In the first of an occasional series, former RAF photographer Warrant Officer Rick Brewell (ret’d) gives behind the scenes insights into what was required to capture the stunning images he took. This article details one of the more unusual photo shoots from his 39-year service career.

A bubble window on the port side near the front of the aircraft was opened so I could get my shots. A North Pole image featured in the RAF calendar and others appeared in various publications.
All photos WO Rick Brewell (ret’d)/MOD

In May 1992 two nuclear-powered submarines HMS Trenchant and USS Spadefish were set to break through the ice at the North Pole and rendezvous with two RAF Nimrods involved in a navigation training mission. Because compasses don’t work very well as you near the magnetic pole, the aircrews were to practise other means of navigation in this featureless and inhospitable place – the proximity of the subs provided a unique photo opportunity that I was tasked to capture.

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