Main portion of the Cold Response 16 exercise has just begun in the Scandinavia. The event is a winter training operation organized by NATO and the United Nations, and it involves members of the US Marine Corps and the US equipment deployed in Norway. 350 troops of the Polish Armed Forces are among the soldiers who are taking part in the exercise.
Cold Response operation is going to bolster collaboration between the soldiers of the armed forces involved in the exercise, and, as a result of the above, improve the allied defensive capabilities. The involved troops have a chance of working together within the framework of a high intensity operation, in uniquely adverse weather conditions, with snow, frost and a lot of night-time.
The exercise also involves the soldiers of the US Marine Corps, utilizing the equipment deployed to Norway, including the M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks. Armoured US Marines units were engaged in training operations with the Norwegian Telemark battalion, an element which, last year, took part in the Noble Jump exercise, organized in Poland. Elements equipped with the LAV armoured carriers, M777 towed howitzers or Stinger MANPADS also participated in the exercise. The latter units, equipped with the anti-aircraft weaponry, conducted a live fire training exercise.
The Polish Army sent a deployment of almost 350 troops to Norway. The personnel comes from the General Command of the Armed Forces, Special Operations Command, 12th “Szczecinska” Mechanized Division, 3rd Ship Flotilla, Naval Aviation Brigade and the Central PsyOps Group, along with the troops of the Special Forces units. ORP “Gen. T. Kościuszko” frigate, along with SH-2G helicopter, four boats and 20 utility all terrain vehicles complement the Polish component involved in the operation.
Cold Response exercise has been organized seven times so far, and northernmost regions of Sweden and Norway and the North Sea are the arena for the conducted operations. Cold Response-16 edition of the operation involves more than 15 thousand soldiers hailing from 14 countries. All off the operations carried out within the scope of the event are complementary, results of each of the segments of the exercise have an impact on the scenario of the stages realized later. Scenario of this year’s edition assumes that an allied component intervenes in a conflict area, with the conflict being caused by the neighbouring state. The aim of the operation is to re-establish peace in the region.
It is worth noting that Cold Response exercise cycle dates back to the period before the Ukrainian crisis. The Arctic region, contrary to the Central-Eastern region, was being considered to be one of the potential areas for an armed conflict.