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Training for the Expedition - firearms familiarity

Updated: May 9, 2023

Part of the necessary training for safety on a research expedition in the land of the ice bear is to have knowledge about and familiarity with firearms. This is only justified to be able to save the lives of the expedition members should the situation arise when they are at genuine risk. The responsibilities that come with firearms are fundamental to being safe around them.

The Arctic Research Group has maintained high standards of safety and this requires training and familiarity with firearms. To achieve this takes practice and this is carried out before the expeditions in licensed facilities under the supervision of trained firearms experts. As well as training, the ARG has a full bear risk assessment and mitigation plan that sets out the protocols for dealing with the situations that may occur.

There is a requirement from the Governor of Svalbard (Sysselmesteren) that includes for all who venture away from settlement areas to be correctly prepared, they must carry firearms capable of preventing the loss of human life. Without such provisions being confirmed as in place, permissions are not granted for expeditions.

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