A warming climate in the Arctic makes it difficult for NATO troops to prepare for combat operations in temperatures below zero, writes Bloomberg.
According to the agency, military personnel who train in the Arctic have to deal with problems such as jammed weapons and icy runways. This is caused by fluctuations in temperature due to climate change.
Lieutenant Colonel Simen Sandum, Deputy Director of the NATO Center of Excellence for Cold Operations, spoke about the growing demand for training in combat operations in the Arctic. For a long time, Norway was the ideal place for such training, but as the warming accelerates in the country, as in much of Scandinavia, there are even greater changes in temperature and changes in snow cover.
Soldiers are at risk of becoming ill from hypothermia, so shelters must be equipped so that clothes can be dried. If snow gets inside the armament, melts, and then freezes again, it may fail. In addition, it is necessary to constantly treat the runway with anti-icing agents, which can damage fighter engines. It can also jam weapons due to temperature fluctuations, which can range from 5 degrees to minus 28 degrees during the week.
In Norway, in particular, Cold Response exercises are held every two years. They have been held by the country’s armed forces since 2006, with the exception of 2020, when they were canceled due to the pandemic. Last year, 30,000 servicemen from 27 countries took part in the exercises. The goal is to learn how to survive in harsh conditions and hone tactics in cold weather.
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