Exercise CLOCKWORK is the name given to the UK Armed Forces’ annual Winter Deployment to the Arctic Circle in Norway with the objective to prepare all three services for the most unforgiving conditions experienced in this region, according to the RAF here.

The deployment will see a C-17, A400M, Hercules C-130 and Voyager aircraft transport personnel and equipment to Bardufoss Air Base in Norway to conduct this training.

The airbase is north of the Arctic circle and is strategically placed on NATO’s high north frontier.

The RAF say on their website:

“This is the C-17’s first use on this exercise and allows the transportation of Joint Helicopter Force helicopters such as the Apache to take part in the extreme cold weather training.  During the exercise, the aircraft will be exercised in a war fighting role in a part of the country where temperatures can fall to lows of -30°c.”

Wing Commander Essex, Officer Commanding 99 Squadron, was quoted as saying:

“The C-17 gives the RAF the strategic capability to transport large equipment, such as an Apache over long distances, that in turn can be rapidly deployed.  It is all about adding flexibility to succeed on operations.”

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Steve Salt
Steve Salt
1 month ago

Is this another Christmas spoof ?

MikeB1947
MikeB1947
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Salt

Perhaps, the SAS or SBS will be slipping into Lapland to search for a certain factory and logistics centre. Then they will pass info to the RAF, when they see a strange-looking aircraft being made ready for flight.

john melling
john melling
1 month ago

Similar exercise Exercise CLOCKWORK happened in 2019 as well👍

DF
DF
1 month ago
Reply to  john melling

and for the last 40+ years

Exroyal.
Exroyal.
1 month ago
Reply to  john melling

Clockwork is the name for the deployment of UK forces to Norway for Arctic warfare training. I deployed for my first one in 1976. It occurs every year. The duration and manpower/assets involved vary. Sadly as defence spending has reduced so has the level, duration and quality of training.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago

Some cold hard lessons are going to be learnt; stay safe people.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago

Not sure if this is a Christmas joke or not, but we should be sending everything we have to give NATO / Ukraine border. Ukraine choose not to join NATO, it’s choice, it’s problem but we need to show that ukraine will be it, futher advancement won’t be tollereted. The US appears uninterested in protecting Europe and so it’s our post brexit chance to make amends and show we are a seriously partner. Reality is this government keeps talking about breaking treaties it negotiated, no country takes us seriously right now. This is a chance to fix that, with a… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve
Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

We dont have to make any ammends. Brexit was a political choice and vote by a sovereign and democratic country. That choice we have to live with but we do not owe anything to any EU country for having voted democratically not to remain. That is not how democracy works. I think forward deployment of some forces is necessary to NATO countries but if Russia attacks Ukraine it will fall to the Ukranian military to try to resist and defend their territory at least initially until NATO can mobilise a response. With major EU nations, including the UK, having done… Read more »

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Brexit was a choice, how we have gone about achiving it, was not. We have trashed our international reputation.

I’m not talking about starting a war, I’m talking about reinforcing the eastern flank of NATO. Russia allegedly has put over 100k troops on the Ukraine border, so NATO strengthening it side is a rational counter.

Ukraine itself is not a NATO member and so we should avoid deploying troops within Ukraine.

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Correct ,Steve Ukraine is neither Nato or EU ,let the Continental’s of Europe sort this out we owe them nothing , too many times have we sacrificed our young for peace in Europe and then cold shouldered for their self proclaimed European unity

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

Yeah I’m not talking about defending Ukraine, talking about defending the next country along

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Ukraine acts a a buffer between the West of that country which is pro Brussels the Eastern quarter is pro Moscow regions North is a defacto Moscow aligned dictatorship Belarus this thread could become a Preface too a Tom Clancey novel

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

I think it’s highly unlikely they will reinvade Ukraine, but if they do I think it’s unlikely they will stop there. Other regions they consider to be theirs, will be at risk.

