Lt Janine Whitley is a Troop Commander at Medical Squadron which is part of 3 Commando Brigade's Commando Logistics Regiment. Working closely with the Royal Marines (RM), Med Sqn are held at short notice to provide medical support worldwide.
This year Lt Whitley was lucky enough to deploy as OC of Medical Reception Station (MRS) in support of the RM winter deployment to Norway. The opportunity included a week of Cold Weather Survival training which taught all ranks to survive in an Artic environment that saw temperatures falling to below -20 degrees. This training involved learning to walk on snow shoes and skiing through the day and night on ‘Pussers Planks’ with a full Bergan on. Accommodation involved sleeping for 2 nights in 10 man tent, 2 nights in a 4 man tent and finally a survival night which involved building a shelter, learning how to build a fire, kill a chicken and staying out all night with only a pair of thermals, full goretex and the contents of your pockets to survive with. The finale of the training was the infamous ice breaking drills where everyone has to ski into an ice hole, before lifting ski poles, Bergan and then yourself out of the water.
The rest of her deployment was spent in charge of the MRS that was set up in a building to deliver medical cover to the exercising troops. With medical care being paramount in the conducting of safe training in such an extreme environment, Lt Whitley was closely involved with the wider exercise planning team for 3 Cdo Bde. This involved her co-ordinating medical cover across the 3 main exercise areas in northern Norway and liaising with the civilian hospitals to ensure any injured personnel received the correct care. Describing the exercise as "one of the best exercises that I have deployed on in my career" it was enriched with the opportunity of a cultural visit ( or 'Run Ashore') to Tromso which is affectionately known as the ‘Paris of the North’.
All in a day’s work for a Nurse in the QARNNS…Fancy nursing with a difference? You can find out more about careers in the QARNNS here.
You can see more photos of Lt Whitley's deployment here.