Cold Response 2014

This is a summary of some of the best moment from the winter exercise.

A Norwegian coastal ranger enjoys the spectacular northern lights during exercise Cold Response, which has been going on in Northern Norway in recent weeks. Close to 16,000 troops from 15 different countries have participated in the exercise, training in military operations in the Arctic. Photo credit: Morten Opedal, Norwegian NavyA Norwegian coastal ranger enjoys the spectacular northern lights during exercise Cold Response, which has been going on in Northern Norway in recent weeks. Close to 16,000 troops from 15 different countries have participated in the exercise, training in military operations in the Arctic. Photo credit: Morten Opedal, Norwegian Navy


Participating soldiers have been training in extreme Arctic weather, with a blizzard one day and minus 25 degrees Celsius another. This is a Swedish squad struggling through the weather on a foot patrol. In the background is a Swedish CV90 infantry fighting vehicle. Photo credit: Lars Magne Hovtun, Norwegian Armed ForcesParticipating soldiers have been training in extreme Arctic weather, with a blizzard one day and minus 25 degrees Celsius another. This is a Swedish squad struggling through the weather on a foot patrol. In the background is a Swedish CV90 infantry fighting vehicle. Photo credit: Lars Magne Hovtun, Norwegian Armed Forces


Every winter, thousands of foreign troops train in Norway to master winter warfare. Norwegian soldiers are considered some of the best winter warriors in the world, and they’ve been sharing their cold-weather tricks with their allied comrades. During exercise Cold Response, the Norwegians have worked very closely with soldiers from the French 27th Mountain Infantry Battalion (pictured above). Photo credit: Audun Braastad, Norwegian Armed ForcesEvery winter, thousands of foreign troops train in Norway to master winter warfare. Norwegian soldiers are considered some of the best winter warriors in the world, and they’ve been sharing their cold-weather tricks with their allied comrades. During exercise Cold Response, the Norwegians have worked very closely with soldiers from the French 27th Mountain Infantry Battalion (pictured above). Photo credit: Audun Braastad, Norwegian Armed Forces


In Western countries, military exercises normally are conducted inside restricted military areas. Exercise Cold Response, however, takes place outside the military zones among civilians, in a geographic area similar to the size of Belgium. This means that the soldiers get very realistic training. Here is a tank from the Norwegian Telemark Battalion ready for battle on the busiest main road in North Norway. Photo credit: Anette Ask, Norwegian Armed ForcesIn Western countries, military exercises normally are conducted inside restricted military areas. Exercise Cold Response, however, takes place outside the military zones among civilians, in a geographic area similar to the size of Belgium. This means that the soldiers get very realistic training. Here is a tank from the Norwegian Telemark Battalion ready for battle on the busiest main road in North Norway. Photo credit: Anette Ask, Norwegian Armed Forces


The Norwegian Armed Forces has an ambition to recruit the best soldiers from each gender. In the past decade, the share of female soldiers has increased in all units, including combat units. Photo credit: Anette Ask, Norwegian Armed ForcesThe Norwegian Armed Forces has an ambition to recruit the best soldiers from each gender. In the past decade, the share of female soldiers has increased in all units, including combat units. Photo credit: Anette Ask, Norwegian Armed Forces


A Norwegian fighter pilot takes a selfie in the midst of an air battle during exercise Cold Response. Photo: Norwegian Air ForceA Norwegian fighter pilot takes a selfie in the midst of an air battle during exercise Cold Response. Photo: Norwegian Air Force


Soldiers from the French 27th Mountain Infantry Battalion had to deal with very realistic injuries during a medical exercise. Former  warriors with real amputations played the role of wounded soldiers. Photo credit: Audun Braastad, Norwegian Armed ForcesSoldiers from the French 27th Mountain Infantry Battalion had to deal with very realistic injuries during a medical exercise. Former warriors with real amputations played the role of wounded soldiers. Photo credit: Audun Braastad, Norwegian Armed Forces



