While most people are looking at heading for sun-kissed continental beaches one group of part-time airmen from Moray have been doing the exact opposite – and loving every minute.
Reservists from RAF Lossiemouth’s 2622 (Highland) Squadron have just returned from a week long exercise in which they experienced working in one of the coldest and most unforgiving climates in the world.
Exercise Wintermarch is an annual test for airmen drawn from around the UK who are the guests of the Norwegian Reserve Officers Federation. The aim of the exercise is to allow RAF personnel an opportunity to develop skills in extreme cold conditions.
The exercise took place close to Rjukan in the Hardangervidda region of Norway – famous around the world for the Second World War ‘Telemark’ operation, an attack by commandos on the heavy water factory that was crucial to Nazi plans to create an atomic bomb.
Amongst the airmen who took part in Wintermarch 2015 was SAC Sean Keenan from Elgin, who said: “For what we do in the RAF Regiment being able to come to Norway and learn skills that could help us on future operations in cold weather environments was invaluable.”
An electronics engineer in his day job, Sean added: “On top of that we got to work alongside other squadrons with other trades and learn from them about the wider air force – and all in a beautiful country.”
Project officer for the Norwegian trip was Squadron Leader Paul Chegwidden, who said: “Exercise Wintermarch provided the chance for more arduous conditions for our personnel who are encouraged to challenge themselves beyond their normal capabilities.
“It also contributed to the RAF’s aims to engage with reservists, offering the best training possible.”
To learn more about opportunities for men and women to serve with 2622 Squadron visit www.rafreserves.com or give them a call on 01343 810776.