Exercise Cold Response 2022 – NATO and partner forces face the freeze in Norway
What does it take to defend, fight and survive in an Arctic environment? What do you do if you fall through the ice while wearing 20 kilograms of military gear? Cold Response 2022 is a long-planned exercise bringing together thousands of troops from NATO Allies and partners, testing their ability to work together in cold weather conditions across Norway – on land, in the air and at sea.
Over the coming weeks, Allied 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. Cold Response 2022 is bringing together Allies from Europe and North America, demonstrating the enduring transatlantic bond at the heart of NATO.
- WHO: Around 30,000 troops from 27 countries from Europe and North America
- WHAT: Training together in cold weather exercises – on land, in the air and at sea
- WHERE: NATO Ally Norway and surrounding seas
- WHEN: March-April 2022
- WHY: Helping Allies and partners practise working together so that they are prepared for any situation
Cold Response 2022 is a long-planned and regular exercise, which Norway hosts biannually. This year's exercise was announced over eight months ago. 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.
Did you know? Norway was a founding member of NATO in 1949.
Why did Norway, a neutral country with close links to its neighbours, join an Atlantic alliance in 1949 instead of a Scandinavian union? How did Norwegians encourage greater cultural and economic cooperation among NATO Allies? And who was the "Breakfast Diplomat"? Find out on NATO Declassified!
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 do we exercise?
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 area.
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.