4th Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment (4 YORKS) swapped the North of England for Denmark as they embarked upon Exercise VIKING STAR between late September and early October.
Around 180 of the infantry Reservists deployed to the Scandinavian country for their Annual Continuous Training (ACT) package, which is a requirement for all part-time troops looking to earn their annual tax-free bounty sum.
Some of the tasks that the unit was asked to do included support to Exercise BRAVE LION, Denmark’s NATO validation mission, live firing on Borris Ranges and training in the state-of-the-art facilities within Oksbol Training Area.
The Adjutant of 4 YORKS, Captain Lance Morris, praised the deployment:
“This has allowed our soldiers the opportunities to work on their skills, going through from a rural environment transitioning into urban terrain.” Captain Morris
It wasn’t all work though for the troops, as they were fortunate enough to experience what capital Copenhagen had to offer during a cultural visit towards the end of the exercise.
The trip solidified the already strong bonds between British and Danish forces, who have worked together on operations in Afghanistan and Iraq previously, while the unique facilities on offer were recognised as vital in the modern era.
“Brick by brick, we developed the training and have gone forward. Each time the troops have gone through the skills house, they have got better. Being able to work as small teams in a complex urban environment is important,” said Captain Morris.
“The key thing is the flexibility here. When you’ve done one scenario, we can completely change it so we can develop time and time again, first as a platoon and then as a company.”
The ACT, which also featured 1 YORKS and 37th Signal Regiment, represented the culmination of the training year for many Reservists but 4 YORKS also have other noteworthy tasks – some troops are due to deploy to Afghanistan shortly.
4 YORKS will commit about 15 soldiers to Operation TORAL, led by 2 YORKS and 2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA), which forms part of the UK’s commitment to NATO’s RESOLUTE SUPPORT mission in the country.
“Our troops want to utilise the time available and develop their skills. The complexity of fighting environments, and considering where we may be deployed in the future, means our soldiers must be fully developed,” concluded Captain Morris.