On 25 March, Minister for Defence Peter Hultqvist and the other Nordic defence ministers observed the Cold Response 2022 exercise in Norway. Conducted primarily in northern Norway, the exercise involves approximately 30 000 participants from 27 countries, including approximately 1 500 Swedish enlisted personnel and officers.
Sweden takes part with a number of ground units that, together with Finnish units, make up a reduced brigade combat group. Units from Norrbotten Air Force F 21 Wing also take part with JAS 39 Gripen planes. In total, approximately 150 enlisted personnel and officers from F 21 take part in the exercise.
“The aim of Sweden’s participation is to strengthen our national defence capability and increase the collective capability of the Swedish Armed Forces to respond to an attack against Sweden and against our neighbourhood. Participating in the exercise is an important part of the evolving cooperation with our close partners, the other Nordic countries and NATO. Through exercises like this, we demonstrate which resources we are able to mobilise if necessary,” says Minister for Defence Peter Hultqvist.
Swedish contribution to Cold Response 2022
The participating Swedish ground units consist of approximately 1 500 enlisted personnel and officers from Norrbotten Regiment, Norrland Dragoon Regiment, Boden Artillery Regiment, Göta Logistic Regiment, the Armed Forces Technical School, the Armed Forces Centre for Defence Medicine, the Army Staff and the Land Warfare Centre.
The exercise is held in ground exercise areas in multiple regions of Norway. The ground exercise area in northern Norway extends from Narvik in the south to Finnmark in the north. The Swedish-Finnish brigade combat group operates predominantly in Troms county.
Part of these manoeuvres take place in Swedish territory, involving the transport of foreign units to and from the exercise and some smaller phases of the exercise in northern Sweden.
Organised every second year
Cold Response is organised in the month of March every second year. Norway and Sweden are joined in the exercise by Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States and Turkey.
Cold Response 2022
The exercise is held from 14 March to 1 April 2022 and takes place primarily in the northern regions of Norway. A total of approximately 30 000 participants from 27 countries are expected to take part. NATO Member Countries, partner countries and Partnership for Peace countries are invited. The exercise is a recurring Norwegian-led multinational exercise held in cooperation with NATO. Sweden has taken part in Cold Response since 2006.
NATO Secretary General visits exercise Cold Response in Norway
Last updated: 25 Mar. 2022 14:17
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met troops participating in exercise Cold Response in northern Norway on Friday (25 March 2022). The Secretary General said Cold Response shows NATO unity and strength in action, with forces from Europe and North America training together.
30,000 personnel are taking part of the Norwegian-led exercise, including NATO’s closest partners Finland and Sweden. 220 aircraft have been deployed, as well as 50 ships, including two aircraft carrier groups from the United Kingdom and Italy.
Mr. Stoltenberg said the High North was a region of strategic importance for NATO and that in recent years there had been a significant increase in Russian military activity in the region. He underlined that NATO’s presence in the area is not to provoke a conflict but to prevent conflict and to preserve peace.
The Secretary General said Cold Response demonstrates NATO’s ability to defend against any threat, from any direction. It shows how the Alliance can deploy a large number of forces to the High North and while also sending troops to eastern Europe, as part of NATO’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Secretary General explained that Cold Response is a defensive and long-planned exercise. Norway invited all 57 members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe to observe the exercise but Russia declined that invitation.