HAVANT MP Alan Mak has spent five days in the freezing fjords of Norway with the Royal Navy’s elite fighting force, the Royal Marines.
The Tory politician embedded with the Marines while they were on exercise in the Arctic Circle as part of a year-long military ‘work experience’ programme for MPs.
During Mr Mak’s visit he experienced the harsh realities Marines face when operating in sub-zero temperatures.
Speaking to The News, the MP said: ‘Spending time with the Royal Marines on exercise with our Nato allies in Norway’s Arctic Circle was a huge honour and a fantastic hands-on experience.
‘From piloting a small boat along a fjord to building an overnight survival shelter from logs and brushwood, this experience gave me a real insight into the work of our Marines on the ground.
‘Their patriotism, sense of duty and work ethic are an example to us all.’
Their patriotism, sense of duty and work ethic are an example to us allAlan Mak, Havant MP
Flying out from RAF Base Brize Norton, he linked up with the amphibious fighting force at the Asegarden military base.
Thick snow – waist deep at points – surrounded the base where Mr Mak stayed.
On his first day of operations with the Marines, the MP was shown equipment used by the force on missions, including the offshore raiding craft – a high-speed assault vessel also used for transporting troops across the water.
Marines put the politician to the test by getting him to pilot the boat through the Norwegian fjords.
Other parts of his trip saw him constructing a survival shelter from snow and logs in Norway’s frozen tundra as well as joining in with a beach reconnaissance exercise.
Adam Fico, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Trust, which arranged the placements for MPs, said Mr Mak was a ‘strong supporter of the armed forces.
‘It’s vital for MPs like Alan to understand what our armed forces do on the ground when they make decisions in Westminster,’ he added.