Merlin helicopters stopped off at Sumburgh on way to Arctic training 

Three military helicopters spotted at Sumburgh Airport this week were on their way to train far inside the Arctic circle.

The Commando Merlins were turning heads when they stopped off to refuel on Tuesday morning, with many folk wondering what they could be doing.

The Royal Navy has since confirmed the helicopters are taking part in two exercises named “Clockwork” and “Cold Response”.

Clockwork is the annual Arctic training, which takes place in northern Norway, to provide personnel with experience of extreme conditions, including temperatures as low as -30C. 

It has trained more than 16,000 Royal Marines and Royal Navy sailors and airmen since 1969.

The Norwegian-led Cold Response takes places every other year with NATO partner countries. This year’s large-scale exercise will involve 35,000 troops from 26 countries.


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