17 September 2003
NATO Conducting Crisis Response Exercise in Irish Sea
Sept. 15-26: includes demonstration of maritime
and amphibious capabilities
NATO is conducting a crisis response exercise in the Irish Sea
September 15-26 to demonstrate maritime and amphibious capabilities
and to evaluate a nuclear, biological and chemical response team
The exercise, called "Northern Light 2003," involves almost 8,500
military personnel from NATO members Belgium, Canada, Denmark,
France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain,
the United Kingdom and the United States; partner countries Sweden
and Ukraine; and aspiring partner Lithuania.
Following is a NATO press release:
EXERCISE DEMONSTRATES NATO'S MARITIME AND AMPHIBIOUS CAPABILITIES
Close to 8,500 military personnel from twelve NATO nations are
taking part in Northern Light 2003, a major NATO crisis response
exercise in the Irish Sea from 15 to 26 September.
The exercise will test the capability of NATO member forces to
respond to a crisis situation. It will also demonstrate some of
the maritime and amphibious capabilities that could be deployed
as part of the new NATO Response Force (NRF).
In particular, the exercise will see the first activation of a
NATO maritime Higher Readiness Force Headquarters, while amphibious
and land troops will be tested in a landing on the beach of Luce
Bay, Scotland on 20 September.
Seven new experimental projects will also be evaluated in the
course of the exercise, including a nuclear, biological and chemical
response team and laboratory.
NATO member countries Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany,
Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, the United Kingdom
and the United States are taking part, as well as invitee partner
nation Lithuania, and partner countries Sweden and Ukraine.
The entire exercise force will comprise 50 ships and submarines,
15 fighter aircraft, numerous military helicopters and approximately
800 amphibious and land troops.
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs,
U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)