SIX of Yorkshire’s commandos have endured Arctic temperatures to hone their fighting skills in one of the world’s most challenging environments.
The troops have just completed two weeks of cold weather survival and warfare training inside the Arctic Circle in Norway.
“If you can survive and fight there, you can survive and fight anywhere,” explained Lieutenant Ian Kilgour.
The marines were among more than 40 commandos from across the UK testing their mettle in Exercise Hairspring. But one thing distinguished them from many other members of the British Armed Forces … they all have full-time civilian jobs alongside their roles in the Royal Marine Reserves (RMRs).
Ian is officer commanding of the RMR’s Leeds detachment at Carlton Barracks and was in Norway with five other marines from the unit. But in his civilian life, he is a paramedic with the other marines having civilian roles ranging from an outdoor pursuits instructor, a builders’ merchant, a nutritionist to a project manager.
“We come from all walks of life and our careers within RMR couldn’t be more different from our ‘day jobs’.
“This was my fourth time in the Artic and I was there to develop cold weather warfare skills. Others were there for the first time and were mastering the cold weather survival and learning how to ski.”
“The fantastic thing is that the skills we develop are hugely transferable. They not only help us in the workplace but also stand us in good stead wherever in the world we could be deployed with the forces in the future.”