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Arctic Norway 'too cold' for British troops

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Arctic Norway 'too cold' for British troops
Soldiers training at the Allied Training Centre in Porsanger - Photo: Allied Training Centre, Porsanger
10:48 CET+01:00
British soldiers are shying away from doing exercises at the Allied Training Centre in Porsangmoen -- Norway's most northerly military base -- because they simply can't stand the cold, the centre's commanding officer has complained.
"British officers have said that they do not want to train with large divisions in Porsanger, where the temperature drops to 25 degrees below zero," Lieutenant Colonel Trond Thomassen told the local Finnmarks Dagblad newspaper. 
 
 
"The British have rules for health and safety. They would be sitting in the barracks, and receiving no training at all, whenever the mercury dropped below minus 20." 
 
Ida Kathrine Balto, a local politician with the Labour Party, told the newspaper she was astounded by the British approach. 
 
"Let's hope there's no winter war!" she said. "To my mind, you would think that a little extreme weather would provide better training for soldiers." 
 
Thomassen pointed out that within NATO, "Cold Winter Training" is defined as eight degrees centigrade and below. 
 
"I understand that people from Finnmark will be amused by this, as eight degrees in Finnmark means a fine autumn day," he said. "But we must remember that NATO includes nations like the Germans, Spaniards and Italians, who have completely different climates." 
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