The whole medical evacuation chain is practiced during exercise Cold Response. First, the soldiers on-site provide first aid, and then the injured soldier is evacuated by helicopter to one of the ArmyThe whole medical evacuation chain is practiced during exercise Cold Response. First, the soldiers on-site provide first aid, and then the injured soldier is evacuated by helicopter to one of the Army's field hospitals. Photo credit: Audun Braastad, Norwegian Armed Forces


Spectacular Arctic scenery: the Norwegian Air Force’s 339 Squadron is very well trained to fly in this challenging terrain with its Bell 412 helicopters. Photo credit: Lars Magne Hovtun, Norwegian Armed ForcesSpectacular Arctic scenery: the Norwegian Air Force’s 339 Squadron is very well trained to fly in this challenging terrain with its Bell 412 helicopters. Photo credit: Lars Magne Hovtun, Norwegian Armed Forces


Canadian soldiers are used to training in cold weather. During exercise Cold Response they also get to train with a number of other allied forces. Photo credit: Lars Magne Hovtun, Norwegian Armed ForcesCanadian soldiers are used to training in cold weather. During exercise Cold Response they also get to train with a number of other allied forces. Photo credit: Lars Magne Hovtun, Norwegian Armed Forces


His Majesty King Harald V is the Commander-in-Chief of the Norwegian Armed Forces. As a young man he served as a cavalry officer and commander of a main battle tank. During a visit to the exercise area, the king talked to many of the Norwegian and foreign soldiers. Photo credit: Simen Rudi, Norwegian Armed ForcesHis Majesty King Harald V is the Commander-in-Chief of the Norwegian Armed Forces. As a young man he served as a cavalry officer and commander of a main battle tank. During a visit to the exercise area, the king talked to many of the Norwegian and foreign soldiers. Photo credit: Simen Rudi, Norwegian Armed Forces


The Nordic countries have very close defense cooperation. Above is a Danish soldier from the Home Guard participating in exercise Cold Response. Photo credit: Håvard Hanssen, Norwegian Armed ForcesThe Nordic countries have very close defense cooperation. Above is a Danish soldier from the Home Guard participating in exercise Cold Response. Photo credit: Håvard Hanssen, Norwegian Armed Forces


The Norwegian Skjold-class corvettes are the worldThe Norwegian Skjold-class corvettes are the world's fastest naval vessels. They´re armed with the Norwegian Navy's modern NSM missiles as well as a 76mm super-rapid cannon. Photo credit: Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed Forces


A company of commandos from the British Royal Marines practices every year in northern Norway to master the extremely cold weather. During exercise Cold Response, the commandos were part of an international brigade. Photo credit: Audun Braastad, Norwegian Armed ForcesA company of commandos from the British Royal Marines practices every year in northern Norway to master the extremely cold weather. During exercise Cold Response, the commandos were part of an international brigade. Photo credit: Audun Braastad, Norwegian Armed Forces


Canadian soldiers securing an area very close to a civilian house. Locals in the exercise area have no problems with soldiers in the garden. Photo credit: Lars Magne Hovtun, Norwegian Armed ForcesCanadian soldiers securing an area very close to a civilian house. Locals in the exercise area have no problems with soldiers in the garden. Photo credit: Lars Magne Hovtun, Norwegian Armed Forces

The Norwegian Brigade North advances during a live-fire exercise in the Setermoen Shooting Range during exercise Cold Response. The heavy Leopard 2 main battle tanks in the background are protecting the soldiers advancing in the foreground. Photo credit: Simen Rudi, Norwegian Armed ForcesThe Norwegian Brigade North advances during a live-fire exercise in the Setermoen Shooting Range during exercise Cold Response. The heavy Leopard 2 main battle tanks in the background are protecting the soldiers advancing in the foreground. Photo credit: Simen Rudi, Norwegian Armed Forces


Temperatures varying from +10 to -20 degrees Celsius made the exercise especially challenging for the soldiers. Heavy snowfall and blizzards added to the extremeties. Photo credit: Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed ForcesTemperatures varying from +10 to -20 degrees Celsius made the exercise especially challenging for the soldiers. Heavy snowfall and blizzards added to the extremeties. Photo credit: Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed Forces


