Three British soldiers from the Land Warfare Centre have delivered a cold weather training package for the first time to the officers from the Serbian Military Academy.
The ten-day training, which is part of bilateral cooperation between the two countries, focused on winter warfare experiences and safety training such as avalanche awareness and crevasse rescue.
This is the first time the British Army have conducted training activity like this in Serbia. The British troops trained their counterparts in the Serbian mountains near Kaponawick; an area which provided the ideal conditions for the course.
Team Leader Colour Sergeant James Keenan RM said: “The Serbs responded very well to our methods and were very interested to learn new tactics. They learnt how to ski off piste and through forests, how to ascend steep terrain with ski skins carrying weapons and equipment, in addition to the learning about how the cold effects tactical considerations and how we counter this.”
Major General Bojan Zrnic, Commandant of the Military Academy said: “Our goal is to improve the curriculum related to winter warfare training, so students can receive top training and prepare for these conditions. During this training, we will have the opportunity to see equipment we have not encountered so far, which will help us to improve the quality of winter warfare training. It is important that both parties learn from each other.”
UK Defence Attaché Colonel Nick Ilic said: “We are pleased to have the opportunity to exchange experiences in cold-weather training because that is the most difficult way to train. I am glad that the training has been conducted despite difficult conditions caused not only by COVID-19 restrictions, but also by adverse weather.”
Colour Sergeant Keenan was supported by Army Instructors Captain Joel Turner and Sergeant Thomas Mawle, both serving with 6 (UK) Division.
“Working closely with the Army and Royal Marines is fantastic as it shows how two services can come together and identify a lesson and solution to deliver training of the highest level,” said the Royal Marine.
Under the Future Soldier transformation plan, more of our troops will deploy on exercises across the world, and will deliver training, advice, assistance or accompanying troops to partner nations.