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Royal Air Force hones cold weather survival skills in Norway

Royal Air Force personnel have conducted cold weather survival training in Norway within the Arctic Circle with temperatures reaching -20 °C.

RAF personnel walking through snow and trees

The first phase of Exercise Arctic Phoenix saw RAF Regiment gunners, tactical communicators, medics, chefs, drivers and engineers deploy to Bardufoss Air Station to receive survival training from the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

RAF personnel receiving instructions on lighting a fire in a shelter in a snow covered environment

Further south, RAF Typhoon fighter jets deployed to Ørland Air Station to train with the Royal Norwegian Air Force’s F35As. They are conducting fighter integration training to enhance their ability to operate alongside each other, and Close Air Support serials to practise providing air cover to units on the ground.

RAF Typhoon aircraft flying against a sunset sky, with a distant Typhoon in the background

“We are very grateful for the exceptional support received from our Norwegian partners in facilitating 4th and 5th generation fighter integration training, flying our UK Typhoons with the RNoAF F35A, as well as integrating the Cold Weather Survival Course.
Understanding the challenges that come with operating in the High North is crucial to being able to successfully support our personnel and assets within this environment. Working alongside our Norwegian counterparts will allow us to strengthen our interoperability as committed members of the Joint Expeditionary Force.”

Wing Commander Leask
The Detachment Commander

The exercise will see Typhoons from IX (Bomber) Squadron and RAF Global Enablement units test their Agile Combat Employment capabilities – to survive an attack, disperse to different locations, and continue to operate – in extremely challenging conditions.

two RAF Typhoons taxing away in a snow covered landscape at sunset

With the first phase complete, Exercise Arctic Phoenix will continue to put RAF personnel and equipment to the test over the coming week. An A400M Atlas transport aircraft from 30 Squadron will deploy to support training serials that will assess aeromedical evacuation procedures, test force protection capabilities and establish a forward air refuelling point, as well as conducting training sorties alongside the Typhoons.