Major exercise begins in Narvik: Practicing Norway’s Role as a Transit Country for Allied Forces Going to Sweden and Finland

Fra Narvik Havn
Securing allied reception. The Home Guard is in charge of force protection when the Americans arrive at the Port of Narvik this week. (Archive photo: the Norwegian Armed Forces)

This week, a US ship with military personnel will arrive in Narvik, Northern Norway, in connection with the military exercise Immediate Response 2024. Several hundred American vehicles and containers will be unloaded in the Port of Narvik to be further transported via Sweden to an exercise in Finland.

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The Ofoten region and the port of Narvik in Northern Norway will serve as the entrance to Sweden and Finland during the major military exercise Immediate Response 2024.

As part of the exercise, an American ship will arrive in the Port of Narvik on April 24th, where it will unload over 200 vehicles and more than 300 containers. That is revealed in a press release from the Norwegian Army.

The US force arriving in Norway is the US Army 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team from the 10th Mountain Division, which is transported from Virginia, USA, to Finland for further exercise activities.

By train and road via Sweden

The Americans will unload personnel, vehicles, and containers with equipment in Narvik. Afterward, personnel and material will be transported by train and road to Finland via Sweden.

Immediate Response will practice Norway's role as a transit country for allied forces going to Sweden and Finland.

This includes reception, support with supplies, and support for further transport. There will be border crossing over Bjørnfjell and transport of personnel and material through Sweden to the training area for the Northern Forest exercise, in which a Norwegian force from the Finnmark Land Defense (FLF) also will participate.

Major exercise activity in several countries

Immediate Response, which is part of the series of exercises called Steadfast Defender, consists of several activities between April 21st to May 31st, 2024. 

Exercise activities will be held in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Poland.

More than 10,000 from the US and over 12,000 soldiers from NATO and partner countries are participating. There are also participants from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and the UK.

Immediate Response 24 and Steadfast Defender

During Immediate Response 2024, American forces will exercise with several NATO countries.

The exercise showcases the US' ability and will to rapidly reinforce and defend Europe, the Nordics, and Norway. This is practiced under the exercise umbrella Steadfast Defender, which takes place throughout 2024 and which Immediate Response is part of. 

Source: the Norwegian Armed Forces.

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