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Main battles of Exercise Nordic Response 24 begin

Publication date 7.3.2024 10.18 | Published in English on 7.3.2024 at 15.40
Press release
panssarivaunu lumisessa maastossa

Part of the main battles of the military exercise that is part of NATO’s Steadfast Defender 24 series take place in the Hetta and Kivilompolo road area from March 7 to March 9. The battles will have an effect on the traffic in the region.

The exercise simulates a scenario where the northern region of the Alliance is attacked, activating Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty that commits the Allies to defend the area under attack. Allied countries and Sweden have deployed forces to the area with intense battles starting on Thursday, March 7. Troops from the Finnish Army will fight in a division consisting of Finnish, Swedish, and British soldiers and Finnish, Swedish, and Norwegian troops led by a Norwegian battalion will fight on the opposing side. The exercise simulates a situation where an external force attacks the Nordic countries. This allows soldiers on both sides to practice valuable skills, such as reclaiming territories and delaying opponents.

In practice, the battle phase can be seen and heard in the Finnish and Norwegian border areas through sounds of training ammunition and the movement of equipment.

The exercise simulates a real situation

The exercise aims to simulate a real situation involving real combat movements planned by the leaders. Therefore, road closures in the area occur occasionally to enable operational activities and tactical movements of troops.

The main battles significantly affect traffic on road 93 between Hetta and Kivilompolo, continuing into Norway all the way up to the intersection of E45 and road 92. Approximately 4,000 Finnish, Swedish, and Norwegian soldiers and hundreds of vehicles are on the move in the area.

Brief traffic disruptions are expected during the initial stages of battles from March 7-8 between Hetta and Palojärvi and from March 9-10 between Palojärvi and the border area. Outside movement on the road during the battles will be assisted or guided if traffic occurs near roadblocks. A speed limit has also been imposed north of Leppäjärvi.