The Ministry of Justice, the Icelandic Coast Guard, the Office of
Defense and NATO will be jointly conducting bomb squad exercises in
Iceland as a part of the Northern Challenge.
According to Morgunblaðið, the drills will take place near Helguvík and in the defense team area near Keflavík, over the span of two weeks. The objective will be to make the drills as realistic as possible. Participating countries include Norway, France, Germany, Holland, the US and the UK.
The drills are also a part of NATO’s Programme of Work Against Terrorism, part of which includes dispatching bomb squads in Iraq and Afghanistan to disable explosives such as IEDs. New recruits to the bomb squads will be trained by experts in the field.
No word was disclosed as to whether or not “making the exercises as realistic as possible” means that live explosives are going to be used, but it wouldn’t be the first time Iceland has been systematically bombed – filming for The Flags of Our Fathers included the extensive use of explosives throughout the Suðurnes region of Iceland.