POTD: Royal Marines in the Arctic Circle

    Small teams of Royal Marines conduct discrete reconnaissance exercises in freezing conditions deep inside the Arctic Circle.

    Fresh and cold pictures of Royal Marines specialists from the Arctic Circle is what’s on offer in our Photo Of The Day. If you can offer some help in identifying the firearms please let us know in the comments below. We think they are Colt Canada C8 SFWs, also known as the L119 in the U.K. service, but there seem to be some differences. The paint job is pretty interesting for the arctic environment but looks good at least.

    Here’s an excerpt from the communication:

    Small teams of Royal Marines are conducting discrete reconnaissance exercises in freezing conditions deep inside the Arctic Circle.

    A small team from the Surveillance Reconnaissance Squadron of 30 Commando Information Exploitation Group landed in small inflatable boats to conduct a technical reconnaissance mission on the shores of an Arctic fjord.

    The Squadron’s Shore Reconnaissance Team carried out a survey of the area, studying the surroundings to establish a beachhead for amphibious forces to crash ashore and attack enemy positions.

    This essential training ensures the specialist team are razor sharp for operations, no matter how extreme the environment.

    Their role is to ensure that amphibious forces are able to access coastlines, establishing the best points of access and feeding back vital information on the terrain.

    Sergeant Alan Billot, said: “The conditions we face in the Arctic are challenging, so training here gives us confidence that we can operate anywhere in the world.”

    The team operate small craft in harsh conditions, but to get the best data they must get out of the boat and swim, even in temperatures of -30°C degrees and in challenging sea states.

    Each commando wears multiple layers of clothing to protect from the weather. They wear up to three pairs of gloves and mitts, plus body armour, webbing, helmet, rifle and lifejacket.

    Once the beach recce is complete, the team moves on to their next target. They can operate for weeks on end without support and with few opportunities to communicate back to base.

    The Shore Reconnaissance Team are one of the technical trades within the Surveillance Reconnaissance Squadron. All teams within the group are technical experts in their field and with a vast amount of experience in deep reconnaissance.

    30 Commando IX Group are deployed to the Arctic alongside fellow units from across 3 Commando Brigade, including the Commando Logistics Regiment, 45 Commando, 29 Commando Royal Artillery and 24 Commando Royal Engineers.