The first overseas exercise for 4th Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment sees the Reserve unit training alongside their Danish counterparts in Oksboel.
Since their formation in September 2017 it has been a busy year for 4th Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (4 PWRR) widely known as ‘The Tigers’. With Companies situated in Farnham, Edgeware, Redhill, Portsmouth, newly opened Southampton and the main Headquarters in Crawley, 4 PWRR is growing bigger and stronger all the time so it is key the individuals’ soldiering skills and drills are kept current. What better way to do that than to take their training to Oksboel on the east coast of Denmark and train alongside their Danish counterparts?
Exercise Viking Star is the Battalion’s first overseas exercise; it is their biggest test to date, they have conducted many training weekends in the UK, including on Salisbury Plain, but Denmark is something new and unique and for some of the soldiers their first larger scale exercise and deployment abroad. Approximately 120 troops have deployed on the two week bi-national training exercise, which is designed to demonstrate the combat effectiveness and readiness of the British Army Reserve Battalion and their ability to train, exercise, and ultimately deploy as part of a multinational force.
The soldiers have been tackling battle craft training, building up their skills from Section to Platoon level and conducting whole Platoon attacks. Much of the training is being focused in conventional and urban environments during both day and night scenarios and is the ideal opportunity engage with Danish troops, build relationships and share experiences in order to provide a demanding, interesting and positive experience for all.
It’s been wonderful to see such a huge the level of engagement between the two forces.
Lieutenant Colonel Ben Baker, Commanding Officer 4 PWRR said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for us as our first overseas activity, we are only one of two new Infantry Battalions created in recent years and the fact that in one year we’re able to deploy on an overseas exercise is hugely significant. It’s been wonderful to see such a huge the level of engagement between the two forces. Defence engagement is one of our key objectives, it’s important to maintain relationships through joint training and to develop a deeper understanding of each other’s training and operational procedures. The Royal Danish Army (DNK) is an important ally and a member of the Joint Expeditionary Forces (JEF) agreement with the UK and other nations. The training just reinforces our commitment to the JEF, improves interoperability and promotes our defence engagement priorities. This is a great opportunity for the Battalion and one we are certainly keen to sustain.”
Troops have also been working alongside comrades from the other Battalions in the Regiment, with Regulars from 1 PWRR joining the exercise to provide mortar training. The soldiers have also been utilising a purposely established ‘shoot house’ conducting room clearance drills as well as Section attacks and hostage rescue scenarios. They have been encountering live enemy using simulated ammunition ‘simunition’ which is similar to paintballs.
As part of the Battalion’s training package the troops are also getting the opportunity for some cultural understanding with a visit to Denmark’s capital Copenhagen situated on the eastern side of the country. They will get to meet and interact with their Danish equivalents –The Danish Life Guards - who like themselves are an Infantry Regiment. The Danish Life Guards guard the Amalienborg Palace, which is the home of the Danish royal family including Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark who is the Colonel-in-chief of The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment’s.
The training has been helping to prepare 4 PWRR soldiers for their future deployments to South Sudan, Afghanistan and Exercise Trident Juncture, which is an upcoming NATO exercise in Norway.