We do prepare in the UK with simulators but there is only so much you can do. A lot of it is learning once you’re out here and in the environment for real.

Pilot Lieutenant Mark Hanson

847 NAS also went through the training, known as environmental qualifications.

Pilot Lieutenant Mark Hanson is in Norway for the first time. The 29-year-old said: “It has been really good out here and thanks to the engineers, we have been able to do lots of flying.

“The environmental qualifications see us do mountain flying, snow landings and allows us to get used to the pressures of operating in a cold environment.

“The weather is a big factor and the first few times flying in the snow is a little disorientating.

“We do prepare in the UK with simulators but there is only so much you can do. A lot of it is learning once you’re out here and in the environment for real.

“One of the challenges I have found is recirculation when landing because the snow limits visibility. That is why the Aircrewman are invaluable in helping us.”

Aircrewman Sergeant Ryan Sceats said challenges like snow recirculation are why spending time in Norway is so important as well as the need for 847 NAS to support Royal Marines, the military’s extreme cold weather warfare experts.

With the environmental qualifications nearly over, the squadron will be moving on to the next step of their training.

Sgt Sceats said: “Over the next few days we will start with live firing, tasking and working with the Norwegians on some exercises. We are all really looking forward to that.”

Lt Hanson added: “For some of us it is our first time doing the live firing so it will be good to move on to the next phase of our time out here.”

The freezing temperatures can present challenges for the engineers. Twenty-two year old Air Engineering Technician Harry Sheeran has been in Norway for the past few weeks. It is his first time abroad with 847 NAS.

He said: “The work we do out here is the same as what we do in the UK but we have to deal with the harsher environment. It is all about improving the capability of the squadron to operate in this sort of weather.

“Despite the cold it has been really enjoyable working in Norway. It has been a good experience and I liked dealing with the challenges we’ve had to face.”

While in Norway, the personnel of 847 NAS have to complete their cold weather survival training. This is a week-long course which sees them learn how to survive in the snow, including in tents ranging from four-men to 10-men, how to build a snow shelter known as a Quincey and finally, how to get themselves out of a frozen lake in drills known as ice-breaking.