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Only if Biden keeps poking the Bear so too speak, whilst we get concerned about this little antic , Taiwans neighour continues provicating her sovereignty

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

“We have trashed our international reputation” I wouldn’t believe everything the Guardian prints Steve….. In what ways specifically have we trashed our reputation Steve? Re NATO and the Ukraine, get the Ukraine to invite a tripwire Brigade sized force into the country, as a ‘training deployment’, (make it a German led deployment, so they can finally pull their bloody weight) make sure they are positioned in such a way that any Russian aggression would involve them and you would completely wrong foot Putin….. Strength is the only thing Putin understands, you have to go nose to nose and say ‘cross… Read more »

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

It’s difficult, multiple major countries have expressed concern that we are ignoring the treaties we have signed with Europe. Once nations don’t trust your word, you have a major issue.

It’s got nothing to do with brexit itself, it’s purely down to how this government has approached the topic. Hopefully soon Boris will get pushed out and trust can return before perm damage is done.

Either way it’s a difficult period with our reputation internationally.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

It cuts both ways Steve, it’s against the law to enter or leave a country without going through immigration or customs, yet French police just stand and watch with hands in pockets while desperate people in dinghies are launched from beaches, into one of most busy shipping routes in the world with occasional tragic consequences. France literally turns a blind eye to international law when it suits and always has. Threatening the Channel Islands etc etc Let’s not forget that act of war that was the Rainbow Warrior incident! France aside, the EU’s active collaboration and direct encouragement with those… Read more »

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Yeah I know but it’s got nothing to do with immigration, it’s all about the Northern Ireland protacal aka Boris oven ready deal, that we keep threaning to break.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

The deal was agreed that it would not threaten peace in Northern Ireland, sadly the deal is not working perfectly and is causing tensions. Part of said deal was that amendments could be made to keep peace, amendments are trying to be made in order to do this which are being rejected by the EU. What do you expect to happen, the only way to get the EU to listen is to threaten the worst case scenario that they dont want, you cant negotiate with a dictatorship unless you act in the same way back. Oh and by the way… Read more »

Terry
Terry
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

The fact the EU are telling its members we are nit sticking to what was signed but allowing France to over rule everything that was signed and keep threatening the UK with what ever they can and the EU not intervening putting its members in Line and agreeing to what they had signed upto is a bit hypocritical saying the UK are not sticking to deals dont you think?

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Terry

Very daily express. The withdrawl agreement is very cleanly written if you read it, but we are refusing to follow it. Which in itself isn’t a major problem as thats international polictics. What is the issue is our front bench PM’s are opennly talking about breaking the treaty and saying they never intended to follow it anyway, so effectively saying we are happy to sign an international agreement but we have zero plans to follow them, making the agreements worthless. It’s resulted in the US pulling out of the trade deal and other nations are not signing. It’s not a… Read more »

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Completely incorrect, the deal is very easy to follow as you say if you have read it and the deal is subject to changes if its not working. Its not working, changes are trying to be made which are constantly being rejected by the EU leaving the UK with little choice but to ‘talk about’ pulling out of it to get the EU to budge. Exactly the same game as to what went on with Brexit itself. What source do you have to say the US has pulled out of a trade deal altogether please? Which other nations are not… Read more »

Craig donkersley
Craig donkersley
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

We’re not going to the Ukraine, they have more in common fighting Russia than us. Leave them to it.
And by the way, what the **** are we giving Bangladesh 5 ships for? Our homeless veterans on London floor could live on those at Portsmouth. Who should I give my monthly donation to, sightseers or those lads?

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Why would the UK risk starting WW3 just to prove some sort of point.?.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Ukraine takes us seriously, it would appear. Could well find out how serious we actually are over the next few weeks i.e. when any bullshit talk may well become a shit load of trouble.

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

I don’t think we’d reinforce our reputation very well by unilaterally abandoning the Budapest agreements.
Like it or not we’re here cos we’re here cos we’re here, ditching partners in their hour of need and giving valuable ground to the enemy certainly won’t change that.

Last edited 1 month ago by Tomartyr
Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

The Budapest agreement is unfortunately for Ukriane one of those agreements that says much and means very little, as there was nothing in the agreement that says what would occur if one of the participants ( in this case Russia) did not respect the sovereignty and boarders of Ukraine. It was not a mutual defence agreement just a let’s all play fair if Ukraine surrenders it’s nuclear weapons (which it could not actually use). A lesson that is relearnt over and over in geopolitical history. Nations do not have friends or special relations and they are not moral. All nations… Read more »

Bob
Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

No, we really should not.

