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Cold weather: It's in our DNA say marines

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: March 17, 2014

Royal Marine Reservists on ski patrol in the hills of Harstad, northern Norway, in the Arctic Circle as part of their two-week cold weather survival training Picture: David Cheskin/PA

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Dozens of reservist marines have endured a fortnight of living in temperatures of -30C (-22F) in the Arctic Circle as they honed their skills in one of the world's most challenging environments.

Troops from the Royal Marines Reserve (RMR) took time off from their civilian jobs to complete cold weather survival and warfare training in northern Norway.

The group included lawyers, doctors, police officers and shop workers who were taught cross-country skiing, how to survive after falling through ice, cooking in the extreme cold and how to build a snow shelter.

The project, named Operation Hairspring, was led by Lieutenant Colonel Richard Parvin, Commanding Officer of RMR Scotland. He said: "Temperatures this year ranged from 5C (41F) down to a low of -30C where we routinely train. Cold weather training is at the core of what we as Royal Marines do; it is in our DNA.

"Reservists are everyday men from every walk of life who have a unique bond in that they are members of a 350-year-old family. They are a small band of highly committed individuals who manage their civilian and family lives to undertake intensive, yet rewarding, training and deploy around the globe."

Most reservists had to take a two-week holiday from their work in the UK to go through the course. Military bosses believe the men's experiences in the field give them skills they can take back to the workplace while the knowledge that comes with their job can boost the strength of any unit on operations.

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