C Company from the 1st Battalion, Scots Guards has recently returned from Exercise Imjin Warrior in South Korea, where it was faced with the challenges of operating in the country's mountainous environment.
The dense forests and steep mountains make it like few other places in the world. Add to this the adverse weather conditions where temperatures ranged from 20 degrees centigrade in the day down to -5 degrees centigrade at night.
From navigation to moving equipment and troops, the mountains of Korea provide a unique environment for an infantry company as well as many defensive benefits for any enemy force.
Guardsman Chell from 8 Platoon, C Company described the terrain as:
"It's like Ben Nevis covered with jungle! The mountains are incredibly steep, and the forests are so thick that you can't see more than a few metres in front of you."
The mountains are incredibly steep, and the forests are so thick" Guardsman Chell, Scots Guards
Learning from its embedded Republic of Korea Army counterparts, the Company adapted to its temporary home and the exercise provided it valuable experience that will enable the soldiers to operate effectively in similar terrain in the future.
Captain Hamish Stewart 2nd in Command, C Company said:
“Over the past 18 months the Company has deployed to austere environments around the world including the crags of the Falkland’s, tunnels of Gibraltar and the deserts of Oman. However, the terrain in South Korea is like nothing we have experienced before.”
After the deployment phase of the exercise, C Company visited the Glocester Hill Memorial on the Imjin River, the site of an important battle in the Korean War.
Drawing on its experiences of operating in the terrain over the previous weeks, C Company conducted a tactical exercise without troops (TEWT) in which soldiers used their lived experiences to inform their understanding of the military situation from the war. This invaluable exercise helped to humanise the battle for all the soldiers.
Exercise Imjin Warrior is an annual exercise that is conducted by the British Army and the Republic of Korea Army. It is designed to develop relationships between the two armies and improve their ability to operate together.