Rifles Soldiers skills tested during Exercise Millennium Bugle

Exercise Millennium Bugle has seen soldiers from the 5th Battalion, The Rifles (5RIFLES) recently undertake and complete a challenging inter-platoon patrol competition at Stanford Training Area in Norfolk and Bulford Ranges in Wiltshire.

Over the course of the 48-hour patrol the infanteers faced a number of demanding stands completing a series of military exercises in the process that tested their leadership, teamwork, and physical fitness levels. Set in the context of realistic scenarios and designed to enhance operational capability the soldiers were marked on how they accomplished such tasks as navigation, harbour drills, improvise explosive device clearance, battlefield first aid with the patrol concluding with a testing march and shoot.

One of the stand leads Major Brown, Officer Commanding B Company remarked: “I ran a hasty platoon attack stand to test the Platoon Commanders and soldier’s decision making processes.  The aim of stand was about testing their lower level tactical drills and skills under pressure in an austere environment. The stand saw them moving through challenging terrain before coming upon an enemy position that was relatively complex in nature and was not as linear as they may have encountered in the past. 

Exercise Millennium Bugle has proven to be great test and an opportunity to have a competition where the Platoon’s can test themselves against each other, foster a competitive spirit while still testing their low-level skills as infantry soldiers.”

It has been challenging but we have had the opportunity to work together closely as a team, getting to understand each other’s strengths Rfn Roberts

Commenting on the success of the exercise 5 RIFLES Training Officer, Captain Burge said: “During the Patrol the Platoons were presented with a myriad of different situations ranging from insurgency through to conventional war fighting high intensity operations which they had to overcome and then patrol through.

Scenarios like those they have encountered not only identify the character and professionalism of the soldier but also their strengths and weaknesses which is key in their individual development but also for Commanders to understand how to develop and mentor their Rifleman to become better Riflemen in the future.

I have been particularly impressed with the new soldiers who only joined the Battalion the week before the exercise. Their fitness levels have been very impressive and they have overcome all the challenges put in front of them.” 

For Rifleman Kieran Roberts, Fire Support Company, the exercise had provided a chance to really gel as a Platoon and try out different techniques to solve the tasks they encountered adding: “It has been challenging but we have had the opportunity to work together closely as a team, getting to understand each other’s strengths and its been good preparation for any potential future operations we and the Battalion may face.”