EX ICE READY
Norway – Lakselv
18 November 2016 – 4 December 2016
A team of 11 Army soldiers and officers travelled to Porsangmoen in northern Norway on Sunday 20 November 2016 for Exercise Ice Ready, the second of three overseas training and selection exercises ahead of Exercise Ice Maiden.
This time the squad were offered no respite from the Norwegian chill and were placed in tents immediately upon arrival, late at night. Three days of ‘acclimatisation’ training followed under the tutelage of Norwegian Captain Vibeke Sefland from the School of Winter Warfare, the expedition leaders and WO2 Will Brant (RAPTC) of the Joint Service Mountain Training Centre.
The team progressed further away from camp and conducted a nine day exercise which saw them ski distances of between 15km and 29km per day. The squad skied for up to 10 hours per day, completing 60 minute legs, followed by 10 minute breaks, during which time food and drink would be consumed, clothing and equipment adjusted and the complex toilet routine performed. Initially, each woman’s individual pulk weighed approximately 30kg, but this was increased considerably with the introduction of a 20kg jerry can of ice on day five of the exercise!
The rhythm of the ski routine was interspersed with further instruction from WO2 Brant who taught the team how to perform crevasse rescues of increasing complexity. At the conclusion of the exercise, the expedition leaders had to make some difficult decisions regarding who would be brought forward to the next round of the selection process.
Seven women were invited to progress to Exercise Ice Diamond in February 2017. They represent a cross section of the rank structure, both Regular and Reservists, and hail from the Royal Artillery, Royal Signals, Honourable Artillery Company and the Royal Army Medical Corps.
BUILD ON THE FOUNDATIONS LEARNT ON EX ICE BAMBI
DEVELOP NORDIC SKI TOURING SKILLS WITH PULKS
INTRODUCTION AND PRACTICE OF POLAR NAVIGATION
LEARN MAINTENANCE OF KIT AND EQUIPMENT
INTRODUCTION TO PRACTICAL CREVASSE RESCUE
ESTABLISH A DAILY ROUTINE AND ALLOCATE TASKS AND ROLES
SELECT THE SEVEN CANDIDATES TO PROCEED TO EX ICE DIAMOND