1st Battalion Update – October 2014
The 1st Battalion have had a busy summer supporting elements of the rest of the Army train before going onto the Canadian Prairie to train itself for future contingency operations. This winter the Battalion will continue its commitments as the Land Warfare Centre Battlegroup training other units on Salisbury Plain before ensuring it is fully prepared and at readiness to be the British Army’s Lead Armoured Battlegroup in the spring.
Operations and Training
In June the Battalion conducted culmination training for all elements deploying to Canada, with the emphasis being on live firing, both mounted and dismounted. The mounted live firing consisted of WARRIOR AFV crews being put through their paces laying down 30mm cannon fire by day and by night, while the Yorkshire infantrymen went through dismounted ranges, again, by day and by night.
In July the Battalion supported Ex LION STRIKE with Battlegroup elements attached, to all the future sub-unit commanders of the infantry and cavalry to refresh their combat skills and operate as commander sin a Battlegroup context. This was a valuable ‘shake-out’ that allowed the headquarters and attached combat support personnel to fully integrate and rehearse how they were going to operate on Ex PRAIRIE STORM in Canada.
August was taken up with preparation, both of kit and equipment, and all the administrative and personnel checks to allow over 1500 soldiers to be ready to get on the plane to Canada, but not before some well-earned leave!
The highlight of the last quarter has undoubtedly been a month spent soldiering at the British Army Training Unit Suffield, in Alberta, Canada, honing the Battlegroup’s war fighting skills through both a combined arms live fire phase, and a TESEX phase against a thinking, reactive opposing force, which was a supreme test of 1 YORKS’ Battlegroup’s ability to plan and execute missions in often complex terrain.
October will be spent refurbishing armoured vehicles in Canada, returning to the UK and preparing to reassume the role of LWC BG, before Ex WESSEX STORM in November, and Christmas leave in December.
In the New Year low level training, mostly delivered through cadres and courses, will ensure each member of 1 YORKS is ready to assume a lead role in the British Army’s high readiness armoured unit.