Video: RNAS Yeovilton helicopter training in harsh Arctic Circle environment
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 some of the skills the RNAS Yeovilton service personnel have to learn...
MORE than 2,000 miles away from their Somerset base, the Commando Helicopter Force is training in the harshest of environments.
Hundreds of Royal Marine and Royal Navy personnel pass through Operation Clockwork in Bardufoss in Norway every year.
With temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees and heavy snowfall, there is no more a challenging place for operational troops in the world.
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These videos show a Sea King delivering cargo to a landing site and snow blitz it causes.
It also shows the deceptively stunning mountain ranges which harbour some of the fiercest training conditions.
Flying and service skills acquired are transferable, meaning the troops are equally prepared for the desert or the jungle, even though they have trained in the Arctic.
Snow is kicked up into a mushroom cloud-like cyclone as a Sea King lands and takes off, obliterating visibility.
Snow several thick deep makes it difficult for ground support and logistic personnel to load and unload the aircraft.
Meanwhile on the airfield, engineers have to undertake meticulous and intricate work in sub-zero climates.
The unit have an ethos of train hard, fight easy.
It is said if they can operate in the extremes of Bardufoss, they can operate anywhere.