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Swedish exercise Northern Wind challenges NATO and Partner nations

NORRBOTTEN, Sweden – Sweden's exercise NORTHERN WIND 19, currently underway in the northeastern part of the country until Mar. 27, is hosting some 7,000 forces and equipment from Finland, Norway, United Kingdom and the United States of America, providing the opportunity to test national supply chains, embarkation points and re-supply.

With NATO's adaptation and focus on enablement and mobility, exercising in Cold Weather environments provides additional challenges for Alliance and Partner members.

"The deployment from home bases to various exercise locations in Northern Sweden has been a tremendous success. Considering the environment, weather conditions and the variety of equipment this is no small feat and a credit to the participants," said Colonel Johan Skiöld, Deputy Exercise Director, Swedish Army. "The planning and civil-military co-operation has been exemplary and I am very proud of what has been achieved so far, especially for those who have travelled to Sweden to participate."
Exercise Northern Wind 19 is underway in northern Sweden testing NATO and partner nations in extreme cold weather environments. -Photo by Jesper Sundström/Försvarsmakten

Exercise NORTHERN WIND 19 is taking place in the north where the terrain, supply routes and sub-zero temperatures will add another dimension to military exercises. Swedish and Finnish forces will combine to defend territory against the exercise enemy consisting of American, British and Norwegian troops. Exercise play will be free moving and this will make logistical supply and re-supply vital.  

"My team and I are well versed in re-supplying our Norwegian manoeuvre battalions but this exercise will allow us to test our procedures and ability to supply larger multi-national and mobile forces in a fluid battle environment," said Lieutenant Colonel Stein Grongstad, Commander Logistical Battalion Norwegian Army. "Our integration with other national logistic teams has been seamless so far and already our techniques tactics and procedures are regulated and standardised. I am also very grateful for the support given by the Swedish Armed Forces as the Host Nation."  

For Exercise NORTHERN WIND 19 participating Finnish Defence Forces crossed well controlled border points at Haparanda where customs and security procedures were also tested. A key aim of this exercise was to ensure cross-border requirements were met which will be again tested at the end in the re-deployment phase. The deployment of multi-national fighting forces requires detailed planning and preparation months in advance.  

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

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