Royal Yeomanry reservists have been praised by the Deputy Commander of the Field Army for their work with NATO Allies in Poland.
The troops have been providing the reconnaissance capability to the United States 2nd Cavalry Regiment Battlegroup in Poland as part of NATO’ enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) deterrence posture.
The Deputy Commander Field Army, Major General Celia Harvey, visited some of the soldiers as they demobilised ahead of returning to their civilian jobs.
Congratulating them on their achievements she said: “It's great to have you back and you can be proud of your achievements and success. Being part of the Enhanced Forward Presence is vital in demonstrating NATO’s intent and capability. You have had a hugely positive impact; your work has been recognised and praised by your key partners on the operation; Poland and the United States. A very well done and thank you to you all.”
The reservists were joined by soldiers from their paired unit, 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards (QDG) who together formed the light cavalry reconnaissance component of the 7th Infantry Brigade deployment.
Supporting them on the winter deployment were reservists from 103 Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (103 Bn REME).
The soldiers were based at the Bemowo Piskie camp in the corridor of land between Poland and Lithuiania called the Suwalki Gap.
They took part in multi-national training exercises including Exercise SOBIESKI which was a combined arms live firing training exercise involving fixed and rotary wing aircraft, artillery, air defence and mortars.
The troops also completed a cold-weather operators course that saw them building shelters out of pine and birch and taking an ice-cold plunge into a lake to learn about cold-water shock, managing hypothermic conditions and practising re-warming techniques.
The six-month deployment saw 16 soldiers overcome the snowy conditions and freezing temperatures to complete a Potential Non-Commissioned Officer Cadre for promotion from Trooper to Lance Corporal.
The Commanding Officer of the Royal Yeomanry, Lieutenant Colonel Tom Bragg said: “I am very proud of what we have achieved. To have gone out to Poland and to deliver to the high standard that they have, demonstrates the expert level of capability the Army Reserve can offer and how they can be used as an integral part of the delivery of defence outputs world-wide.”