Press Release - Over-the-Pole mission kicks off Arctic exercise between US and Norwegian armies

March 11, 2024

WIESBADEN, Germany —
U.S. Army and Norwegian Soldiers will fly over the North Pole from Alaska to conduct an airborne jump into Norway as part of Exercise Arctic Shock, a short notice planning or “SNAP” exercise, March 18-22, 2024.
The exercise near Bardufoss in northern Norway demonstrates the ability of U.S. Army Europe and Africa and U.S. Army Pacific to rapidly deploy forces from one region of the world to another on short notice.
“This type of exercise shows, once again, Alaska’s strategic location in the world and the 11th Airborne Division’s strategic value to the Army and the nation,” said Maj. Gen. Brian Eifler, 11th Airborne Division commanding general, whose Soldiers will participate in the exercise. “We value the chance to work with our Allies in the Norwegian Armed Forces and to learn advanced cold-weather warfare techniques from their vast experience while demonstrating our own growing Arctic professionalism.”
Approximately 100 service members from Norway’s 2nd Battalion will train alongside 150 Soldiers from the United States’ 11th Airborne Division as they rehearse airborne operations. The Soldiers will also conduct a field training exercise and cold-weather training to increase Arctic capabilities.
“The Arctic is a critical region for power projection and homeland defense,” Eifler said. “Maj. Gen. [Lars] Lervik [Chief of the Norwegian Army] and the Norwegian Army are great Allies, and exercises like this are effective in expanding our Arctic cooperation, practicing interoperability, and continuing to build our strategic relationships.”
Short notice exercises such as Arctic Shock help ensure participants are ready to respond to real-world contingencies with little or no advance notice.
Exercise Arctic Shock is a sub-exercise of Nordic Response, which is an associated exercise of NATO’s Exercise Steadfast Defender, the Alliance’s largest exercise in decades. Steadfast Defender demonstrates NATO’s ability to rapidly deploy forces from North America and other parts of the Alliance to reinforce the defense of Europe.
Media interested in covering Exercise Arctic Shock may contact the U.S. Army Europe and Africa Public Affairs Office at email address:, telephone number: +49-0611-143-537-0005
Multiple factors including weather can affect airborne operations and may result in changes to the exercise plan and activities.
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  • US Army Europe and Africa