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Mastering the mud with driving and navigation excellence

Exercise Mudmaster is a no-nonsense cross-country safe and skilled driving and navigation competition held by 154 (Scottish) Regiment Royal Logistic Corps. The event was held in collaboration with the British Army Motorsports Association (BAMA) and the Scottish Land Rover Owners Club (SLROC).

What makes Mudmaster unique as a military driving event is that since 1991 it has been run jointly by an Army Reserve Regiment, with the Scottish Land Rover Owners Club, which would claim to be expert in off road driving.

Our Reservists relish the opportunity to perform to the highest standards as both soldiers and drivers; this is particularly relevant as we currently provide logistic support to 4th Light Brigade Combat Team to deploy on operations anywhere in the world.” Major Donald Urquhart, 154 (Scottish) Regiment

This year’s multi-phase driving and navigation exercise was held at several locations across Central Scotland and tested the proficiency of regular and reservist soldiers in driving and navigating across a wide variety of off-road terrain.

Over 200 service personnel took part, drawn from across the UK using a variety of Land Rovers, motorcycles and trucks. As well as a test of teamwork, the crews were judged on their road safety awareness and proficiency at off road driving and navigation.

The event also allowed civilian drivers the chance to pit their wits against some of the best drivers in the Army in a challenging cross-country competition.

Major Donald Urquhart, an Army Reservist and Senior Planning Officer of 154 (Scottish) Regiment said:

“This challenging competition gives our soldiers the chance to prove their expertise under demanding conditions and against the best teams from across the Army, the Royal Navy, and Royal Air Force, as well as Off-Road Clubs from around the UK.”

“Our Reservists relish the opportunity to perform to the highest standards as both soldiers and drivers; this is particularly relevant as we currently provide logistic support to 4th Light Brigade Combat Team to deploy on operations anywhere in the world.”

Major Mike Downes and Lance Corporal Shanna Smith of 239 (Fife) Squadron RLC picked up the 1st BAMA award in 5th place overall and the highest placed inter-services crew. Honours in the 32 strong Truck class went to Corporal Kev Hume and Paddy Mallaney of 230 (Edinburgh) Squadron RLC and Major Spike Corsie of DSAE survived the two-day Mudmaster carwash and won the Motorcycle Class.

Army Reservist, Major Downes said:

“Exercise Mudmaster is an incredible experience and an opportunity to work with a diverse cohort of individuals from all over the UK and various organisations, both military and civilian. The camaraderie was inspiring, people weren’t just there to complete but there was a real emphasis on teamwork, having fun and the shared experience.”

A resounding success, the exercise has been delivered by the unit (and its predecessor) for over 30 years, pushing the boundaries of driving skills whilst strengthening military-civilian collaboration. The event exemplified the determination, skills and camaraderie within 154 Regiment RLC, highlighting the remarkable training opportunities in the Army.

Major Downes added: “The event showed real teamwork between both driver and navigator. The navigator tends to take the lead anticipating turns and junctions, elevation, and danger points, all whilst plotting a route on the fly. But the driver knows the ground and the vehicle capabilities – a real melding of two very different skill sets."

Over 90 military and civilian teams participated, engaging in various challenges across the breadth of the central belt of Scotland. The event aimed to promote safe and skilled driving, provide training opportunities, foster teamwork, and raise awareness of the Army Reserve among civilians and prospective recruits.

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