Royal Marines from 30 Commando’s Surveillance and Reconnaissance Squadron, typically engaged in intelligence gathering, were involved in a rescue operation in the Arctic Circle.
The operation focused on locating two hikers who were reported missing in the Helligskogen region, known for its challenging terrain and frigid temperatures, often dropping below -20°C.
According to a news release, the Marines’ efforts were in collaboration with Norwegian authorities, including the Norwegian Police and search and rescue teams. The Royal Marines’ Operations Room at the Helligskogen military camp acted as the coordination center for the operation.
Warrant Officer 2 Dave Strickson, a Mountain Leader, commented on the operation, was quoted as saying, “Thankfully, we were stood down when the first Norwegian team to deploy found the hikers in a mountain shelter.” He also highlighted the spirit of collaboration and mutual support, “Following the incident, all involved came back to Helligskogen to conduct an after-action review and to thank us for our support and hospitality.”
Reflecting on the broader strategic importance of the region, Major Ric Cole, spokesperson for the Commando Force, noted, “The opening of Arctic trade routes and the constant threats require the UK to support NATO and our Scandinavian allies more than ever… Together, with US and Dutch involvement, we seek to develop a potent force capable of defending NATO’s Arctic flank.”