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COLD RESPONSE 2022 Turns Hot

French VAB wheeled armoured personnel carriers of the 126e Régiment d’Infanterie (126e RI) of the 9e BIMa roll ashore [© Carl Schulze]

The Norwegian invitational exercise COLD RESPONSE 2022 turned hot today as two amphibious landings put French and US Marines ashore in Troms, reports Carl Schulze.


COLD RESPONSE exercises have been held regularly in northern Norway every second year since 2002, with exception of the 2020 edition which was cancelled due to COVID-19. These exercises are national Norwegian training events, to which the Scandinavian country invites NATO allies and members of the NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme to participate. Exercise COLD RESPONSE 2022 started on the 14th of March and will continue up to the 1st of April 2022.

French Marines of the 9e Brigade d’Infanterie de Marine (BIMa) were put ashore from the LHD Dixmude at Grov [© Carl Schulze]

The main aims of the COLD RESPONSE exercise series are to allow troops to train under harsh winter condition and to enhance interoperability between Norwegian forces and their allies. Exercise COLD RESPONSE 2022 (CR22) involves over 30,000 troops from 27 countries. Of these, 14,000 are ground troops, 8,000 are sailors and marines, and the remaining 8,000 are air force personnel and staff officers based at various headquarters and military bases across Norway. Several civilian agencies also participate in this major training event.

The Dutch LPD HNLMS Rotterdam seen from Blue Beach, where US Marines of II MEF were put ashore in the vicinity of Sandstrand [© Carl Schulze]

The ‘ground war’ phase of CR22 will mainly take place in the Nordland Province of Norway, in an area between Narvik, Harstad and Nordkjosbotn, along the E6 highway. The participating ground forces are divided into a North Force and a South Force and will conduct offensive, defensive and delaying operations.

The US Marines deployed ashore from Dutch Land Craft Utility (LCU) in borrowed Norwegian Bandvagn BV206 over-snow and all-terrain vehicles [© Carl Schulze]

On Monday 21st March two amphibious landings marked the end of the troop deployment phase and on the 22nd the combat operations will begin. Those amphibious landings saw US Marines of the II Marine Expeditionary Forces (II MEF) being put ashore from the Landing Platform Dock (LPD) HNLMS Rotterdam in the vicinity of Sandstrand and French Marines of the 9e Brigade d’Infanterie de Marine (BIMa) being put ashore from the French Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) Dixmude at Grov, around 20km to the east.

VBL light armoured reconnaissance vehicles deploy from the French beach inland [© Carl Schulze]
A French AMX 10 RCR SEPAR reconnaissance vehicle provides cover for the French landing zone in the vicinity of Grov [© Carl Schulze]
US Marines of the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment provide cover for Blue Beach in the vicinity of Sandstrand [© Carl Schulze]

To be continued…..

[Text and images © Carl Schulze]

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