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Deployment

Ospreys, Merlins and Wildcats deployed as 30,000 take part in Ex Cold Response

The Royal Navy has completed its biggest ever Arctic Circle military exercise in decades with more than 3,000 sailors and Marines. They completed training ashore, at sea and in the skies over Norway, after they joined more than 27,000 personnel from partner allies.

Britain’s biggest warship HMS Prince of Wales led the naval armada, marking the first time an aircraft carrier of its kind had been so far north. As a result, more than 1,000 sailors gained their first experience of operating in the polar region.

847 NAS Commando Wildcat lifted the OSRV (Snowmobile) and the IRC (Inshore Raiding Craft) at Skibotn HLS in support of 30 Cdo SRS and assisted by CHF MAOT

HMS Prince of Wales commanding officer, Captain Steve Higham, said: “As we continue to operate in and around the Arctic, the sailors are learning the skills required. “They are building the experience that allow the Royal Navy to push the boundaries of UK carrier operations in cold, harsh environments.”

The Merlin Mk4 of 845 Naval Air Squadron flies up a snow-covered fjord

The fortnight-long exercise allowed the Navy to practice skills like launching command raids from submarines and operating a fifth-generation aircraft carrier in sub-zero conditions. The Royal Marines also tried out new raiding tactics for stealth missions on the treacherous Norwegian coastline.

Royal Marines have deployed to Northern Norway to carry out their traditional winter deployment in the Arctic Circle

Royal Navy maritime Wildcat helicopters – normally found over the ocean – played a key part in the exercise. Usually used for hunting suspicious ships, the Wildcat used its Seaspray radar over land for the first time -picking out targets for their colleagues.

A Royal Marine from 40 Commando taking part in live firing exercise

Naval Detachment Commander Tom Nason said: “Exercise Cold Response 22 has been an outstanding demonstration of our integration with NATO partners. Not only this, it has also highlighted the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Fleet Auxiliary units ability to work together seamlessly if necessary. “

The Surveillance and Reconnaissance Squadron (SRS) exercised deploying Inflatable Raiding Craft’s (IRC) from a submarine at Lyngan Fjord in Northern Norway

The field exercise started on March 14 and wrapped up on Tuesday.

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