Over 2,000 British personnel have been deployed to Norway to participate in a major Arctic warfare exercise called Cold Response 2020.
The personnel will join the Green Berets, while the Royal Marines and the HMS Albion, HMS Sutherland, HMS Echo and RFA Lyme Bay ships and an air group have set sail to participate in the exercise.
The Raf CH-47 Chinooks and Army AH64 Apaches will also join the exercise.
Out of the 2,000 deployed UK personnel, 1,250 are from the Lead Commando Group. The rest will support the Naval task group led by HMS Albion and the Joint Helicopter Command air group.
HMS Sutherland will take over anti-submarine warfare duties. It will conduct a variety of operations, including gunnery and boarding operations, maintaining the vessels’ readiness.
Commanding officer lieutenant of 45 Commando colonel Innes Catton said: “During Exercise Cold Response, we will be working alongside our NATO allies to give our adversaries hell from the sea.
“On Cold Response, commandos will continue to confront the challenges posed by ever-evolving threats and work on developing small-team tactics as part of our Future Commando Force evolution.”
The Norway-led Exercise Cold Response is designed to boost the abilities of soldiers to operate together in extreme cold weather conditions.
The exercise will also see the participation of 14,000 personnel from multiple countries.
Participating countries include the USA, the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Norway.
The main field exercise will take place from 12 to 18 March, while training preparations will begin from tomorrow. Multinational troops will stage a simulated high-intensity combat scenario during the exercise.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “The shifting landscape and increased strategic competition of the Arctic region will create future threats. But our forces will be ready to respond wherever they emerge.”