A statement from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization claims that the Dutch and Czech forces from one of NATO’s battlegroups in the eastern part of the Alliance are taking part in cold weather training in Lithuania.
According to a statement, this month, soldiers are learning how to survive in extreme weather conditions.
Allied troops focused on building shelters to protect themselves from the elements.
“It is important not to build your shelter too high. Hot air rises and cold air goes down. To keep warm with these temperatures you want to stay close to the heat,” said a Dutch private in the infantry company.
The Dutch soldiers also practiced ice diving, being immersed in freezing water with their equipment.
The Czech troops learned how to camouflage their positions. “We are training in this weather because we need to be prepared for all conditions,” said a Czech first lieutenant and deputy company commander.
“The benefit is especially good for the younger soldiers. There is a 16 years age difference between the youngest and oldest soldiers. And that also goes for experience. In these trainings we are all getting to the same level,” added a Czech first lieutenant and platoon commander.
NATO’s enhanced forward presence consists of four multinational battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. These battlegroups, led by the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and the United States respectively, are multinational, and combat-ready, demonstrating the strength of the transatlantic bond. Their presence makes clear that an attack on one Ally would be considered an attack on the whole Alliance.
Additionally, last month, the United Kingdom’s naval warfare force has announced that Royal Marines have arrived in the high north for their first test on the UK’s new mission to defend the Arctic.
The elite commandos are training hundreds of miles inside the Arctic Circle, honing their survival and combat skills in temperatures as low as -30°C alongside NATO allies.
Minister of Defence Gavin Williamson underlined the UK’s ongoing commitment to the Arctic in September, putting the area central to the security of the United Kingdom.
“Obviously, the temperature is something you’re fighting against, but we have all the best kit, equipment and attitude to deal with it” said Lance Corporal Sean Johns
“As the UK’s specialists in extreme cold weather warfare, Commando Forces, led by 40 Commando Royal Marines, are currently operating above the Arctic Circle to maintain and develop our warfighting skills in one of the world’s most extreme environments,” said Lieutenant Colonel Paul Maynard, Officer Commanding of 40 Commando.