The prairie of Alberta has provided an excellent opportunity for the British Army to train on a large scale since 1972. The British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS) is an organisation situated on one of the most sparsely populated areas of the plain.
BATUS is equipped with in excess of 1000 vehicles including a full complement of Challenger 2 tanks and Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicles.
More than 400 permanent staff and 1000 temporary deployed staff provide highly demanding combined arms manoeuvre training for the armoured forces of the British Army and our allies.
The training area at BATUS is approximately 2,700 square kilometres. Armoured battlegroups, each containing approximately 1400 soldiers, conduct live firing and manoeuvred exercises at BATUS each year.
The training exercises, which run for about 30 days, are split into two phases - Live Fire and Tactical Effects Simulation (TES), then a second phase with a live enemy.
The TES system identifies when vehicles have been fired at and damaged or destroyed and also informs soldiers when they are being fired at and if hit what injuries they have sustained.
The duration of the exercises, and size of the training area, allow all elements of a combined arms battle group - infantry, armour, artillery, engineers, air defence, logistics and equipment support - to conduct realistic live firing training at all levels and to practice sustaining this activity over a long period of time.