NATO Allies and partners conclude exercises Northern Challenge 23 and Northern Spirit 23 in Iceland

  • 21 Sep. 2023 - 04 Oct. 2023
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  • Last updated: 06 Oct. 2023 19:00

Two NATO exercises involving Allies and partners have conclude in Keflavik, Iceland: Northern Challenge 23 and Northern Spirit 23. Northern Challenge is an annual exercise led by the Icelandic Coast Guard, aimed at delivering the most modernised explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) and improvised device devices disposal (IEDD) training globally. The exercise took place from 21 September to 4 October.

“Northern Challenge 23 was a great success, where Allied nations and partners trained against complex scenarios in the improvised explosive device realm,” said exercise manager Lieutenant Asgeir Gudjonsson. “This exercise strengthened the bonds between specialists in the field of operations to combat future threats,” he added. 

A total of 430 participants from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, United Kingdom, the United States, and partner nations Austria, New Zealand, and Sweden took part in Northern Challenge 23. Participants tested their skills dealing with simulated improvised explosive devices challenging their problem-solving skills, in a realistic scenario. 

Closely collaborating with Northern Challenge, exercise Northern Spirit 23 involved sharing biometrics and identity information in a simulation of NATO-led operations. Spearheaded by the NATO Emerging Security Challenges Division (ESC) through the Defence against Terrorism Program of Work, the exercise leadership was the responsibility of the NCI Agency’s Joint Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Centre. Dr Cristian Coman, the exercise director of Northern Spirit said that the integration with Northern Challenge had improved the readiness in fighting anonymous threats.