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British Army teams up with European allies on exercise

The Royal Lancers led the way on multinational Exercise Somme Lancer, held in Germany, to hone core combat skills and drills.

More than 600 British soldiers in nearly 200 vehicles formed the Divisional Reconnaissance Battle Group to ‘fight’ against the simulated enemy on Sennelager Training Area.

UK troops worked alongside partner forces from across Europe, including those of Denmark and Germany itself.

Lieutenant Colonel Richmond, Commanding Officer (CO) of the Royal Lancers said: “I think the role of armoured reconnaissance is something that will persist well into the future. It’s a capability which takes the fight to places where the enemy is not expecting it.

“We have been really privileged to work with key allies. This makes NATO integration feel real. An exercise like this, where we’ve had a large amount of airpower, has been great.”

Host nation Tornado and Typhoon fighters were present in the skies, which were also occupied by remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) being trialled by British personnel.

The Royal Lancers were supported in their role by attachments from across the British Army, such as the Royal Army Medical Corps, Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Royal Logistic Corps, and Royal Signals.

We wanted to group with the other arms who we would expect to be part of this organisation Lt Col Richmond

Lieutenant Colonel Richmond said: “We didn’t want to just come out here as Royal Lancers soldiers, we wanted to group with the other armies who we would expect to be part of this organisation. We then start to do something that is much more powerful.”

Training was conducted on a massive scale across realistic real estate, with forces visible to notably friendly locals living nearby.

Just deploying such a large force demonstrated a considerable logistical undertaking, but the Royal Lancers used a range of methods; across air, land, and sea, to get the job done.

For example, over 60 lighter vehicles departed the UK by ferry, with most of the armoured contingent, including Jackals, Mastiffs, Scimitars, and Panthers, going via other means.

Following the two-week exercise, the British element conducted nine days of activity on the firing ranges to test out both dismounted and mounted marksmanship.