Neither NATO nor the EU should have pushed eastwards, it was always going to provoke the Russians. Now you want to panic them into believing we are about to invade?

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

It depends how you look at it. You can look at it from fear that NATO will attack and no nothing, aka Poland in 1939 or you can consider it as reinforcing the NATO defensive positions of its border countries.

In my opinion Russia moving large numbers of forces to the Ukraine border, warrants a NATO reaction. It’s not like it’s unjustified escalation.

NATO not reacting is basically giving Russia the green light. It’s not logical for Russia to expect no military reaction to a massive build up.

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve
JohninMK
JohninMK
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

In the Spring Ukraine is believed to have upped its forces in the Donbas region to about 120,000 and there have been few if any reports of them moving back to other parts of Ukraine since. Russia responded by moving 95,000 opposite them the bulk of which were removed after the crisis abated in early Summer. There are now competing views as the what the Russians have now done, partly confused by just where their forces have to be to ‘threaten’ Ukraine. When Russian forces in barracks 140 or so miles away from the border are included you have to… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by JohninMK
Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Why do you persist with the notion that there would be a NATO reaction to a Russian Invasion of Ukraine – Ukraine is not a NATO member,NATO has absolutely no obligation to react to such a scenario,apart from harsh words and yet more sanctions , maybe some covert support and resupply of some Weaponry that would be it.

Bob
Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Again, no is doesn’t. What matters is how the Russians look at it. Russia has always feared the West would attack it and saw the old Warsaw pact countries as a defensive buffer. Now, not only has that buffer vanished, but the West has expanded right up to its borders. We in the West know that an invasion will not happen, the people would not stand for it, but looking at it from their point of view it’s easy to understand their concerns. If NATO decides it has to respond, then it should not deploy additional forces further forward than… Read more »

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

Yeah it’s a difficult balancing act but not doing anything risks the eastern front of NATO and reinforces my view that the main countries wouldn’t be there to defend the smaller ones if the worst ever happens. I suspect it’s not just Russia that looks as the border as a barrier but also France/UK/etc look at eastern Europe as a trip wire. Meaning it will be too late to defend them but can reinforce the middle in time

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

I agree with you Bob. Every year for the past few years NATO, mainly us and the US, has responded to pressures to up the number and scope of exercises and forward deployments mainly in the Baltic states. Meanwhile at the same time, we and the Canadians in particular, have been training, with the US equipping, Ukrainian armed forces. All activity that NATO was well aware that the Russians could not just ignore. They didn’t of course, it resulted in the Russians in turn boosting their military deployments in the area plus, more problamatic from NATO’s perspective, in Kaliningrad. At… Read more »

Tams
Tams
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Oh fuzz off. Both you and Bob, you Russian trolls.

NATO is a defensive organisation. And while Ukraine is not part of NATO, it is not part of Russia either. So why shouldn’t NATO support them?

As for Ukraine building up forces… only because significant parts of their country were invaded and are now occupied by Russia. Russia isn’t the defender here, they instigated this how conflict.

Need we remind you that it was Russian equipment and likely soldiers too who shot down a civilian airliner in territory that wasn’t (and isn’t) theirs?

Last edited 1 month ago by Tams
Gary
Gary
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

Ukraine is a sovereignty not part of Russia. They chose who their friends are. If the West let Ukraine 🇺🇦 down this is precedence set. Asad invited Russia in Syria when confronted by West. Russia muscled and nothing happened to ASAD. The same should be done to 🇷🇺 at this point

Ron Stateside
Ron Stateside
1 month ago

There’s nothing funny about the elements. Plenty of ways to die you’ve never heard of just recreationally. Off topic: there’s been plenty of news in the States about possible directed energy/microwave attacks, not just against diplomats/spies in Cuba/various embassies, but visiting FBI agents in China apparently recently, a major escalation. Likewise, Israeli spyware firm NSO group is making news about the hacking of not just journalists exposing foreign dictators, but now US officials. I think I might know why Netanyahu always had a sinister grin in the press conference photos from when he went abroad to cut deals with dictators.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ron Stateside
Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron Stateside

Unfortunately for Netanyahu the dye seems too be coming out in the wash Ron

Ron Stateside
Ron Stateside
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

