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Royal Navy news: 27 February 2020

Combined British and Dutch elements of the Norwegian-led task group heading for demanding Arctic exercises have assembled in southern Norway.

Helicopters, warships and commandos have gathered for Exercise Cold Response in Stavanger, before heading north for the beginning of the biggest UK training in the region for nearly a decade. In all, 15,000 troops from ten nations are descending on Cold Response to test their ability to work together in one of the most unforgiving environments on earth.

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The UK-Netherlands Amphibious Task Group as part of Cold Response is centred around amphibious ships HMS Albion and HNLMS Johan De Witt. Raids by Royal Marines and allied forces will be launched from these two ships onto the Norwegian coastline.

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Captain Philip Dennis, who is deployed on Johan Witt as Deputy Commander Amphibious Task Force, said: “Embarking helicopters, Royal Marines, sailors, soldiers and Air Force personnel supported from NATO allies across two highly capable amphibious warships proves we have the capability to deploy globally in support of our partners and allies, while our ability to operate in extreme conditions proves our resilience and flexibility.

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This exercise is also supporting the development of our Future Commando Force capabilities that will harness future innovations and technological developments that have recently become available to take forward on to the battlefield.”

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Commando Helicopter Force Merlins of 845 Naval Air Squadron flew from their RNAS Yeovilton home to Johan De Witt, where they will be flying sorties from during the exercises. 

Words and images copyright MOD Navy

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