Royal Navy Seaking Mk4 Helicopters Over Northern Norway
Royal Navy Seaking Mk4 helicopters from 845 Naval Air Squadron conducting Arctic flying training over the snow covered mountains of northern Norway.
Situated some 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle at the Joint Helicopter Command (JHC) training facility near Bardufoss, Northern Norway, the JHC base known as Clockwork provides survival and operational training and support facilities to enable aviation capable units arms to survive, operate and fight in extreme cold weather environments.
JHC Clockwork has provided Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) with an Arctic base for over 40 years the training provided by the facility is as relevant today as it has always been. It enables CHF to prepare for future operations and is fundamental to the delivery of littoral manoeuvre for the Royal Navy given the geography and excellent facilities that exist in the local area.
150 Naval personnel from Commando Helicopter Force normally based at the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton in Somerset will take part in their annual winter training exercise in Northern Norway. Aircrews, engineers and support staff from 845 Naval Air Squadron flying Royal Navy Sea King Mk4 helicopters will conduct essential Environmental Training (ET) and Pre-Deployment Training (PDT) in preparation for future deployments.
At the same time around 50 Naval personnel attached to 28 Squadron Royal Air Force from RAF Benson will also conduct Arctic flying training with the Augusta Westland Merlin Mk 3 helicopter.
This image was a winner in the 2014 RN Peregrine Trophy Competition
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4 Regiment Army Air Corp Gazelle Helicopter
4 Regiment Army Air Corp Gazelle conducted winter training in the mountainous region above Bardufoss, Norway.
Exercise Clockwork 06 was a 14-week training exercise, which ran from December 05 to March 06 and was held at the Norwegian Air Force base of Bardufoss. Its aim was to prepare personnel from all three services to operate in extreme cold weather environments, such as might be experienced during winters in the Balkans or Afghanistan.
Throughout the flying phase of the exercise, Joint Helicopter Command Battlefield helicopter crews from the Royal Air Force, Army and Royal Navy, practiced such skills as snow landings in whiteout conditions, moving personnel from point to point and conducting navigation exercises. Personnel from 33 Squadron RAF Benson, also practised carrying under slung loads beneath their Puma helicopters, during both day and night operations.
The 3rd phase of the exercise, saw participants attend a cold weather survival course, during which they spent 5 days and 4 nights in the Arctic environment of the 500 metre high Norwegian mountains surrounding Bardufoss, where temperatures dropped as low as minus 32 degrees and visibility fell to just a few metres. Mandatory for all personnel who had not done survival training, they learnt how to survive in the sub zero temperatures by digging snow holes, navigating in the harsh terrain and responding to an enemy attack
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Norway. Only wild mainland herd in Europe.
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