Unfortunately not before these hacking tools have been passed to all sorts of bad actors. Looking further back, Israel gave the F-16 plans to China enabling the development and fielding of the J-10. That we (The US) are currently paying for all of Israel’s F35s and not instead subsidizing some kit of our actual fighting partners, is pretty astounding to me. That it is not scandalous is also telling.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ron Stateside
Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron Stateside

Am I correct or up the wrong tree but wasn’t Mr B.Netanyahu of American birth if so he has deficated on the country that gave his family the religious freedoms that were denied before moving to Amerca .His attitude was one of I’ll screw America for what I can get, with no regrets

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

Post script, When he’s passed on The phrase Righteous amongst Men ,should be stricend from his epitaph

Ron Stateside
Ron Stateside
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

Yes I believe his father was a teacher at the very first American Jewish school. In business the best deals are ones that work out for both parties: you need a holding midfielder and I need a goalie. OK. When people can’t be enlightened about that I often wonder if it’s a cultural/educational thing or something inate about the individual’s worldview/personality regardless of background.

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron Stateside

Thank you Ron

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron Stateside

Really Ron, is this proven fact, please point us towards supporting evidence? In what way is the J10 related to the F16, quite apart from that, do you seriously not think Pakistan hasn’t let the Chinese have full unrestricted access to their F16 fleet for the last two decades, the Chinese probably have a few on permanent loan at Chengdu! I don’t think you are giving the Chinese the credit they deserve in aircraft design, they are forging ahead with their own designs and before you say the F20 and 31 have certain F22 and 35 design features, the required… Read more »

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

The Israeli’s didn’t share tech and specs on the F16 per se,it was their own iteration of it,the Lavi that has some connection with the J10.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

Hi Paul, I thought the Israelis had always denied that accusation?

It’s just a close coupled canard delta, a configuration that was popular back in the 80’s and 90’s in Europe.

If you make this design single engined and baring in mind you only really have two options for engine intake position, then you will come up with a similar design layout to the Lavi by default.

‘If’ the Israelis did cooperate with China back in the 90’s on military projects, you can bet they regret it now, as Iran is a major client state of China today.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

China is a highly county that is blowing the socks of the western nations in many fields of tec and science, some people forget that it’s a long time ago that China was some peasant focused subsistence farming failing communist state. Whatever you think of the CCP they are far cleverer communists than the Soviet Union and really learnt the lesson on how to out compete a liberal capitalist states. The nation that is the world leader in things like quantum communication systems across air water interfaces is not going to be prevented in advances in military tec by preventing… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Spot on Johnathan, I went to China a number of times in the 90’s and the year on year advancement in infrastructure was absolutely jaw dropping! That was 25 years ago and in just one area of its economy. Apparently, the only area in aerospace they are currently behind the west is in Propulsion. That particular Chinese mix of command and Market economy, pays dividends in defence, they will release a requirement and have a prototype in the air before a Western nation could finish arguing who was going to design and build it! That allows them early insight into… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Yes the one thing the western nations have is more experience in actual application of some of this tec, especially around programming ( the west just has more mature knowledge). But while we are perfecting the art of what we have they are pushing the boundaries in very key tec and their mission is not about immediate aggression, but the total domination of future tec bases and hegemony through this method. It’s exactly what we did with the industrial revolution, overwhelmed our vastly more powerful rivals by technologies and trading on this for wealth creation.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jonathan
Ron Stateside
Ron Stateside
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

The west at one point had more mature technology. Israel handing over the Lavi designs because they didn’t have the money to produce their own F-16i (the defense budget was approaching 30% of GDP at the time), contributed massively to China reaching pace. Even if you reject that premise, who is to say whatever extreme right-wing government is next in power in that state, will not sell F35i tech?

Last edited 1 month ago by Ron Stateside
William Glew
William Glew
1 month ago

A bit of a non-event – the RAF has been involved in this winter exercise for over 40 years. Another case of re-inventing the wheel !!

Trevor W Hogg
Trevor W Hogg
1 month ago

Sorry Ladies but what has the deployment of a British Forces to Norway, which this article is about, got to do with the issues in the Ukraine and France. Could we keep on topic please.

Derek
Derek
1 month ago

I see they are using Hercs … therefore …. one must assume they can never repeat the exercise at this scale again, once they are gone without replacement!