Sappers from Wiltshire’s 26 Engineer Regiment together with their mighty Trojan combat engineering vehicle have been on the Sennelager Training Area in Germany taking part in Exercise Tallinn Dawn.
Weighing in at over 60 tonnes the Trojan is an awesome beast of a machine that means business and looks the business too!
Lieutenant Christopher Harley, Troop Commander, 8 Armoured Engineer Squadron (8AES) explains some of the capabilities of this all-purpose problem solver:
“Without any doubt this is a superb piece of kit. In its current configuration it has attached to it a full width mine plough which can carve a lane that can then be traversed by tanks and wheeled vehicles. It can breach minefields at a rapid pace, clear obstacles for advancing units or be used to create obstacles to disrupt and delay adversaries.”
Exercise Tallinn Dawn is the final Mission Ready validation that allows a battlegroup to deploy on Operation Cabrit, the UK operational deployment to Estonia where British troops are leading a multinational Battlegroup as part of the enhanced Forward Presence (eFP).
UK Armed Forces have a leading role in NATO’s eFP in the Baltic States, in order to enhance Euro-Atlantic security, reassure our Allies and deter our adversaries.
The eFP in the Baltic States is a deployment of robust, multinational, combat-ready forces to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, on a lasting, rotational basis. British personnel rotate on a continuous basis alongside Danish, French, and host nation Estonian forces.
The Trojan is crewed by Sappers from 8 Armoured Engineer Squadron (8AES) based at Swinton Barracks near Tidworth in Wiltshire, they are an armoured close support squadron that provides mobility, counter-mobility and survivability to its parent battlegroup, which in this scenario is 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh Battlegroup (1RWELSH BG).
Lieutenant Harley joined the British Army in 2019 and has a variety of resources that he can call upon:
“At my disposal I have assets like the Trojan and the Titan and that can clear minefields and lay bridges. In addition, we also have a section of combat Sappers who will carry out demolition work among other combat engineering tasks.”
Although Trojan is an armoured engineer vehicle designed to open routes through complex battlefield obstacles, it also has the flexibility to support a wide range of operations including humanitarian missions.
As Lieutenant Harley explains, they’ve had their work cut out whilst in Germany:
“The first week we were on our own doing low level training using the Trojan, the Titan and the Terrier. From week two we integrated into the Battlegroup for live fire training and now we’re here bringing it all together. Think of it as ‘crawl, walk and then run”
8 AES will sit as a sub-unit and by ‘combat teaming’ they will become totally integrated within the fighting elements of the 1RWELSH BG.
And finally, how would Lieutenant Harley sum-up the work he and his Sappers do?
“We go in first, pave the way for others. Job done!