Marines fra US Marine Corps under en landsettingsoperasjon på vinter øvelsen Cold Response 2020

Allied training in Norway

As a NATO member, regular training with our allies is a central activity for the Norwegian Armed Forces. It is also important for Norway's security.

NATO is the largest and most powerful military alliance in the world. The Alliance also forms the foundation of Norway's defence. In the event of a crisis or major conflict, the Alliance must stand together.

To ensure security for Norway and safety for our population, the Norwegian Armed Forces must train regularly with our allies. Allied training in Norway ensures that Norwegian and allied forces can operate efficiently together in cold weather and in demanding nature and terrain.

COVID-19 and allied training in Norway, including exercise Cold Response 2022 (CR22)

The Norwegian Armed Forces have implemented a number of measures and plans to ensure that allied training in Norway is carried out safely, and without spreading the coronavirus and COVID-19. These measures also apply to the Norwegian-led winter exercise Cold Response, set to take place in March 2022.

Allied troops deploying to Norway, must comply to stricter entry measures than the official national guidelines for civilians who enter Norway.

Some of the measures:

Before deploying to Norway

  • Ten days prior to departure to Norway, all participating military units must limit their number of close contacts. They must also avoid social activities that could increase the risk of infection.
  • Close contacts can deploy after a five-day quarantine in their home country.
  • All foreign participants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or recently have undergone the disease. A booster vaccine is also recommended, and this should be taken no later than seven days before deploying to Norway.
  • All foreign participants must also provide a negative PCR test for COVID-19. The test must be taken within 72 hours before entering Norway. If the PCR test comes back positive, the participant may not deploy to Norway.

Arriving in Norway

  • Each participating nation must present documentation of negative PCR tests taken before departure, and valid vaccination status for all their participants.
  • All participants must take a new COVID-19 test within 24 hours after arriving in Norway.
  • Should anyone test positive for COVID-19, they will immediately be put in isolation under the auspices of the Norwegian Armed Forces.

Preventive measures

  • The Norwegian Armed Forces have specific plans for handling and containing any outbreak of COVID-19.
  • The Norwegian Armed Forces and NATO have their own medical facilities that can treat cases of illness. Since most participants are young and in good physical shape, we expect the need for intensive care to be very low.
  • Allied and Norwegian medical capabilities are highly competent and fully capable of dealing with any outbreak of COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 outbreak among the participants will not place any additional burden on the civilian health care in Norway.
  • The Norwegian Armed Forces have the resources to take care of personnel who show symptoms of COVID-19, as defined by national health authorities. This includes isolation, rapid testing, contact tracing, and conducting tests for PCR analysis.
  • Foreign participants must avoid any unnecessary contact with the local population.

Exercise Cold Response 2022

Cold Response 2022 is set to take place in the second half of March. This will be the largest military exercise in Norway this year. As of January 2022, around 35,000 military personnel are expected to take part in the exercise.

  • Foreign participants will arrive in Norway over a long period of time. They will also be based all across the country.
  • More than a third of the participants will be based on military vessels at sea, and most of the remaining troops will stay at designated camps and bases, separated from the civil population.
  • Several of the participating nations will bring their own test equipment to analyse PCR tests.
  • The Norwegian Armed Forces Joint Medical Services (FSAN) will monitor, coordinate and implement infection control measures in close cooperation with the Norwegian Directorate of Health and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH).
  • The Norwegian Armed Forces Joint Medical Services will carry out inspections of allied units and locations. FSAN will also ensure that sufficient infection control plans are in place, and that these plans are enforced.
  • If the coronavirus pandemic changes, our plans and measures will be updated accordingly. We also work closely with civilian health authorities and with the local authorities in the exercise areas.
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Factsheet on COVID-19 and allied training in Norway (PDF, updated 8 March 2022)