Cold Response 2022 is a long-planned and regular exercise, that Norway hosts biannually. This year’s exercise NATO announced the exercise before the fixed time (eight-month early).
“It is not linked to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine, which NATO is responding to with preventive, proportionate and non-escalatory measures,” said NATO on their website on Saturday.
This year, around 30,000 troops and 200 aircraft from over 25 countries from Europe and North America will participate in the exercise.
The exercise is held to sharpen the forces’ abilities to work together in cold weather conditions across Norway- on the land, air and sea.
During this exercise, allies and partner armed forces will trek across the vast wilderness; conduct live-fire drills, leap into freezing lakes, and much more.
It's all about training vital skills, making sure that our armed forces are prepared to respond to any threat or crisis – and keep our countries and people safe. Embrace the cold – NATO and winter operations
Allied forces need to be ready to operate in any environment under any conditions. Training in Norway allows NATO Allies and partners to practise their skills operating in extreme and rugged surroundings, from frozen fjords to shivering seas to ice-encrusted mountains. There's a reason that Norway hosts the NATO Centre of Excellence for Cold Weather Operations!
But many other NATO Allies host exercises and help develop this expertise as well, from the bitterly cold Baltics to the remote volcanic beaches of Iceland to the Canadian High Arctic. Check out the videos below to see cold-weather troops in action.
From Arctic Express to Trident Juncture – a long legacy of exercises in Norway
Norway has hosted exercises with NATO Allies and partners since the early 1950s. From Anchor Express to Northern Express, Atlas Express to Winter Express, over the decades Norway has helped Allies and partners learn how to operate together in its rough northern terrain. Exercise Cold Response itself was first held in 2006. Click through the gallery to see archival images of soldiers during these exercises and the beautiful Norwegian countryside where they trained.
Why does NATO hold exercises?
Regular exercises allow NATO and partners to train together, identifying what works and what needs improving. Exercises are defensive, proportionate and announced months in advance. NATO Allies respect the transparency obligations under the OSCE Vienna Document, which governs the rules for military exercises in the Euro-Atlantic.
Under the Vienna Document transparency obligations, Norway has invited all OSCE member states to send observers to the exercise. The Chief of the Norwegian Joint Headquarters also informed the Commander of the Russian Northern Fleet about Cold Response 2022 in a video call in January 2022.