Royal Marines have parachuted ‘deep behind enemy lines’ during demanding winter exercises in Sweden with forces from the United States Airforce…

The elite Surveillance Reconnaissance Squadron of 30 Commando Information Exploitation Group were training alongside the Americans in capturing positions from the air from an adversary, giving allied forces a foothold in enemy territory.

This is all part of the Norwegian-led Exercise Cold Response, which 15,000 troops from ten nations are involved in, including more than 2,000 Royal Marines and Royal Navy sailors. These Arctic exercises are designed to test the ability of allied nations in fighting in one of the most unforgiving regions on earth.

The elite SRS commandos and airmen from the United States Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) boarded an American C-130J Super Hercules from the 37th Airlift Wing at Bardufoss Air Station in northern Norway.

The crack force were then dropped into Kiruna Airfield in Sweden, where they were tasked with seizing the area from an enemy force. Following that the Super Hercules returned to Bardufoss to pick up the next wave of commando forces along with kit and equipment to support the mission in Sweden.

After the initial phase of the exercises, the Royal Marines of Plymouth-based 30 Commando and American forces are now undergoing battle preparation in readiness for the next stage of the combined exercise. It will see the forces travel 150km on skidoo and specialist lightweight cold weather vehicles back to Bardufoss.

On the way they will undertake various exercises, taking key positions from ‘enemy’ forces to give the overall Cold Response task forces the tactical advantage. This training is all designed to demonstrate the capability of SRS as an elite advance force, capable of wreaking havoc and forging the way for much larger forces to enter into a disputed territory.

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