In the second half of April 2023, coastal waters of Norway turned into a simulated battleground between helicopters and superfast vessels. That´s because of a new joint military exercise codenamed ´Tamber Shield 2023´, held in the Norwegian fjords and organized by the Royal Navy and the Royal Norwegian Navy.
The Tamber Shield training was organized with close connection to the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) activities, including the recently completed Joint Viking 2023 and current Aurora 23 exercises, held this year in Scandinavia.
The JEF is the British-led expeditionary force established in 2014 and currently consisting of the UK, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Netherlands and Sweden. The main objective of that international military initiative is to ensure security and political interest of the participating countries in the northern part of Europe.
Combat scenarios of the Tamber Shield exercise were based on defence against superfast, highly manoeuvrable sea vessels, such as the Royal Navy P2000, Archer-class patrol boat and the Royal Norwegian Navy Skjold-class corvette. The task to protect the Norwegian coastal waters from the mock enemy ships was assigned to four Wildcat helicopters from No. 815 Naval Air Squadron from RNAS Yeovilton, in Somerset – for the time of the exercise deployed to Haakonsvern air base, southwest of Bergen.
´Tamber Shield offers an outstanding opportunity for the squadron to enhance its warfighting capability and build upon the already devastating lethality of the Wildcat,´ said 815 NAS’ Commanding Officer Commander Stu Crombie.
Although Tamber Shied was held for the first time, positive results of the ten-day training convinced the military authorities from both participating countries to discuss possibility of turning the initiative into a regular exercise, held on annual basis.
Cover photo: KNM Storm (the Royal Norwegian Navy Skjold-class corvette) and the Royal Navy Wildcat helicopters near Bergen (photo: Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvaret). Information and quotations from the Royal Norwegian Armed Forces and the Royal Navy press releases were used. All photos © Royal Norwegian Armed Forces / Forsvaret.