2nd Battalion Update – March 2017
The Battalion is shifting from high-profile high-readiness to focussing on Mission Specific Training for the upcoming deployment to Afghanistan on Operation TORAL 5.
Operations and Training
The Battalion handed over the European Union Battlegroup commitment on New Year’s Day and the United Kingdom Standby Battalion (North) commitment in mid-February. 2 YORKS have a residual readiness responsibility but are effectively free to commit fully to making themselves excellent for the operational deployment and are ready and prepared for operations. They are exceptionally well trained and a successful deployment on Operation MOONWALKER, a repeat Gold at CAMBRIAN PATROL and our domination of the 4th Infantry Brigade Military Skills Competition, all point to that preparedness.
Whilst the Commanding Officer was in Afghanistan on a recce, the Battalion deployed to Lincolnshire on Operation MOONWALKER with Alma and Burma Companies, with back-fill from Quebec, deployed under the Battalion Second in Command and gave excellent accounts of themselves.
Corunna Coy deployed on Ex PILGRIMS PROGRESS, the Special Force Selection Escape and Evasion exercise. As Hunter Force they set about the task of finding those candidates with alacrity. It was a fantastic opportunity for a Company Group to do the exercise; principally because they see the tangible dividends if your preparation of the battlespace is accurate and intelligent and your soldier’s fieldcraft is precise. Corunna Coy Group’s was, as they captured a record haul of Tier One candidates and were highly praised for their impressive and committed approach.
At the end of last year, Quebec Coy led the real-life support for Ex CAMBRIAN PATROL. They did so magnificently and drew high praise for their work ethic and professionalism. The deployment was all the more enjoyable because the Battalion repeated last year’s success, with another Gold medal – the Regiment’s second. Two of the patrol (Privates Nutter and Dixon) hold the rare distinction of being in both teams – a wonderful achievement. The team’s preparations had been limited because of the pace of life but they had been the nucleus of one of the teams entering Ex ROVING RAT, the 4th Infantry Brigade Military Skills Competition. We had overloaded the competition in an attempt to de-heat our programme, triple-hatting it as the Hamilton Trophy and the main event of the Duke of York’s competition. As such Alma, Burma, Corunna and Quebec each loaded two teams and Helmand Company one. The competition was tough – spread across three days in Otterburn – and our domination of it, a pleasure to behold. We finished 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 10th and 11th – a satisfying barometer of our training and commitment. Corunna went on to win the Duke of York’s competition with strong performances in the military skills week we held in November.
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Sport & Adventurous Training
In contrast, the spoils of this year’s Duke of Wellington’s competition went to Quebec Coy – after a superb inter-Company boxing night was won by Burma Coy. The quality of the boxing and the levels of support were tremendous and a treat to behold. The competition capped off a seriously impressive sporting year. The rugby team were undefeated last year – winning all their Championship games and each of their Premiership fixtures, post promotion. Any sport is supported in 2 YORKS and our results in the UK (North) leagues are testament to how heavily we seek to honour the Regiment’s unique and resplendent sporting heritage. 2 YORKS have also used sport as a focus to improve theirr deployability, hit as it has been by the intensity of the training year. With some inspirational outside sports speakers, accurate and focused training sessions and bespoke training plans they have upgraded 3.4 per cent of the Battalion – almost a platoon’s worth of men back into the fight for Operation TORAL 5.
The last six months has made 2 YORKS better prepared and they start Mission Specific Training this month brimming with confidence, however the threat in Kabul is as vivid now as it ever was in HERRICK days and almost all the Battalion will deploy over the eight months from August.