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Royal Marines raiders work with Norwegian stealth ships

18 February 2022
Royal Marines carried out reconnaissance missions along the Arctic coastline and secured landing points for amphibious forces alongside Norwegian stealth missile ships.

The exercise in the fjords of northern Norway saw marines of Plymouth-based 47 Commando, the small boat raiding specialists of the UK’s Commando Forces, work closely with Norwegian counterparts and their stealthy corvettes. 

The commandos launched in their small boats from Skjold (‘shield’) class corvettes, which have a low radar signature, bristle with anti-ship missiles and are able to speed through the water at speeds in excess of 60 knots.

Once ashore deep in the Arctic circle in Norway’s Troms and Finnmark county, the reconnaissance team were tasked with locating suitable locations for amphibious landings.

Their mission complete, the commandos returned to the corvettes under the cover of darkness and back to their base at Sørreisa 54 nautical miles away. 
Captain Alec Trigger said: “Operating in Norway provides its challenges, especially on the water, but I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to test our capability in arduous conditions alongside partner forces.”

The Royal Marines have worked closely with allied forces in Norway for more than 50 years and pride themselves on their ability to work seamlessly with their extensive network of partner forces the world over. 

The Arctic is no exception and the commandos have worked closely with the Norwegian Corvette Squadron previously.

47 Commando’s Sergeant Thomas Thornton added: “I’ve been lucky enough to work closely with the Corvette Squadron in previous years, but it was great to link up again, build on previous training and Standard Operating Procedures and see how much we can push the joint capability.”

These exercises were part of preparations for the large-scale Exercise Cold Response next month. 

Royal Marines will spearhead the UK involvement in Cold Response, supported by a task group of Royal Navy ships and aircraft, including aircraft carrier and NATO command ship HMS Prince of Wales.

It's the first test of the Portsmouth-based carrier as she leads NATO's most important naval group – the NATO Response Force – throughout 2022.

She will embark a Royal Navy-led multinational staff under Rear Admiral Mike Utley alongside the regular ship's company to choreograph the movements and actions of allied warships under the group's wing.

For Cold Response, HMS Prince of Wales will be joined by Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender, frigate HMS Richmond, tanker RFA Tidesurge, plus US Navy destroyer USS Roosevelt.

And Albion will lead the UK's amphibious involvement in the Norwegian-led exercise - through March into April. 

It involves 35,000 troops from 28 nations, with allied warships and aircraft working closely together as the powerful task force tests its ability to protect Norway from modern threats.

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