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Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Defence exercise Northern Viking 2022 to take place in Iceland

From the 2017 Dynamic Mongoose exercise - mynd

The defence exercise Northern Viking 2022 will take place in Iceland and surrounding waters on 2-14 April. The main purpose of the exercise is to practice the defence of the sea routes around Iceland and important security infrastructure, as well as search and rescue operations at sea and on land. Northern Viking is a periodic joint defence exercise of Iceland and the United States, with the participation of other allied and partner nations.

The Northern Viking defence exercise has been held since 1982 and is based on the provisions of the 1951 Defence Agreement between Iceland and the United States. The exercise was originally scheduled to take place in early 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The aim of the exercise includes practising the defence of the sea routes around Iceland and of important structures and security infrastructure, e.g. telecommunications cables. The participants will also practice the search and rescue of civilians, with the Icelandic Coast Guard and police. Northern Viking includes an amphibious landing of American marines at Miðsandur in Hvalfjörður. The landing is planned for 11 April and temporary traffic restrictions may be expected in the area on the day. Members of the media will be invited to observe the exercise and related events, to the extent possible.

The exercise is open for participation of NATO allies and partners. The naval forces of the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Norway have confirmed participation. Military vessels from these states will practice defending the sea routes to the south of Iceland and will participate in a submarine search off the coast of Iceland, with anti-submarine aircraft and helicopters.

Just over 700 participants are expected to take part in the exercise in Iceland, around half of whom will be situated at Keflavík Air Base. After the exercise, two to four military vessels are expected to dock in Reykjavik.

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