THE King of Norway, His Majesty King Harald V, witnessed the landing of K-Company 42 Commando Royal Marines from the Nation’s Flagship HMS Bulwark, during Exercise Cold Response this afternoon.
Exercise Cold Response is a Norwegian run multi-national exercise for NATO and Allied Nations conducted deep inside the Arctic Circle. For the men of Plymouth based K Company it is the capstone to their winter deployment. They have had the opportunity to develop core mountain and cold weather warfare skills. For the ships, they’ve refreshed their complex amphibious skills in a harsh environment.
The King, himself an Honorary Colonel in the Royal Marines, spent 90 minutes visiting the Company at their beach landing site in the Malangen Fjord. During his time he witnessed a demonstration of an amphibious attack on a beach head and took time to chat to the men, the great majority of whom have seen recent service in Afghanistan. At the end of the demonstration HMS Bulwark marked the occasion with a 21– gun salute that reverberated around the fjord.
In addition to the Royal Marines, he was able to view equipment from the Royal Netherlands Marines Corps who are training alongside K Company
Commodore Paddy McAlpine OBE, Royal Navy, who commands the United Kingdom Task Group in Norway from HMS Bulwark said “It’s a great honour to have the opportunity to demonstrate the UK’s amphibious capability to His Majesty, especially given his special ties to the Royal Marines. The visit of the King demonstrates the close bond between the UK and Norway, which goes back many years.”
Bulwark’s Commanding Officer, Captain Alex Burton said “ My ship is phenomenally versatile and in this exercise we act as the hub to bring together all the Royal Navy’s units from Royal Marines, to aircraft and ships that make up the modern-day complex battlefield.”
He added: “Today was perfect. Unusually, we had calm sunny weather to show off the complexity of amphibious operations delivered by those that do it best: The Royal Navy and Royal Marines. It is what we do and it doesn’t get much better than this”
Captain Martin Triggol, Royal Marines, who explained to King Harald how the Amphibious Beach Unit works said “He was very interested in the level of expertise required to make all this happen.”