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Exercise MAYAN WARRIOR

Exercise MAYAN WARRIOR In the Jungles of Belize with 1st Battalion The Rifles

B Company 1 Rifles have just returned from a 7 week deployment to the jungles of Belize on Exercise MAYAN WARRIOR. This Exercise is part of a training package aimed at taking 1 Rifles back to basics following the end of 1 Rifles’ 16 month continuous commitment to Op SHADER in Iraq in January 2017. A total of 150 soldiers deployed to Central America with the Company including a number of reservists from 6 Rifles and specialists from across the wider Army.  All of these soldiers were tested to the extremes in a demanding and exciting jungle environment learning how to survive and operate under the dense canopy

 The Exercise began with individual and Section level skills covering how to navigate, patrol, fight and live in the Jungle. This phase also included a survival element where the Riflemen were taught that ‘the Jungle is a Supermarket’; they learnt how to construct shelters, light fires and gather food and water. After this, they conducted a Live Fire Tactical Training package which progressed from individual Close Quarter Battle shoots all the way up to live fire Platoon attacks on to enemy camps in the midst of the jungle.

The Exercise culminated with Platoons being put through their paces conducting long term ambushes, arduous patrols and difficult attacks on enemy positions. 

Major Colin Oliver MBE, Officer Commanding B Company said: “This was a fantastic training opportunity which was the first time most Riflemen had operated in the jungle.  It was a great way of taking people back to their basic skills and developing those core requirements necessary of a light infantry soldier.”

Serjeant Matthew Pascoe was a Platoon Serjeant during the Exercise and felt that his Riflemen left the jungle far better than when they arrived. ‘Jungle training for most of those who took part in Exercise MAYAN WARRIOR was an alien concept but essentially focused on basic military skills in some challenging terrain, testing key skills such as navigation, battle discipline and field craft. As a Platoon Serjeant, it was great to see the development of all Riflemen and the integration of individuals from 6 Rifles and other sister Battalions which resulted in a great working environment.

The exercise throughout was progressive and hit a high when we were put through our paces during live firing. This phase tested everybody who took part and was some of the most testing and realistic that I’ve seen with limited fields of vision, and short close up engagements testing the Riflemen’s reactions and shooting in unfamiliar surroundings.”

 

B Company returns from Belize far better soldiers and with a clear understanding of how to fight and live in the jungle. The demanding nature of the jungle environment tested the Company’s ability to look after themselves as individuals and operate successfully as teams but having proved themselves there they are ready for anything.