Press Release - U.S. Army Soldiers Begin Long-Distance Transit Across Nordic Region

April 30, 2024

WIESBADEN, Germany —

Approximately 1,600 U.S. Army Soldiers and more than 200 U.S. Army vehicles started their 900-kilometer road march from Narvik, Norway, to Rovajarvi, Finland, today, marking the start of the ground phase of exercise Immediate Response 24.

Transiting across Norway, Sweden and Finland, the Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), based at Fort Johnson, Louisiana, will arrive in Finland where they will conduct multinational training as part of the U.S. Army exercise, Finland’s national exercise Northern Forest 24, and NATO’s Steadfast Defender exercise.

"The 10th Mountain Division's storied past shares a proud connection with the Finnish Army and this region," said Maj. Gen. Greg Anderson, commanding general of 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry). "We are eager and excited to be able to train with and learn from our Nordic Allies, including NATO's two newest members, and look forward to developing joint and combined warfighting excellence and capabilities both today and in the years to come."

Scheduled to occur through May 31, Immediate Response 24 involves more than 10,400 U.S. and 12,750 multi-national service members from more than 12 Allied and partner nations. Finland’s Northern Forest 24 exercise officially begins on May 26 and also concludes on May 31.

“It's a valuable training opportunity to be able to connect Immediate Response to the Finnish Army’s national Northern Forest 24 exercise. A successful logistical operation through Norway and Sweden as well as host nation support in northern Finland supported by the Finnish Defence Forces’ Logistics Command is proof of our collective ability to receive transatlantic reinforcement of allied troops and the ability of NATO to project land power anytime, anywhere,” said Lt. Gen. Pasi Välimäki, commander of the Finnish Army. “Training and operating together with our allies in our national exercises develops our interoperability and promotes peace and security in the High North.

“Furthermore, having 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, deploying to Finland is a logical next step in developing a relationship with 10th Mountain Division. This exercise further develops our combined warfighting capabilities in the North,” said Välimäki.

The tactical road march represents a milestone moment for the exercise with NATO’s newest members; Sweden and Finland, as well as several firsts including the use of the seaports in Narvik and Kalundborg, a rail gauge change, and the deployment of a light brigade combat team to the Nordic Region and NATO’s two newest members, Finland and Sweden. 

Immediate Response 24, which is one of three DEFENDER 24 sub-exercises, includes the deployment of continental U.S.-based forces, Army prepositioned stock draws, live-fire exercises, wet gap crossings, and interoperability training with Allies and partners at exercise locations in Czechia, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Norway, Poland and Sweden.

Several media opportunities are scheduled during DEFENDER 24 activities. Journalists interested in being added to the distribution list should email Follow the latest news and information on DEFENDER 24 at

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