: During the manouvres, two teams fought against each other. The red team consisted of the Norwegian Brigade North with its 5,000 soldiers and a French mountain battalion, while the blue team consisted of an international force from Sweden, Canada, the USA, the UK and Norway. Above is a soldier from the red team on patrol in the exercise area. Photo credit: Audun Braastad, Norwegian Armed Forces: During the manouvres, two teams fought against each other. The red team consisted of the Norwegian Brigade North with its 5,000 soldiers and a French mountain battalion, while the blue team consisted of an international force from Sweden, Canada, the USA, the UK and Norway. Above is a soldier from the red team on patrol in the exercise area. Photo credit: Audun Braastad, Norwegian Armed Forces


Although it seems strange, flying a helicopter in the Arctic and in the desert is very similar. When the helicopter lands, snow whirls up and dazzles the pilot, just like sand in the desert. Training in the snowy landscape is therefore directly transferable to operations in desert areas. Photo credit: Lars Magne Hovtun, Norwegian Armed ForcesAlthough it seems strange, flying a helicopter in the Arctic and in the desert is very similar. When the helicopter lands, snow whirls up and dazzles the pilot, just like sand in the desert. Training in the snowy landscape is therefore directly transferable to operations in desert areas. Photo credit: Lars Magne Hovtun, Norwegian Armed Forces


An amphibious landing craft from the Dutch navy disembarks troops at the idyllic Sørreisa in northern Norway. This vessel allows the marines to be put ashore in a hostile environment. Photo credit: Ole-Sverre Haugli, Norwegian Armed ForcesAn amphibious landing craft from the Dutch navy disembarks troops at the idyllic Sørreisa in northern Norway. This vessel allows the marines to be put ashore in a hostile environment. Photo credit: Ole-Sverre Haugli, Norwegian Armed Forces


Dutch marines disembark from an amphibious landing craft. They have come from the much larger HNLMS Rotterdam, farther offshore in the fjord. Photo credit: Ole-Sverre Haugli, Norwegian Armed ForcesDutch marines disembark from an amphibious landing craft. They have come from the much larger HNLMS Rotterdam, farther offshore in the fjord. Photo credit: Ole-Sverre Haugli, Norwegian Armed Forces



A Norwegian soldier marking with a laser pointer where his explosive-detection dog should search. During international missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, soldiers lived under a constant threat of car bombs and improvised explosive devices; it was important to utilize the dogA Norwegian soldier marking with a laser pointer where his explosive-detection dog should search. During international missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, soldiers lived under a constant threat of car bombs and improvised explosive devices; it was important to utilize the dog's excellent senses to defend against the deadly bombs. The laser pointer is used to indicate where the dog should search without exposing the dog’s handler to the danger area. Photo credit: Simen Rudi, Norwegian Armed Forces

Four Norwegian F16 fighter jets conduct a low pass during exercise Cold Response. The air exercise area is larger than the total land area of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg combined. Photo credit: Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed ForcesFour Norwegian F16 fighter jets conduct a low pass during exercise Cold Response. The air exercise area is larger than the total land area of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg combined. Photo credit: Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed Forces

Soldiers are able to protect themselves against chemical, biological and radioactive weapons. When using gas masks and protective suits, modern soldiers can operate in all kinds of polluted environments. Photo credit: Ole-Sverre Haugli, Norwegian Armed ForcesSoldiers are able to protect themselves against chemical, biological and radioactive weapons. When using gas masks and protective suits, modern soldiers can operate in all kinds of polluted environments. Photo credit: Ole-Sverre Haugli, Norwegian Armed Forces

A Norwegian surveillance aircraft makes a low pass over the exercise area. Normally the Orion aircraft are on patrol over the vast Arctic waters that Norway controls. Photo credit: Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed ForcesA Norwegian surveillance aircraft makes a low pass over the exercise area. Normally the Orion aircraft are on patrol over the vast Arctic waters that Norway controls. Photo credit: Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed Forces

Soldiers from the French 27th Mountain Infantry Battalion advance during exercise Cold Response. Using helicopters and cross-country skies, they managed to sneak around and surprise the enemy during the exercise. Photo credit: Audun Braastad, Norwegian Armed ForcesSoldiers from the French 27th Mountain Infantry Battalion advance during exercise Cold Response. Using helicopters and cross-country skies, they managed to sneak around and surprise the enemy during the exercise. Photo credit: Audun Braastad, Norwegian Armed Forces

