Activities begin this month in Finland and Norway as part of exercise Arctic Forge.
Arctic Forge 23 is a U.S. Army Europe and Africa-led umbrella exercise for U.S. contributions to partner-hosted exercises in Finland and Norway, focused on building Arctic military capabilities and cooperation.
"Whether we are campaigning, competing, responding to crisis or in conflict, winning matters," said U.S. Army Europe and Africa Commanding General, Gen. Darryl A. Williams. "And we must win in any engagement, including and especially the Arctic, where over-the-pole exercises like this with the Total Army and with our Allies and partners not only protect U.S. national security interests, but ensure a safe and secure region."
The exercise takes place from Feb. 16 through March 17, 2023, and will strengthen existing partnerships and attract new like-minded partners to meet shared challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities in the Arctic.
Arctic Forge 23 includes Finland's Defense Exercise North, and exercise Joint Viking in Norway.
The goal of Defense Exercise North is to demonstrate readiness by deploying a combat-credible force to enhance power in NATO's northern flank in support of our partner Finland, an aspiring NATO member.
Defense Exercise North begins when U.S. Army personnel from the 11th Airborne Division, will deploy from Alaska to Finland. This portion of the exercise will include an over-the-pole flight. They are augmented by personnel from the 10th Mountain Division and Virginia Army National Guard, deploying from New York and Virginia to Finland. The 280 U.S. Army personnel will train alongside approximately 550 military personnel from Finland, focusing on commanding and controlling a multinational force at the battalion level, modernization and experimentation.
"The Arctic Angels are excited to continue training with our Arctic Allies and partners, and we look forward to working with and learning from the Arctic experts from the Finnish Defence Forces, especially the Maavoimat, as we continue our role as America's Arctic professionals," said Maj. Gen. Brian Eifler, commanding general of the 11th Airborne Division.
Approximately 730 U.S. Marines from II Marine Expeditionary Force and 200 U.S. Army personnel are participating in exercise Joint Viking alongside more than 10,090 combined military personnel from Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and the United Kingdom.
"This is an incredible opportunity to team up Marines and Sailors from across the Marine Air-Ground Task Force with our U.S. Army and NATO European Allies and partners," said Lieutenant General David A. Ottignon, commanding general, II Marine Expeditionary Force. "Our relationships with our Nordic partners and Allies have never been better. We learn so much from training with them and enhancing our ability to sustain ourselves and operate in the high north. We are more survivable and lethal in austere environments because of exercises like Joint Viking."
During Joint Viking, U.S. Army personnel participating will conduct winter warfare and maneuver training with their multinational counterparts providing indirect fires from the 41st Field Artillery Brigade, and air defense integration from the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, into Norwegian Land Forces operations. Additionally, staff augmentation from the 56th Artillery Command and the 21st Theater Sustainment Command will integrate with their Norwegian counterparts to assist with the joint fires process, and train on winter warfare logistics.
The U.S. Army trains and equips its forces to operate in extreme cold, high altitude, and variable weather conditions and operates alongside Allied and partner Arctic nations, which demonstrates our resolve to securing national interests in the Arctic region.
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