Royal Marines

Royal Marines Pass First Stage Of Arctic Training

Personnel from 45 Commando tested survival skills in their first phase of the training in northern Norway.

Cold weather specialist commandos have completed the first intensive phase of their Arctic deployment in Norway, in temperatures as low as -30°C.

Royal Marines from 45 Commando arrived in the north of the country last month to refresh their survival skills and hone their combat abilities in the demanding High North.

In conditions where the sun barely rises, the marines have learned to navigate using the stars, build snow shelters and live off the land.

Colour Sergeant Ian Freeman said: "All personnel operating in this environment must complete the Cold Weather Survival Course.

"It represents the bare minimum skill set required to stay alive in a very aggressive environment. The course will form the foundation for everything we do in Norway."

Based at Arbroath in Scotland, 45 Commando personnel were led by the Arctic experts of the Royal Marines Mountain Leader Training Cadre and were also put through the infamous ice-breaking drill.

As part of the survival training phase in Norway, 45 Commando had to build snow shelters (Picture: Royal Navy).

Considered a rite of passage in Norway, the task sees marines jump through a hole in the ice and into freezing water – answering a question and reporting their service number and name to their instructors before getting out.

The Navy said the training helps personnel to recognise and deal with cold shock which can potentially kill.

After mastering survival skills, personnel will now go on to the next phase of the training – travelling on the Arctic terrain in snow shoes and skis, before sharpening warfighting techniques on the final stage of the deployment. 

Personnel from 3 Commando Brigade, including 29 Commando Royal Artillery, 24 Commando Royal Engineers and 30 Commando Information Exploitation Group are also deployed.

All personnel taking part in the training were subject to a 10-day quarantine period in line with Norway's COVID-19 guidelines.

Cover image: Personnel take part in the infamous ice-breaking drill (Picture: Royal Navy).