Over 300 regular and reserve soldiers from 102 Logistic Brigade have been testing their medical, logistical and soldiering skills in the two-week major exercise: Exercise Halberd Dawn.
The Exercise, which took over a year to plan, tested the logistic skills of 158 Regiment RLC, 150 Regiment RLC, 159 Regiment RLC and the medical capabilities of 254 (East of England) Medical Regiment. Elements of 6 and 7 Regiment RLC were deployed in support of the exercising troops.
The Exercise Headquarters was established at Prince William of Gloucester Barracks in Grantham where military staff directed soldiers to their locations across the East Midlands and East Anglia.
A key training task saw medics from 254 (East of England) Medical Regiment established a role one medical reception station (MRS) at Prince William of Gloucester Barracks, receiving their first casualties within an hour of the tented treatment facility being established.
Within three hours, the unit which consisted of one six-bed ward, a treatment bay and isolation ward, was running at full capability. It also featured a dental surgery, physiotherapy area and mental health unit.
Across the week-long final exercise, the medics, many of whom work in the NHS in civilian life, received a steady stream of simulated casualties, including injured soldiers evacuated from the battlefield via Chinook helicopter.
Commanding Office 254 (East of England) Medical Regiment Lieutenant Colonel Mary Read, said: “The Medical Reception Station is an essential medical facility combining a great deal of clinical capability that we offer in the Regiment, this exercise is a key time to gain a centre of mass for everyone to practice how they work together.
Logistics are essential to the Army and this exercise provided the opportunity to ensure we can maintain supplies of food, water, equipment, vehicles and weaponry when required Lt Col Andrew Gifford, CO 158 Regt RLC
“Our role is to provide emergency medicine and healthcare to soldiers on operations and give ongoing treatment so they can return to the frontline or if necessary, can be evacuated back to a larger hospital. The soldiers performed brilliantly in this exercise which ensured our skills are up to speed and we are ready to deploy if the need arises. “
The exercise was based around a hypothetical scenario that saw British Forces deploy to a fictional area in a joint coalition deployment war-fighting to restore sovereignty to a nation.
Around 180 vehicles including MANN support vehicles from 158 Regiment RLC were on the exercise which tested the RLC soldiers’ supply procedures needed on operations. These included the transport of tonnes of material and equipment as well as food and water to a forward supply area and beyond.
One exercise scenario saw reservists from 158 Regiment RLC arrive at an exchange point to meet 7 Regiment RLC to transfer rations to the front line. On arrival, they were met with soldiers injured as a result of enemy fire. The soldiers delivered immediate first aid to the injured until support from a medical troop arrived at the scene.
Commanding Officer 158 Regiment RLC, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Gifford said: “Logistics are essential to the Army and this exercise provided the opportunity to ensure we can maintain supplies of food, water, equipment, vehicles and weaponry when required. It also provided an ideal opportunity to work alongside 254 (East of England) Medical Regiment testing our soldiers reactions and medical care.”