Join us

Chilly challenge for Royal Anglian troops as they head to the arctic circle

Infantry soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment are representing the UK as they join forces with Norway and other NATO partners on an international military exercise.

C (Northamptonshire) Company have deployed to The Allied Training Centre in Northern Norway to prepare for Exercise Thunderbolt that will see them having to move, fight and operate effectively in the region.

“This is a great opportunity for the company to conduct joint training with fellow NATO members. It will certainly test our capabilities and challenge us, both as individuals and as a team." Major Mark Garner, 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment

Inside the Arctic Circle, the High North is an unforgiving mountainous region where temperatures can drop as low as minus 31 degrees Celsius.

Major Mark Garner, Officer Commanding C (Northamptonshire) Company said: “This is a great opportunity for the company to conduct joint training with fellow NATO members. It will certainly test our capabilities and challenge us, both as individuals and as a team."

“We will spend the next week acclimatising to the cold conditions and training with our NATO allies prior to conducting the final exercise, alongside multiple partners, from Norway, the Netherlands and the USA.”

The Norwegian-led exercise running from May through to June is known as a CALFEX (Combined Arms Live Fire Exercise). The CALFEX is a fast-paced strategic exercise that sees units coming together on one battlefield to employ a vast array of weapon systems; including small arms, tanks, artillery, aircraft and naval gunfire, all at the same time in the most realistic of fighting scenarios.

“For some of our soldiers, this will be the first time they have worked with our allied partners and the first time they will have worked in such extreme temperatures. It will give them a sense of their own strengths and weaknesses when under pressure in an extremely harsh environment.” MAJOR MARK GARNER 2ND BATTALION THE ROYAL ANGLIAN REGIMENT

Using Foxhound vehicles, the Rutland based troops will be operating as a Light Mechanised Infantry Sub Unit within the Norwegian 1st Armoured Battle Group for the duration of the Exercise.

The CALFEX will reaffirm, improve and hone the soldiers’ skills to allow them to work as an effective multi-national fighting force.

In the final three days of the exercise, the soldiers will have to combat a fictitious enemy force that will see them fight their way through enemy positions.

“It’s going to be tough training,” said Major Mark Garner. “For some of our soldiers, this will be the first time they have worked with our allied partners and the first time they will have worked in such extreme temperatures. It will give them a sense of their own strengths and weaknesses when under pressure in an extremely harsh environment.”