Royal Marines

Bear Grylls joins Royal Marines on Arctic exercises

The adventurer saw the commandos take on the infamous ice-breaking drill, which involves being plunged into freezing water.

Honorary Colonel Bear Grylls joined the Royal Marines in Norway as they honed crucial Arctic warfare skills.

The adventurer saw the commandos train and take on the infamous ice-breaking drill, which involves being plunged into freezing water to test reactions to cold shock.

During the training, commandos are also taught emergency shelter building and navigation skills, before taking to skis and snow-shoes to learn how to quickly get across the ice and out-manoeuvre adversaries.

Carrying weapons and equipment, the marines are tested across training areas in the mountainous Troms and Finnmark county in northern Norway.

Honorary Colonel Bear Grylls said: "It’s always inspiring to spend time with the commandos – seeing them demonstrate their unique winter survival combat skill set in such challenging conditions is a reminder of what heroes they are.

"For a young marine the Arctic is such an amazing experience, and if they can operate here then they can operate anywhere.

"Even though the conditions are tough, the 'Bootneck' sense of humour is always so strong with smiles all round even after our ice drills all together.

"For me it’s a humbling reminder of why the Royal Marines are so special."

The Commandos train in one of the harshest environments known to man; the temperatures can plummet below -35°C (Picture: Royal Navy).
The Commandos train in one of the harshest environments known to man; the temperatures can plummet below -35°C (Picture: Royal Navy).

The commandos are experts at operating in all extremes of environments, including the frozen mountains and fjords of the Arctic Circle – one of the harshest environments known to man where the sun doesn’t rise for two months of the year and temperatures can plummet below -35°C.

Every winter Royal Marines head to the high north for the Cold Weather Warfare Course, allowing them to train in surviving, moving and fighting across the rugged coasts and unforgiving mountains of northern Norway, and underpinning the UK’s commitment to protecting NATO allies.

This year, marines will spearhead the UK involvement in Exercise Cold Response, supported by a task group of Royal Navy ships and aircraft, including aircraft carrier and NATO command ship, HMS Prince of Wales.

The Norwegian-led exercise, in March and early April, involves troops, allied warships and aircraft from 28 nations working closely together as the powerful task force tests its ability to protect Norway from modern threats.