NATO’s Strategic Signaling to Russia

NATO is conducting its largest exercises since the Cold War in the frigid fjords of northern Norway, aiming to send a message to Russia that its members are ready to defend each other if needed.

The training aims to cover all eventualities, including trying to catch troops off guard.

The French frigate Normandie crew is currently working to locate and destroy a submarine that has entered Norwegian waters.

The submarine, belonging to Germany, was acting as an enemy vessel for the war games dubbed Nordic Response 2024.

The Normandie crew spotted its periscope poking through the waves and sprang into action, aiming to score an imaginary torpedo hit on a nearby Italian ship, the aircraft carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi.

French frigate Normandie, in service since 2020, was hit by a German submarine in the Arctic. Capt. Thomas Vuong prepared the frigate’s submarine-hunting helicopter for flight.

The frigate and its helicopter used their sonar to pinpoint the submarine’s position and attacked it in turn.

The French navy confirmed that there were no friendly submarines in the sector, allowing the frigate to fire a torpedo and destroy the submarine.

The frigate and helicopter accurately identified the submarine, ensuring its survival if actual torpedoes were fired.

The Normandie crew of 146 mariners had no advance warning of the attack, testing their readiness in the inhospitable environment above the Arctic Circle.

As of this week, NATO nations now include Sweden as the 32nd member, ending decades of post-World War II neutrality.

Finland joined NATO in April 2023, marking a historic move after decades of military nonalignment.

Russia’s aggression in Ukraine has led to Finland, Norway, and Sweden applying to join the trans-Atlantic alliance in May 2022.

A NATO exercise called Steadfast Defender 24 in the northern regions of Finland, Norway, and Sweden involves over 20,000 soldiers from 13 nations.

The drill aims to demonstrate NATO’s ability to defend its territory up to Russia’s borders.

German submariners are more familiar with Norway’s deep and narrow fjords and cold Arctic waters, which can complicate submarine detection.

The drill is beneficial as it provides a high degree of realism, allowing better preparation for teams.

The fjords are a special environment with a different temperature profile than the Atlantic. Training teams against this threat is valuable and stimulating.

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