Many of the worldMany of the world's best Special Forces also participate in exercise Cold Response. They can train in an enormous exercise area under extreme and widely varying weather conditions. Here are two members of the Norwegian Naval Special Operations Command. Photo: Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed Forces

For several years, the Norwegian Special Forces have trained and worked with an Afghan special police unit in Kabul. In the heat of battle, the Norwegians stood shoulder-to-shoulder with their Afghan colleagues and turned back a number of large terrorist attacks. Photo: Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed ForcesFor several years, the Norwegian Special Forces have trained and worked with an Afghan special police unit in Kabul. In the heat of battle, the Norwegians stood shoulder-to-shoulder with their Afghan colleagues and turned back a number of large terrorist attacks. Photo: Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed Forces

Two Norwegian costal rangers use specialized snowmobiles to manouvre along the snow-covered coastline of Norway. Photo credit: Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed ForcesTwo Norwegian costal rangers use specialized snowmobiles to manouvre along the snow-covered coastline of Norway. Photo credit: Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed Forces

A Norwegian coastal ranger scouts for enemy activity from a hidden observation post. The Norwegian Naval Special Warfare Group specializes in military operations in coastal areas. Photo credit: Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed ForcesA Norwegian coastal ranger scouts for enemy activity from a hidden observation post. The Norwegian Naval Special Warfare Group specializes in military operations in coastal areas. Photo credit: Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed Forces

Including weapons, ammunition, a combat vest and a rucksack, each soldier has to carry up to 40 kg when out on a mission. Photo credit: Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed ForcesIncluding weapons, ammunition, a combat vest and a rucksack, each soldier has to carry up to 40 kg when out on a mission. Photo credit: Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed Forces

A soldier from the Norwegian Home Guard’s Response Force protects a frigate while it is at port in Harstad. Even the Home Guard soldiers have received some of the worldA soldier from the Norwegian Home Guard’s Response Force protects a frigate while it is at port in Harstad. Even the Home Guard soldiers have received some of the world's most advanced military equipment. Photo credit: Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed Forces


The worst weather is snow, wind and temperatures around zero degrees Celsius, according to the soldiers on exercise. Everything gets wet and cold, and the cold is the worst. Norwegian soldiers use thermal wool underwear and special equipment to keep warm, and much of this equipment is also used by the foreign soldiers participating in the exercise. Photo credit: Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed ForcesThe worst weather is snow, wind and temperatures around zero degrees Celsius, according to the soldiers on exercise. Everything gets wet and cold, and the cold is the worst. Norwegian soldiers use thermal wool underwear and special equipment to keep warm, and much of this equipment is also used by the foreign soldiers participating in the exercise. Photo credit: Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed Forces



The Norwegian coastline is one of the longest in the world. It would reach three times around the earth, if stretched out. Therefore it is important for Norway to have experts in military operations along the cold Arctic coastline. Here is a boat with a squad of coastal rangers ready for covert infiltration during exercise Cold Response. Photo credit: Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed ForcesThe Norwegian coastline is one of the longest in the world. It would reach three times around the earth, if stretched out. Therefore it is important for Norway to have experts in military operations along the cold Arctic coastline. Here is a boat with a squad of coastal rangers ready for covert infiltration during exercise Cold Response. Photo credit: Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed Forces

Under the cover of twilight, a costal ranger patrol approaches the beach unseen. The Norwegian soldiers are using the most modern equipment in the world and are very well trained. "If a soldier can operate under extreme Arctic conditions, he can operate anywhere," Lieutenant General Morten Haga Lunde, head of exercise Cold Response, says. Photo credit: Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed ForcesUnder the cover of twilight, a costal ranger patrol approaches the beach unseen. The Norwegian soldiers are using the most modern equipment in the world and are very well trained. "If a soldier can operate under extreme Arctic conditions, he can operate anywhere," Lieutenant General Morten Haga Lunde, head of exercise Cold Response, says. Photo credit: Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed Forces