Operating in Extreme Environments

Whether on ships, submarines or aircraft. In dense jungle or freezing conditions. Across steep mountains, barren deserts or in the heart of urban landscapes. In the Royal Navy there’s no such thing as another day in the office. 
The range of environments in which the Royal Navy operates is so diverse that it requires a comprehensive set of skills to meet every challenge. 


In the Mediterranean, the arctic or the Caribbean. Carrying troops, equipment or fuel. On a Royal Navy ship, there is always a buzz.

On Submarines

There’s no denying that working on a submarine is challenging. But it’s also one of the most exciting work environments you could ever experience. 

On Land

Restoring infrastructure in the wake of disasters, on reconnaissance missions, or fighting insurgents – in the Royal Navy you will have the chance to work at sea and beyond.

In the Air

Helicopters are key to extending the reach of our might. As part of the Fleet Air Arm you could take to the skies on both humanitarian and wartime missions.

On ice

There is no harsher environment to live, work and fight in. Deep snow, ice, temperatures below -30°C. But with the right training, Royal Marines take all this in their stride and thrive.

In the jungle

Our elite fighting forces know the ins and outs of working in the jungle. They understand the secrets of survival and how to use the environment to their advantage. 

In the desert

The heat of the day. The cold of the night. Staying effective with scarce water in a demanding environment is no easy feat – unless you’ve been trained in desert warfare like the Royal Marines.

in cities

Urban combat is unlike anything else. Operating in often complex and industrial places, while maintaining the safety of civilians, is part and parcel of being an elite fighter. 

operations Operation Kipion

Units of the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary have been on patrol in the Gulf since October 1980, after the Iran/Iraq conflict of that year, and more recently operations have extended further south with the increase in piracy off the Somalia coast.

Having warships present in the region is one of the main tools the UK has to show our commitment to this part of the world.

operations Antarctic patrol

To provide a UK sovereign presence in the British Antarctic Territory, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and their surrounding maritime areas, to underpin their security and good governance; and meet the UK treaty obligations and exercise rights under the Antarctic Treaty System through inspections, hydrographic charting and support to scientific research.

operations Joint Warrior

Joint Warrior provides a complex environment in which UK, NATO and allied units can go through training together in tactics and skills for use in a combined joint task force.

The exercise runs through a range of scenarios, including crisis and conflict situations, that could be realistically encountered in operations - disputed territory, terrorist activity, piracy and more.

operations Search and Rescue - UK

The Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm provide Search and Rescue cover to large sections of the United Kingdom coastline, 24 hours a day and 365 days per year, typically at 15 minutes notice. Based at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall and HMS Gannet, Prestwick, in Scotland, Royal Navy helicopters are constantly available and fly missions that are as varied as they are far-reaching.

Our Capability

Much is said about the Royal Navy’s incredible kit. But even more should be said about the highly talented people that make it all happen. Ready to discover their diverse skills and capabilities?

One Team, One Identity

The Royal Navy is a complex and well-oiled machine with many parts and one purpose. To protect the nation’s interests. Making it happen are 30,000 highly skilled men and women across our five arms – the Surface Fleet, the Submarine Service, the Fleet Air Arm, the Royal Marines and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

Multiple Disciplines

To operate in all environments, no matter what the conditions or circumstances requires some of the most specialised skills and disciplines imaginable. And some incredible teamwork. Explore how these elements come together.