Grantham RAF Reservist battles extreme elements in Norway

Exercise Wintermarch
Exercise Wintermarch
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An RAF Reservist from Grantham has taken part in a joint exercise with the Norwegian Reserve Officers Federation to further develop their ability to operate under extreme weather conditions.

The arduous training called Exercise Wintermarch took place in the region of Hardangervidda, a remote location in the foothills of the Rjukan valleys, overlooked by snow capped mountains and sheer ice walls.

Senior Aircraftman Richard Turner, 47, runs a construction company during the week in between his reservist commitments with 7006 Squadron at RAF Waddington.

He said: “My company takes what I do with the Royal Air Force as being very rewarding for not only myself but them too, and last year won an award to recognise the support they give me as a civilian company.

“Wintermarch 15 is another example of brilliant training provided by the RAF, giving me the chance to gain new skills and qualities that I can transfer back in to my civilian work - not without getting a few bruises along the way!”

Exercise Wintermarch involved 15 RAF Squadrons from around the UK, including Intelligence, Force Protection, Supply, Logistics, Helicopter Support, Medics and more.

They learned to cross-country ski with standard NATO military issue kit, while also receiving lessons in mountain and avalanche awareness, rescue, first aid and personal care under extreme cold weather conditions.

Squadron Leader Paul Chegwidden, project officer for WM15, said: “Exercise Wintermarch provides the chance for more arduous conditions for our personnel who are encouraged to challenge themselves beyond their normal capabilities. It also contributes to the RAF’s aims to engage with reservists offering the best training possible.”

“From the individuals’ point of view, it gives them the opportunity to do things that they wouldn’t do in their civilian life, here they can acquire new skills, make new friends, and it provides an idea of the bigger picture of what the RAF Reserves are all about.”

The training has also built upon the close partnership developed with their Norwegian counterparts over the last 20 years.

To follow EX. WINTERMARCH 2015 activities on social media, use @RAFMediaReserve and #WM15.