Peace Time: May 24, 2001


NATO has completed the large Joint Winter 2001 exercise in Norway. This included the Norwegian 6th Division and units from France, Germany, the US, Britain, Poland, and Italy. One of the 6th Division's brigades, Brigade North, was converted into a multi-national brigade for the exercise, including a French mountain infantry battalion, a German artillery battalion, and a British Marine Company. The Brigade was commanded by French Brigadier General Jean-Marc de Giuli, the first time that a foreign general has commanded a Norwegian brigade. The exercise designed to exercise the 6th Division as a complete NATO combat organization, while also exercising Brigade North as a multi-national unit that could take part in a future peacekeeping mission. The exercise included three battalion-sized airmobile night assaults. Warships and aircraft from several nations also participated, and the Norwegian Ranger Regiment was exercised as a "deep battle force". Participation of British troops was limited due to the hoof-and-mouth epidemic in the UK to troops which arrived in Norway months ago, those which came from Germany, and a few key units which had to undergo rigorous decontamination procedures.--Stephen V Cole


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