HMS Iron Duke arrives in Oslo following NATO exercise

Topic: Fighting armsSurface Fleet

Royal Navy frigate HMS Iron Duke has sailed into Oslo, Norway following a two-week multinational exercise with NATO forces.

Over the weekend the Portsmouth-based warship will host the British Ambassador while also opening her gangway for members of the public to see how the ship works and functions.

HMS Iron Duke will be berthed outboard of ESPS Cantabria for the visit and will be opening her gangway to the public on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 March between 10am to 12noon and 3pm to 5pm each day.

The exercise from which she has returned, Cold Response, is held annually by the Norwegian Navy and includes air, land and sea units with approximately 15,000 Service personnel.

HMS Iron Duke’s sister ship HMS Sutherland also took part with the two ships meeting up in Trondheim before the exercise started. 

Sisters aside, the two ships were then put on opposing sides for the exercise, Sutherland being part of the ‘Blue’ forces and Iron Duke being ‘Red’.

Cold Response is a predominantly amphibious exercise where the ship work with ground troops to ensure NATO partners can work together effectively to respond quickly to national and international crises.

“This outstanding exercise provided a unique opportunity to enhance Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) units’ interoperability, sustainability and cooperation within the framework of a multinational joint force structure,” said Rear Admiral Delgado, Commander SNMG1.

“Our participation in Cold Response 16 has proved SNMG1’s high intensity war-fighting skills and ability to operate under challenging conditions. Today, SNMG1 is better prepared to meet and deter any threat to Alliance populations and territory.”

This year saw a large contribution of assets from the UK, with Iron Duke and Sutherland at sea being matched with the presence of around 350 Royal Marines from 3 Commando Brigade working closely with Dutch marines ashore.

For HMS Iron Duke’s Operations Officer, Lieutenant Commander David Berry, the exercise was a great way to demonstrate how well the SNMG1 Task Group was working together,

“Exercise Cold Response has been hard work but hugely enjoyable; it has been an invaluable exercise in proving NATO’s resilience and warfighting capability,” he said. 

“We were given the privilege to lead the Task Group as the surface and anti submarine warfare commander which was a great challenge, but the true value of the exercise was demonstrating the multi national effort and improving the Task Group’s operational efficiency.”

Exercise Cold Response has been hard work but hugely enjoyable; it has been an invaluable exercise in proving NATO’s resilience and warfighting capability

Lieutenant Commander David Berry, HMS Iron Duke’s Operations Officer