ARCTIC TENSIONS: Royal Navy Vessel Takes Part in NATO Arctic Exercises as Tensions Between West and Putin Peak

These images show a Royal Navy vessel taking part in NATO exercises in the Arctic as tensions between the alliance and Vladimir Putin’s Russia peak.

Newsflash obtained the images on 31st March from the Royal Navy, which said the images were shot aboard the RFA Tidesurge and the HMS Richmond.

The vessels were taking part in the NATO Cold Response 2022 exercises.

RFA Tidesurge battles through rough Arctic seas on NATO exercise. (Royal Navy, RFA Tidesurge and HMS Richmond/Newsflash)

Previous footage obtained from the Royal Navy showed an elite British Royal Marine commando launching a raid in a dinghy from a surfaced Royal Navy submarine as part of a Cold Response exercise in Norwegian Arctic waters.

The previous images were shot at the fjord of Lyngen, which lies some “three dozen miles east of Tromso deep inside the Arctic Circle”, according to the Royal Navy. The fjord is located just over 200 miles from the Russian border, and the Royal Navy said that the mock raid was carried out as part of the “Cold Response 2022 exercise”, the “largest winter exercise hosted in Norway in 30 years”.

The exercise comes amid heightened tensions between NATO and Russia over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, with one member of the elite team, unnamed, quoted as saying that they also worked with their Norwegian colleagues and that it was an excellent opportunity to be able to “work together to achieve a common aim”.

RFA Tidesurge battles through rough Arctic seas on NATO exercise. (Royal Navy, RFA Tidesurge and HMS Richmond/Newsflash)

NATO states that “as a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Norway has been an active participant in NATO since the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington on the 4th of April 1949”. The Royal Navy said that the (previous) images show the Surveillance and Reconnaissance Squadron (SRS), which is part of the Royal Marines unit of the British Armed Forces, launching “small teams from an Astute-class hunter-killer submarine”, which calls Her Majesty’s submarine base in Faslane, Scotland, home, “for ‘subsurface insertion’ missions”.

The (previous) footage shows the Royal Marines in an inflatable dinghy that starts out perched on top of the surfaced British submarine, with the snowy Norwegian coast and mountains in the background.

The Royal Navy said that the aim was to conduct mock “reconnaissance missions on the rocky, icy shoreline in sub-zero temperatures while avoiding the multi-national ‘enemy’ force hunting them”.

RFA Tidesurge battles through rough Arctic seas on NATO exercise. (Royal Navy, RFA Tidesurge and HMS Richmond/Newsflash)

The wind can be heard blowing as the rear end of the submarine slowly descends, causing the dinghy to float on the surface unaided. The elite British marines can then be seen approaching land at speed, as the dinghies’ powerful outboard motors propel them along the surface of the icy cold water.

The British commandos can then be seen returning to the submarine, which can be seen with its upper part above the water. The submarine is then seen moving across the surface of the water at speed as the footage ends.

The Royal Navy explained that the “Surveillance and Reconnaissance Squadron – drawn from Plymouth-based 30 Commando Information Exploitation Group – is a specialist team of commandos who forge the way ahead for their fellow green berets to follow”.

RFA Tidesurge battles through rough Arctic seas on NATO exercise. (Royal Navy, RFA Tidesurge and HMS Richmond/Newsflash)

The Royal Navy added that it is trained to “gather valuable information on the terrain, the enemy and suitable beach landing places for larger amphibious forces to come ashore, arriving by ski, snowmobile, boat, all-terrain vehicles, helicopter or parachute, depending on the situation and environment”.

The SRS team leader, unnamed, is quoted in the (previous) Royal Navy statement as saying: “Being able to move sub-surface gives us a discreet means of moving our specialist teams to any coastline in the world.” He added: “Not only can we conduct operations in isolation but by accessing and reconnoitring these complex coastlines by small craft we can set the conditions for larger, more lethal follow on forces.”

And his deputy, also unnamed, added: “Working alongside the submarine was a great opportunity for us. In addition to the submarine work we also took the opportunity to operate alongside our Norwegian colleagues.

RFA Tidesurge battles through rough Arctic seas on NATO exercise. (Royal Navy, RFA Tidesurge and HMS Richmond/Newsflash)

“We used one of their larger, faster craft to access areas out of range of our small craft, an excellent example of working together to achieve a common aim.”

Commodore Jim Perks, the head of the Royal Navy Submarine Service, said: “The ability to operate undetected for significant periods of time with top quality kit ensures that a submarine remains a formidable delivery mechanism, in this case enabling the covert deployment of the Surveillance and Reconnaissance team as showcased in the exercises off Norway.

“Our ability to work together highlights the remarkable attributes of the team and the platforms in which we operate.”

Royal Marines launch commando raid from Astute class submarine during Arctic exercise Cold Response 2022. (Royal Navy/Newsflash )

The Royal Navy added: “Cold Response is a biennial exercise designed to demonstrate NATO’s collective Arctic war fighting capability and test their ability to protect Norway from modern threats. “This year’s exercise is the largest of its kind for more than 30 years and has involved 30,000 military personnel from 27 nations including Norwegians, US, Dutch, French, Italians and Germans.

“The UK is one of very few nations capable of operating in this demanding environment. The Royal Marines have been conducting cold weather training in Norway for over 50 years and are the UK’s force of choice for the region.”

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