Norwegian-led NATO military exercise to have 5,000 fewer participants than planned

Norwegian soldiersPhoto: Anette Ask Forsvaret / NTB

The number of participants in the Norwegian-led military exercise Cold Response (CR22) is being reduced from 35,000 to 30,000.

“It is up to the respective countries to allocate their forces according to their wishes and needs, and in light of the tense security policy situation, it is also understandable,” sergeant major Preben Aursand at the Armed Forces’ operational headquarters (FOH) told Forsvarets forum.

The exercise is still being carried out as planned in March and April, with soldiers from 27 NATO countries participating. Aursand did not say which countries downsized the number of soldiers.

Initially, there were supposed to be 28 countries in Cold Response, but Australia has withdrawn from the exercise. 

Aursand also added that the Russian military activity and presence in the north is somewhat higher and “dynamic” but nevertheless emphasized that there was no change in the threat assessment from Norway’s point of view.

“There is a normal activity in our immediate areas. Russia will probably want to follow the exercise, just as we do when they hold exercises,” he said.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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