RAF Air Mobility Force (AMF) assets from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, have started deploying personnel from all three UK MOD services to Northern Norway for an annual cold weather training exercise.
Dubbed Exercise Clockwork, the deployment will see multiple AMF assets involved including, the C-17A Globemaster, A400M, Voyager and C-130J. The various aircraft will transport equipment and personnel to Bardufoss Air Base, Norway, which is located north of the Arctic circle.
The RAF C-17 force from 99 Squadron will participate in exercise Clockwork for the first time, allowing the transportation of larger Joint Helicopter Force assets such as Apache attack helicopters and their crews to take part in the extreme cold weather training.
During the exercise, the C-17s will be flown in a war fighting role at a location where temperatures can plummet below -30°C.
Officer Commanding of 99 Squadron, Wing Commander Essex said: "The C-17 gives the RAF the strategic capability to transport large equipment, such as an Apache, over long distances, that in turn can be rapidly deployed. It is all about adding flexibility to succeed on operations."