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Cold Response 2022

More than 30,000 soldiers from NATO and partner nations have taken part in exercise Cold Response in Norway this March.

Cold Response 2022 (CR 22) is a Norwegian military exercise with invited allies and partner nations. The field exercise started on 14 March and ended on 31 March 2022. There will still be some military transport, and some minor allied training and activity in April, after the field exercise.

The first allied troops arrived in Norway last autumn and earlier this winter to train and prepare for the exercise.

Over 30,000 soldiers from 27 countries, as well as a number of civilian agencies have participated in the exercise.

Media
Information about press contacts, media events and photos.
Participants
Info about climate, driving conditions, daily safety signals, and more.

Why we exercise

To be able to defend our country, the Norwegian Armed Forces must exercise regularly. At the same time, NATO is the foundation of the Norwegian defence. Our allies therefore need to exercise on deploying to Norway, and they must train and operate along with Norwegian forces under harsh winter condition. After two pandemic-cancelled exercises in 2020 and 2021, this year's exercise is extra important.

Cold Response is a long-planned and defensive exercise where Norway and its allies exercise in defending Norway against external threats. The exercise has been planned and informed about long before the war in Ukraine. You can read more about this under the Q&A section below.

Questions and answers

  1. A key goal of exercise Cold Response 2022 is to train on reinforcing Norway militarily. To achieve this, naval and aircraft capabilities will play a vital role in deploying Allied amphibious and land forces wherever needed. During the exercise, we will especially practice on deploying military capabilities to and from sea, coast and land areas.

    For NATO, this exercise is a central arena for testing the deployment of the NATO Response Force, and for Norway it is important to test its system of receiving, catering for and managing the allied reinforcements who come to Norway. This is done in close collaboration with civilian authorities, through the Norwegian total defence concept. For Norwegian security, it is vital to test and train the total defence concept regularly. The Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection (DSB) is in charge of coordinating all the civilian efforts and units.

    The exercise will ensure that Norwegian and allied forces are capable in carrying out complex joint operations in demanding climate and under challenging high-intensity situations.

  2. In addition to departments from all branches of the Norwegian Armed Forces, a number of Norwegian civilian agencies and authorities are taking part.

    Several thousand soldiers from NATO and partner countries have also come to Norway to participate in the exercise.

    In total, more than 30,000 soldiers from 27 countries are taking part. This figure also includes the Norwegian participants. Of these, 14,000 are ground troops, 8,000 are sailors and navy troops, while the remaining 8,000 participants are air force troops and various staff officers based at various headquarters and military bases in Norway.

  3. The military activity is mainly taking place in south-eastern Norway, central Norway and the northern parts of the country.

    In the north, the activity will mainly take place in northern Nordland County, and in the southern and inner region of Troms District. There will also be some military activity in Bodø Air Base and Porsangmoen Base.

  4. CR 22 is an important arena for us to train on reinforcing Norway militarily. In this connection, sea and aircraft capacities will be important for inserting allied amphibial and land forces where they are needed. During the exercise, we will particularly exercise on mastering the transition between sea, coast and land.

    In order for the Norwegian Armed Forces to be able to defend our country, we must exercise regularly. At the same time, NATO forms the foundation of the Norwegian defence. Therefore, it is vital that our allies exercise in deploying its NATO Response Force to Norway, and they must train and operate along with Norwegian forces under harsh winter condition. We also need to test and train our ability to receive and cater for the allied troops coming to Norway.

    The two previous winter exercises in Norway in 2020 and 2021 were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. This makes this year's exercise extra important.

  5. As an arctic nation, Norway has the knowledge and experience to operate under harsh winter conditions. And we are happy to share this knowledge with our NATO allies and other partners.

    Norway is centrally located in the strategically important Arctic Region. The country has vast maritime, air and land areas, ideal for military exercises. Norway's rough landscape, long coastline, narrow fjords and rugged mountains provide troops and forces with unique challenges.

    Norway also has a long tradition of hosting major allied and multinational military exercises, like exercise Trident Juncture in 2018.

  6. Russia's decision to invade Ukraine has created a demanding and serious security situation in Europe. At the same time, it is important to emphasise that Cold Response 2022 has been planned long before the war in Ukraine. The exercise is neither unexpected nor surprising to Russian authorities.

    The Norwegian Armed Forces have also regularly informed Russia about the exercise. This January, the Commander of the Norwegian Joint Headquarters held a video call with the Commander of the Russian Northern Fleet. During this call, the Russian General was updated and on the exercise.

    Russia is also used to Norway hosting major military exercises with NATO participation. Cold Response is also a defensive exercise where we exercise on defending our country. NATO is a cornerstone in the defence of Norway, which makes it important for Norway to train together with our allies in our own areas. Our allies also need to train on operating in cold weather and Norwegian arctic climate. We must test and train this ability – also now.

    Both Norway and NATO work to ensure transparency around our military exercises, and we have a profound respect of international law and regulations.

    Under the Vienna Document, all host nations are obliged to notify the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) of any major military exercises. During Cold Response 2022, Norway has invited all 57 OSCE member states – including Russia – to send observers to the exercise in Norway. On site in Norway, they will be presented with a full programme of transparency, in accordance with the Vienna Document.

Info poster about Cold Response in Ukrainian
Exercise Cold Response 2022 will generate some military traffic on roads and in the air in March. This Ukrainian-language poster can be used for informing Ukrainian refugees in Norway. The poster reads:
“Norway, NATO and partner nations exercise in Norway in order for us to maintain safety and security for our population. Because of this, you may see soldiers and military traffic on some roads. This is a long planned exercise.”