terrain and conditions we operate in. This is fresh knowledge that we need to practise regularly

The exercise will be hosted by the three Nordic countries and will focus on collective defence. Overall, more than 20,000 soldiers are participating in the exercise. Exercise participants are deploying their personnel and equipment to the exercise area, and the Nordic Response execution phase will run from March 3 to 14, 2024.

A German Air Force A400M Atlas military transport aircraft is currently based in Rovaniemi Air Base supported here by Finnish Host Nation Support. Photo by Anne Torvinen & Ida Rossi.

U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II jets with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 542 parked prior to flight operations in preparation for Exercise Nordic Response 24 in Norway.  The exercise is the unit's first overseas operational exercise as an F-35B Lightning II jet squadron. Photo by Orlanys Diaz Figueroa.

Canadian Operations Aviation Squadron (SOAS) arrived at Rygge Air Base, Norway, with Bell CH-146 Griffon helicopters airlifted by a C-17 strategic transport aircraft, getting ready for exercise Nordic Response. Photo by: Fabian Helmersen / Norwegian Armed Forces

Swedish Air Force NH 90  helicopter and troops during medical evacuations training. Preparation for exercise Nordic Response 24 -  part of NATO's Steadfast Defender 24 series - is underway, Photo by Felix Sundbäck.
The exercise will have its focal point in northern Norway, Sweden, and Finland, as well as in the corresponding airspace and sea areas. There will be particularly high activity at sea with over 50 registered submarines, frigates, corvettes, aircraft carriers, and various amphibious vessels.

In the air, more than 100 fighter jets, transport aircraft, maritime surveillance aircraft, as well as Allied helicopters and Special Forces aircraft will operate under Nordic Response 24. On the ground, thousands of soldiers will defend and protect Nordic territory with various artillery systems, tanks, tracked vehicles, and other land vehicles.

The combined joint training will focus on the defence and protection of the Nordic Region. “We need to be able to fight back and stop anyone who tries to challenge our borders, values and democracy - with the current security situation in Europe, the exercise is extremely relevant and more important than ever before,” said Brigadier Tron Strand, Royal Norwegian Air Force, Commander of the Norwegian Air Operations Centre.”

“We all need to know the terrain and conditions we operate in. This is fresh knowledge that we need to practise regularly,” Brigadier General Strand continued. “Exercise Cold Response has a long history and takes place in Northern Norway every other year. Thanks to the NATO accession of Finland - and eventually Sweden - we are now expanding the exercise to a Nordic Response with wider participation from other Allies,” he added.

The High North represents an important and strategically located area for NATO. The exercise increases Nordic preparedness and the capability to conduct large-scale joint operations in challenging weather and climate.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office based on input by the Royal Norwegian Air Force

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