Video: Arctic Circle driving a key skill for RNAS Yeovilton service personnel in Norway
Western Gazette reporter Rob Golledge and photographer Laura Jones are this week 160 miles inside the Arctic Circle with the Royal Navy’s Commando Helicopter Force. Here they report on one of the skills the RNAS Yeovilton service personnel have to learn...
IT may surprise you to learn that one of the key skills taught to Somerset troops undergoing extreme temperature survival training in Norway is learning to drive in thick snow and ice.
From galley chefs right through to the feared frontline Royal Marines, the service personnel undergo five days of Arctic road driving.
They are taught how to handle skidding on the frosty surface in Land Rovers as well as driving off-road BV track vehicles used to transport troops and equipment.
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Marine Chris Derrick, 22, of Bristol, is one of the drivers.
He said: “We teach the guys how to skid and to skid out.
“With the snow and the ice a lot of pressure is put on the vehicle itself so it is important that those driving can handle themselves and the vehicle.
“One of the big problems around Bardufoss is if you skid off the road you will likely get stuck in a drainage ditch.
“Basically none of those attending this training will have driven in anything like the conditions here before so it is vital they get it right.”
The harsh arctic winter is an ideal training ground for deployment anywhere in the world be it in the air, on land or at sea.
Each year, hundreds of Royal Naval personnel undergo a gruelling survival training regime and helicopter flying in Bardufoss as part of what is dubbed Operation Clockwork.