Commando Logistic Regiment in Norway 290119 CREDIT Royal Navy_0.jpg
Royal Marines

Royal Marines Take On Arctic Driving Challenges In Norway

Personnel have been testing their twin-track Viking and BV 20 all-terrain vehicles.

Commando Logistic Regiment in Norway 290119 CREDIT Royal Navy_0.jpg

Few vehicles can cope with the freezing conditions of northern Norway (Picture: Royal Navy). 

Members of Commando Logistic Regiment (CLR) have been taking on driving challenges in Norway ahead of supporting Royal Marines undergoing winter warfare training in the country’s high north.

Personnel have been testing their twin-track Viking and BV 20 all-terrain vehicles.

The CLR will be offering support to Commandos undergoing winter warfare training hundreds of miles inside the Arctic Circle.

The harsh environment has been used by the UK to conduct cold weather survival training for the last 50 years.

The five-day course includes lectures, demonstrations and three nights camping out in sub-zero temperatures.

It also ends with ice breaking drills where troops will break through ice and learn how to recover once back on dry land.

Prince Harry will get a taste of the cold climate when he visits personnel deployed on Exercise Clockwork on Valentine's Day.

The Arctic Circle has been described as "one of the most challenging driving tests around" and the CLR’s twin-track Viking and BV 20 all-terrain vehicles are some of the few that can manage.

Commando Logistic Regiment members in Norway 290119 CREDIT Royal Navy.jpg
Members of the CLR in Norway (Picture: Royal Navy).

"Viking is a very capable vehicle, well suited to operating in the Norwegian snow," said Chief Viking Instructor for CLR’s Armoured Support Group, Royal Marines Colour Sergeant Alex Hayden.

"Despite ambient temperatures reaching -40°c, this region is a great training area.

"It enables us to challenge our Royal Marine students whilst also cross-training with the United States Marine Corps and integrating with our NATO allies."

Last year, the Royal Marines' Viking Squadron conducted live firing trials using the vehicle as part of Exercise Iron Fist.

The drivers have been stationed at Royal Norwegian Air Force Station Bardufoss since early in the New Year, preparing for the arrival of Royal Marines by setting up specialist kit stores and preparing accommodation and medical supplies.

Royal Norwegian Air Force Station Bardufoss
Royal Norwegian Air Force Station in Bardufoss.

One hundred personnel are also due to take part in a Logistic Task Group with Norwegian colleagues – the first such task group for a number of years.

Last year, British personnel were among 31 nations who took part in activities in Norway during Exercise Trident Juncture, which was designed to help them acclimatise to sub-zero temperatures.

As well as getting used to driving large vehicles in slippery conditions, personnel tackled a test involving being up to their shoulders in near-freezing water in just their underwear.