Beneath the mesmerizing veil of the Northern Lights and guided by the shimmering stars of the polar night, more than 5000 soldiers of all services have been operating in arduous polar conditions, North of latitude 71 (500mi North of Fairbanks, Alaska). In this Hoth-like environment, where temperatures can drop to -40C (-40F), the Norwegian Joint Forces have been conducting strategic deployment and live firing for almost two weeks.
The exercise, which is named “Joint Viking” is the largest manoeuvre in the Norwegian gateway to the Arctic for 4 decades. The manoeuvre has been conducted from the icy steps of Finnmark to the frozen and unforgiving grasp of the Barents Sea. The military range in Halkavarre is the home base of the Allied Training Centre for winter warfare. The challenging terrain and climate provide excellent training for the Norwegian Joint Forces and the hospitable local communities provide an impeccable back drop for a demanding exercise.
Never before have the Norwegians conducted a live fire exercise of this magnitude in this region. The highly trained forces are rigorously conditioned in the High North. During the exercise they have demonstrated that they are the definitive masters of these gruelling elements.