Posted on January 29, 2019
The Duke of Sussex, Captain General Royal Marines, is to visit Norway to mark 50 years of Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) and Joint Helicopter Command deploying to Bardufoss. Prince Harry will visit Exercise Clockwork on February 14 to mark the milestone of personnel conducting cold weather training at the Royal Norwegian Air Force Station in the region. Set 200 miles (322km) inside the Arctic Circle, the annual Exercise Clockwork has trained over 16,000 Royal Marines and Royal Navy sailors and airmen since 1969.
It is seen as vital by the military in readying the Royal Marines and Royal Navy personnel that form CHF for cold weather operations. Military personnel are taught how to survive, operate and fight in the sub-zero conditions and gain experience of operating aircraft in severe cold weather and mountainous environments. The multinational exercise, hosted by the Norwegian Armed Forces, comprises Environmental Flying Qualifications, Cold Weather Survival, Tent Group Commander and Snow and Ice Driving Courses.
The Duke will fly to the Air Station in Bardufoss on Valentine’s Day to meet military personnel living and training across six months of the year at the base. He will be briefed on the history and context of Clockwork, before meeting Naval Service aviators and seeing their Commando Merlin and Wildcat helicopters. Prince Harry will also watch outdoor ground training, taking in field tents, snow vehicles and a Quincey Shelter (a makeshift shelter used by elite forces).
Following the royal visit, a Royal Navy Sea King MK4 will be presented as a gate guardian by the UK military to the Norwegian armed forces to mark the 50th anniversary.