CinC Fleet Receives Warm Reception in the Arctic
CinC Fleet Admiral Zambellas DSC visited Naval personnel 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle at the JHC training base in Bardufoss, Norway. The base, known as “Clockwork JHC,” provides survival and operational training and support facilities that enable aviation capable units to survive, operate and fight in extreme cold weather environments. The inhospitable terrain, extreme weather conditions and temperatures as low as -35°C makes Bardufoss the ideal location for cold weather warfare training.
During his visit Adml Zambellas met some of the 200 strong contingent from CHF. The ‘Junglies’, from RNAS Yeovilton were deployed to Clockwork to undertaking training and make preparations for Ex Cold Response which took place in the northern Norway in mid-March.
Capt Briers RN, CO CHF, showed the Admiral how well his command is prepared for Cold Response when he showed the CinC around a FOB. He viewed various key positions, spoke to personnel, and even shared lunch from an Arctic 24 hour ration pack in the dining room, a ‘lean-to’ survival shelter.
The highlight of the visit was when he took to the skies in a Sea King Mk4. A helicopter pilot himself, he viewed a number of snow landings before taking control of the aircraft for a navigation sortie over the Norwegian mountains.
On completion of his visit Admiral Zambellas said, “Clockwork training at Bardufoss is a jewel in our defence crown. We are training about 700 personnel a year in specialist skills, in outstanding facilities, for a very good price.” He further added: “We have land, mountain, air and sea training areas with firing ranges all very close to a major Norwegian airfield. This is exactly what we need to maintain joint skills in a challenging environment.”
Capt Briers RN, said “Clockwork is as relevant and as important today as it has always been. It enables us to prepare our people for operations in Afghanistan and it’s absolutely fundamental to the delivery of littoral manoeuvre given the geography and the excellent facilities that exist in the local area. Also in a wider sense it enables our people to go anywhere in the world and operate very complex aircraft in the most challenging of environments. If you can operate in Norway you can operate anywhere.”
Maj West RM, OIC Clockwork said: “We were delighted to host the CinC. He confirmed his full support for the training that we are conducting here in Norway, both in enhancing and consolidating our Arctic operating procedures and for the force generation for the amphibious exercise Cold Response.”