Royal Marine Commandos won’t be able to participate in an annual exercise in Norway, where they practice their Arctic warfare specialism, due to the lack of money. The financial issues mean that the 2018 exercise won’t take place. The warfighting training usually takes place each year with up to 700 marines to sharpen their skills in sub-zero conditions.
Marines are the UK’s main Arctic warfare specialists, and the news came at a time when the Royal Navy, of which the marines are a part of, is trying to plug a £500 million (USD$648) budget gap. Commando-trained army personnel, Royal Navy sailors, and aircrew were also supposed to take part in the drills. According to “The Times”, an unnamed defense official said:
“This is essentially giving up on our northern flank and signaling to the Russians that we can’t be bothered to do it.”
The British Royal Marines, numbering around 7,000-8,000 including part-time reserves, have been diminished by defense austerity.
Published by: The War Files