last weekend, local girl, Harriet Simpson (23), travelled from the cold of Stonehaven south to the biting winds and snow of Otterburn between Kielder and Newcastle.
Despite the sub-zero temperatures and alternating visibility she had a great experience.
Harriet has been a gunner in 105 Regiment Royal Artillery (Volunteers) for one year, undertaking basic training.
At Otterburn, she got her first taster of live firing during a military exercise attended by senior officers including the 51 (Scottish) Brigade Commander, Brigadier George Lowder MBE.
For Harriet, it was not the top brass who grabbed her attention, but the skilled gun teams who operated the four 105mm Light Guns. Seventy six live rounds were fired.
Harriet, a former pupil of Mackie Academy, finds going green in the military sense, a welcome change from her civilian employment as an accountant in Aberdeen.
Harriet said: “This has been a fantastic experience. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. We all have to work well in teams otherwise things would go horribly wrong. When one of these rounds is fired, you don’t just hear it through your ear protection; you feel it in every part of your body.It is awesome.”