Allied Special Operations Forces start their infil to the remote locations of northern Scandinavia via fixed wing aircraft and tactical aviation during Exercise Nordic Response, a part of NATO’s Steadfast Defender 2024.

Nordic Response 2024

This March, thousands of Norwegian and allied soldiers have trained on defending and protecting Nordic territory.

The Norwegian military exercise Cold Response has a long history and takes place in Northern Norway every other year. Thanks to the NATO expansion with Finland and Sweden, we expanded the exercise to a Nordic Response in 2024.

Over 20,000 soldiers from 13 allied nations took part in the exercise. Of these, approximately 10,000 exercised on land and were the most visible during the exercise. The participating nations were: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the USA.

How the exercise was conducted:

The exercise had its focal point in northern Norway, Sweden, and Finland – as well as in the corresponding airspace and sea areas. There was particularly high activity at sea with over 50 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 CH43 Super Stallion, Merlin, Cobra, and Osprey participated.

On the ground, thousands of soldiers trained on defending and protecting Nordic territory with various artillery systems, tanks, tracked vehicles, and other land vehicles.

Nordic Response 2024 is part of the record-breaking NATO exercise Steadfast Defender, which is taking place in various places in Europe throughout winter and spring 2024.

Nordic Response was also closely integrated with the British-led naval exercise Joint Warrior, which took place in the sea between Scotland, Norway, and Iceland in late February.

Where and When

The main part of the Nordic Response exercise activities took place in the northern Nordic region 3–14 March 2024. In Norway, most of the activity happened from Bjerkvik and inner Troms, extending northeast to Alta and central Finnmark. Additionally, there was significant activity in the sea areas off the coast of Troms and Finnmark.

Throughout the winter, there was also widespread allied military presence in Northern Norway, with training, preparations, and various allied exercise activities. This was done to ensure that allied forces were as well-prepared as possible to train in Nordic winter conditions.

Why do we exercise?

Nordic Response demonstrates that NATO has a clear capability, will, and strength to defend its territory and its northern flank. Through allied collaboration, we show that the alliance can operate effectively and unitedly to maintain our collective security.

NATO is the cornerstone of Nordic security. Therefore, it is essential for Norway, Finland and Sweden that allied forces regularly train in our areas. Moreover, NATO forces need continuous experience and knowledge to operate in our cold, Arctic climate.

With Finland and Sweden as allied neighbours, the exercise contributed to closer Nordic integration within NATO. The exercise also enhanced the operational total defence cooperation in the Nordic countries, leading to better collaboration in peace, crisis, and conflict.

Closer operational cooperation in the Nordic region enhances NATO's ability to defend the Nordic area.

Nordic Response has been a defensive and transparent exercise, and was conducted in accordance with international agreements and obligations.