Prince Harry visits military exercises in Bardufoss

Prince HarryBardufoss. Prince Harry.Photo: Rune Stoltz Bertinussen / NTB scanpix

The British prince, Harry Windsor, was in Bardufoss to mark the Arctic winter exercise, Clockwork, held annually for 50 years.

Just before 11.30 on Thursday, Prince Harry (34) arrived at Bardufoss in Troms. Both Norwegian and British media had come up to cover the visit, as well as Britain’s ambassador, Richard Wood, and military personnel.

The Prince came on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Exercise Clockwork, which is held annually in what Kensington Palace described as some of the most demanding surroundings in the world. More than 16,000 British soldiers have participated in the exercise since 1969.

Prince Harry will meet military personnel who live and train at the base. He will also look at the equipment and training and talk to participants. But the prince does not go out into the field as a soldier.

Over a thousand British elite soldiers will train for a counter-attack against a thought-out Russian invasion in Norway. About 8,000 soldiers participate in the exercise, among them forces from the US and Europe’’ wrote The Daily Mirror newspaper.

Sea King helicopter transfer

The Prince will also be involved in the awarding of a SeaKing helicopter the British give to the Norwegian Armed Forces as a thank you for having been practicing with this helicopter at Clockwork in Indre Troms for 50 years.

‘’On behalf of the Armed Forces, the Air Force and Bardufoss Air Station, I greatly appreciate this gift from our close allies.

It shows that the relationship between our two nations is still close. Their presence contributes to the Norwegian goal of increasing allied presence in the High North’’ said Major General Tonje Skinnarland, head of the Air Force.

Important cooperation

Ambassador Wood emphasised to NRK news the importance of Norwegian-British cooperation.

“It is extremely important that the Norwegian and British armed forces continue the close cooperation, and today symbolises this close relationship” said Wood. He added that British forces are planning to return to Norway each year to train with Norwegian military forces.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today