Commando Merlin helicopters from 845 Naval Air Squadron, currently on Operation Clockwork have replenished log supplies to Arctic Cabins in the Øvre Dividal National Park, Norway.

This annual gesture is a thank you to local Norwegians is undertaken during Operation Clockwork. The cabins, which sit at over 2000ft above sea level are used by hikers for shelter and in emergency throughout the year. Dry, quality firewood is essential fuel to keep hikers warm as they wait out the changeable and sometimes dangerous weather.

The Commando Mobile Air Operations Team prepare the pick-up and drop off sites and also prepare the stores to be loaded both into and underneath the aircraft. The loaded Merlin helicopters then fly through valleys before climbing the towering mountains of the National Park to the drop off points near the cabins.

Keeping these emergency cabins stocked with logs is a demanding task, made easier when lifted by powerful Commando Merlin helicopters. Without helicopter support this task would often be completed using local volunteers riding snowmobiles through the wilderness for weeks. By using the Merlin however, a load of 3 tons can be moved in a matter of hours.

The firewood is provided by the Troms Turlag (The Norwegian Trekking Association), who request the help of the CHF units on their annual winter deployment on Operation Clockwork.