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VIDEO: Cornish Army Reserves Train for Future Wars

Cyprus Reserves 1
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5:41pm 8th May 2014
(Updated 5:41pm 8th May 2014)

Cornish army reserves complete a training exercise to help them prepare for any future wars.

150 reserves from 6th Battalion The Rifles and regulars from 1 Rifles have been in Cyprus for two weeks.

It is as part of the government's Army 2020 plan to integrate reserves and regulars.

D-Company, based in Truro, was leading Exercise LION STAR to defeat a ficticious enemy and stop them from damaging key infrastructure and taking control of Episkopi. Their mission; to defeat the enemy and protect Episkopi Garrison.

Cornish reserves on training in Cyprus        Cornish reserves training in Cyprus

The Battalions have been working in 30 degree heat and with very little sleep.

They have been living off 24 hour ration packs which include everything from peanut butter paste to boil in the bag chicken and tomato pasta. They are packed full of about 4000 calories; that is double what you and I would eat!

Cornish reserves eating on training in Cyprus

Among the exercises they carried out to prepare for the final assault, advance to contacts, so approaching and overcoming the enemy as a section, and an operation using a sniffer dog to uncover weapons.

Meet Otis the labrador:

The final assault involved all Platoons working together to defeat the enemy at three points named Objective Ginster, Objective Rowe and Objective Warren; you can take the boys out of Cornwall...!

They had to attack and overcome enemy forces up a steep, craggy hill until they uncovered the enemy's final position and secured Episkopi Garrison.

The final assault:

 

The reserves train every Tuesday evening and some weekends at bases from Truro to Shropshire and come from a variety of day jobs including nurses, sales coorindators, and even a ranger on Dartmoor. Many have already completed several active tours including Belize, Iraq and Afghanistan.

On Exercise LION STAR and under the Army 2020 plan, they have been paired with regulars in 1st Battalion The Rifles.

A day in the life: 1 Rifles Platoon Serjeant Thomas Bray from Bude

 
The reserves from Truro and the south-west are some of the first to work with top level surveillance weapons already used in Afghanistan.

FIST is a bit of kit which enables Dismounted Situational Awareness and although most of the technology has been around and been used for several years, it now has a laser used for target indication.

6 Rifles are amongst the first soldiers in the British Army to use FIST with the new laser and to have it made available to ALL exercising troops on exercise, so for example, all soldiers on a night patrol can use it at the same time.

It means that for the first time, every reserve infantry soldier on Exercise LION STAR in Cyprus can train to identify friend or for at night, in the pitch black.

It is now possible for reservess to learn a whole new set of the most modern battlefield tactics - skills which their regular colleagues have honed on recent operations and which they will use on joint exercises with 1 Rifles in the future.

 

Photos by Army photographer, Corporal Simon Longworth.  @Si_Army_Phot

5:41pm 8th May 2014

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