NATO Launches Massive Response Drill

NATO Launches Massive Response Drill

( – Twice a year, NATO puts together a series of exercises for allied and partner armed forces. The groups venture out into the wilderness, using extreme weather and other conditions to sharpen their skills in preparation for defending each other during a threat or crisis. The extensive operation typically takes place in the Arctic region of Norway, but this year, NATO is expanding the training mission.

On March 4, The Nordic Times reported that the Nordic Response 24 national military exercise (previously Cold Response) was underway. This time, the training will take place across the Baltic region, starting in Germany and moving through Poland and the Baltic Sea this winter. The announcement stated that the exercise is Norwegian-led and involves Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Sweden. Finland joined NATO in April 2023, and Sweden just got the green light to join as well.

About 20,000 troops from 14 countries will practice together to strengthen their readiness during the exercise. That includes more than 4,000 soldiers from Finland and around 4,500 from Sweden’s air force, army, and navy. Maneuvers during this stretch will run from March 4 through March 15. In addition to the nations already mentioned, Belgium, Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United States are all participating in this leg of the Nordic Response 24.

Fox News shared a statement from the Finnish Defense Forces, which stated this event will be the first time Finland “participate[s] as a NATO member nation” in such an exercise. About half of the troops involved will practice maneuvers on land, and the remaining military members will train at sea. The Norwegian Armed Forces stated the training location was strategically chosen to “increase Nordic preparedness” to be able to “conduct large-scale joint operations” in harsh conditions.

Commander of the Norwegian Air Operations Center with the Royal Norwegian Air Force Brigadier Tron Strand said the “current security situation in Europe” makes the combined readiness and training “extremely relevant” and “important.”

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