1st Battalion Update – June 2014
The 1st Battalion has continued to deliver training support to the Land Warfare Centre (LWC) and wider army; reconverted to become an armoured infantry battalion and prepared for a demanding exercise in Canada. The battalion has risen to the challenge and particularly their ability to maintain a sense of humour.
Operations and Training
The 1st Battalion is developing its experience at every level, in particular in the roles of warrior sergeant, fleet manager, technical colour sergeant and warrior company sergeant major. It is also developing the capability to train itself in order for personnel to qualify as driver and gunnery instructors. Thereafter, they get to grips with the armoured vehicles and the dismounted infantry to deliver a true armoured infantry capability.
The reconversion of the battalion has started in earnest and will culminate with the battalion's deployment to the British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS) in Canada on Ex PRAIRIE STORM in September.
In December 2013, the battalion conducted Ex LIGHT FIGHTER in Dartmoor. The focus for the exercise was the junior non-commissioned officer (JNCO). It was a demanding exercise that tested JNCOs over a 24-hour period. All those who completed the exercise felt an immense sense of achievement and JNCOs thrived on their newfound responsibility. The empowered JNCO was tested again when Burma Company deployed to Kenya in January 2014. Strong leadership at section-level resulted in high performance at Burma Company who provided a testing enemy force for the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment battlegroup.
The following appointment took place:
- Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Garner MBE appointed Commanding Officer (Oct 13).
Sport & Adventurous Training
Whilst support to the LWC and preparation for BATUS has dominated activity, sport and adventure training have played a large part as we continue to develop a sporting ethos. The battalion has almost completed the inaugural 'Duke of Wellington's' Inter-Company sports competition. The battalion sent a novice ski team to France who performed very well.
On the pitch, the rugby union team reached the semi-final of the Army Cup and although defeated by 12 Regiment Royal Artillery, the team holds its head up high with pride. The football team has performed magnificently this season and reached the semi-final of all the major competitions: Infantry Cup; Divisional Cup and Army Cup. Major Nick Wilson and Warrant Officer Class 2 Gavin Hind have spent significant time and effort on the team over the last few years, well done to them both.
Looking forward, the road to BATUS is a bumpy one but the battalion will be raring to go on the start-line on the 1st September.