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Brutal Brunei

THERE cannot be many environments in the world where it is considered a physical achievement for an infantry soldier to cover five kilometres of ground in a day.

But with dense vegetation, deep rivers, humidity levels of up to 90 per cent and enough harmful insects to put even the most battle-hardened fighter on high alert, Brunei’s wilderness is one such place.

Here, the Jungle Warfare Instructors’ Course uses the unforgiving climate of South East Asia to teach Service personnel how to live in tropical conditions with only their wits and the contents of their soaking wet Bergens for support.

The seven-week package, which is open to the ranks of corporal to captain, comprises lessons in basic survival skills, navigation and live-firing before culminating in a company-level exercise deep in the country’s jungle.

“Covering five kilometres per day out here means you are making good headway, whereas you could jog that distance in just 20 minutes back home,” explained Maj Pete Houlton-Hart (RGR), the officer commanding Training Team Brunei.

“The terrain is difficult and you can’t see for more than ten metres ahead of you.

“It’s sweaty, uncomfortable and easy to become disorientated.

“Just the effect of being in the jungle can be enough to lose your sense of direction – and that’s before you fight a simulated enemy.”

Read this month's issue for the full story.

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