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Joint Viking 2023

Joint Viking was the largest military exercise in Norway in 2023. Together with our allies and civilian partners, we trained on defending our country.

This is an archived page and will not be updated.

Joint Viking is a Norwegian military winter exercise held every two years. The exercise is led by the Norwegian Armed Forces, with invited forces from NATO and partner nations.

The field exercise lasts from 6 to 16 March 2023 but there will be military activity in the weeks before and after this. Some of the allied forces arrived in Norway in January and February to prepare for the exercise.


North Norway, mainly in the Inner Troms Region. The activity will be concentrated along the European highway 6 Bjerkvik–Setermoen–Bardufoss–Nordkjosbotn. There will also be some activity at sea and in the air.

Why we exercise

To ensure that the Norwegian Armed Forces are able to defend Norway, we must exercise and train regularly. In the past year, the security situation in Europe has deteriorated sharply with the ongoing war in Ukraine, along with the energy crisis and heavy inflation. In light of these events, good preparedness and well-trained military forces are more important than ever before.

This especially applies to a long and strategically located country like Norway. The exercise increases our preparedness and our capability to conduct large-scale joint operations in challenging weather and climate.


Around 20,000 soldiers from nine countries take part. Of these, 12,000 are participating in Joint Viking, while 8,000 take part in the British-led naval exercise Joint Warrior. The latter takes place in the sea along the Norwegian coast, and is closely connected with Joint Viking. Most of the participants come from Norway, the rest come from Canada, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the USA.

Around 50 aircraft and 40 vessels will be involved in the exercise. Some
Norwegian civilian organisations will also take part, as these have a
fundamental role should there be a crisis in Norway.

Joint Viking is closely connected to the British Naval exercise Joint Warrior and the Norwegian Home Guard exercise Jøssing, in southwestern Norway.

Allied reinforcements

The war in Ukraine has had enormous impact not only for Ukraine, but for the entire global security situation. This demanding backdrop makes our main mission even more relevant: Defending Norway and our values.

However, NATO is the foundation of Norway's defence. In order to be able to defend Norway, our allies must exercise on deploying to Norway. They must also know how to operate along with Norwegian forces in a harsh winter climate.

We, and our allies, need to know our own terrain and conditions. This is fresh knowledge that needs to be trained on regularly. Northern Norway also offers great exercise areas, which makes this region well-suited for a major exercise like Joint Viking.

The exercise increases our preparedness and our capability to conduct large-scale joint operations in challenging weather and climate.

The video below was made for Cold Response 2022 and explains why we practice.