2nd Battalion Update – January 2016
Following the Battalion’s return to Catterick from Cyprus, the pace of life has been frenetic but huge strides have been made.
Operations and Training
We have re-organised ourselves, broken the back of the conversion from Light Role to Light Mechanised Infantry and progressed through all of our individual and collective training goals. This has been an extensive process. Some 200 drivers and commanders have qualified on the myriad of vehicle platforms. Light Mechanised is an exciting new capability, based around FOXHOUND vehicles. Developing the procedures and understanding of how the capability should be fought and operated has been a challenge that the Battalion has grasped impressively.
A trip to Germany saw Battlegroup (BG) HQ and Companies run through the full simulated training package in preparation for Exercise WESSEX STORM in January. It was a fantastic run-out and one that has set the BG up for real success. Recently, we were field firing in a snow-covered Otterburn ahead of a Combined Arms Exercise on Salisbury Plain, which will validate us for future operations.
The Floods - A third of the Battalion deployed to York, Cawood, Selby and Tadcaster within 6 hours of being mobilised to assist with the flooding crisis. This was particularly impressive given that the Battalion was not held at any notice and a clear testament to the dedication and commitment of the soldiers and officers. The effect we had, in support of the Police and Civil Authorities, was considerable and helped reinforce our ‘Yorkshire in Yorkshire’ commitment. The support and reception that was received from grateful locals was inspiring and humbling.
Sport & Adventurous Training
2 YORKS have fielded successful teams in football, rugby, skiing, shooting, golf and a variety of other team events with individuals also competing in cross-country and triathlon. A long anticipated gold was achieved in the Exercise CAMBRIAN PATROL competition by a team based on the Recce Platoon. The gold was one of only three awarded to British teams this year and the only one to an infantry unit - a fantastic result. Finally, the Duke of Wellington’s competition was concluded with a back-breaking tug-of-war competition, won convincingly by Helmand Company.
After some well earned leave in February, 2 YORKS look forward to taking over as the European Union’s High Readiness Battle Group in the second half of the year.