Norway orders snap drill of 2,000 soldiers above Arctic Circle

Norwegian soldiers dressed for cold climate. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)
The snap drill was kick-started Tuesday with the aim to train multiple defense tasks, the Army informs in a press-statement.

The Northern Brigade is the only brigade in the Norwegian Army and is based in mid-Troms, well north of the Arctic Circle. The brigade consists of several battalions, including a motorized infantry, armoured vehicles, combat engineering, intelligence, artillery, logistics, communication and medics.

Also soldiers with the Norwegian Home Guard participate in the snap drill that will last for the rest of the week.

In May, the Northern Brigade had its last snap drill. Then, forces were moved towards Evenes airport west of Narvik. This airport will within some few years serve as the High North forward base for the new F-35 jet fighters and the new fleet of maritime surveillance planes. Another snap drill took place last November when troops were moved northeast to Tana in Finnmark.

Skibotn, were troops are now being moved, was during the Cold War believed to be of strategic importance in Norway’s war scenarios in case of a Soviet invasion from the northeast through Finnish Lapland.

Next year, Norway will host NATO’s high-visibility exercise Trident Juncture. Some 35,000 soldiers from up to 30 nations will participate the Norwegian Defense announces.

Trident Juncture exercises take place every third year and is NATO’s major exercise. In 2015, Trident Juncture took place in Portugal, Spain and Italy while next year, military training in cold climate is the focus.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Surveillance and search and rescue top Canada’s Arctic defence priorities, Radio Canada International

Denmark: Denmark’s new defence agreement renews focus on protecting the Baltic, Radio Canada International

Finland:  Finnish Air Force starts biggest aviation drills of the year, Yle News

Norway:  Norway beefs up military presence in Finnmark, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Large areas in Barents and Kara Seas closed off for missiles shooting, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden’s Prime Minister reaffirms commitment to country’s defense, Radio Sweden

United States: Here’s what’s in the U.S. Defense Department’s new Arctic strategy, Alaska Dispatch News

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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