Twenty Royal Marines and their families have travelled to Rondane, Norway, to celebrate Christmas-Scandinavian style!
The Royal Marines have teamed up with Norwegian commando units to ring in the festive season in an event organised by The Royal Marines Club and Rondane Høyfjellshotell, in association with Veteranforbundet SIOPS and The Royal Marines Charity.
Juleferie 2017 sets out to give serving and veteran commandos, from both Norway and the UK, a short break with their families.
Places on the holiday were awarded to those with physical, mental or ﬁnancial challenges.
The holiday provides servicemen and veterans a chance to recuperate from issues such as PTSD, at the same time as providing a fun and relaxing break for their families.
Deputy Commandant General of the Royal Marines, Richard Spencer, said of the event:
“British Commandos have fought alongside the Norwegian Military since WWII, and up until very recently the Royal Marines deployed in the Rondane area for winter training and exercise. Norway and the UK enjoy a unique and special friendship. ”
The opening of Juleferie 2017 was marked with the exchange of a Commando Dagger and a Sami Knife. Marcus Chidgey, Chair of The Royal Marines Club, spoke of the benefits that the trip provides to families of servicemen:
“This is a way for us to give back to the families whose struggles often go unrecognised.
“A week away, free from the stresses of day-to-day life, will no doubt do everyone participating in Julieferie 2017 a world of good.”
Whilst General Sverre Diesen, former Chief of Defence for Norway praised the special relationship that exists between Norwegian and British commandos:
“When we train together on exercise, we are united in preparing to confront the challenges we have in common around the world.
“It’s clear to me that, when our veterans return from the ﬁeld, the same spirit of international cooperation should endure.”