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Sustainer THE

Journal of The Royal Logistic Corps â?˜ WINTER 2020

World-class Innovative Adaptable


Sustainer THE

Corps Motto: We Sustain Regimental March: On Parade by Albert Elms Regimental Slow March: Lion, Sword and Crown by Craig Bywater

formed in 1993

Volume 28 No 3 ❘ Winter 2020

13 5 28 32 43 40

Contents

14 Op RESCRIPT

3 Farewell Maj McSpadden

24 Recruiting’s new normal

Long-served Silver Stars OC retires

5 LECAB The RLC pioneers new LE Officer selection

13 Trade qualifications Best in class apprenticeships for RLC soldiers launched

Defence learns key lessons from COVID crisis

RLC innovation sets the standard

25 HMS Albion RLC systems analyst gets Navy back on course

28 Spit and polish 6 Regt RLC completes Public Duties for second time

32 The RLC in 3D RLC LCpl helps to develop Army 3D printing capability

40 It’s a hat-trick 7 Regt RLC wins third Army Challenge Cup final

43 Unit news A round-up of reports from across The RLC

76 Exercise Tiger Three Peaks Six REME attached RLC soldiers trek to Everest Base Camp


EDITOR’S NOTE Welcome to the final 2020 edition of Sustainer. I am pleased to report that we will return to four editions in 2021, publishing in March, June, September and December. The theme of the March (spring) edition will be ‘Making a Difference’. For example, many of The RLC’s soldiers and officers go above and beyond. This includes some outstanding individual efforts during Op RESCRIPT to help the NHS, local resilience forums and communities and several of you raised large sums of money for charity, especially during lockdown one. We want to tell your stories. If you turn to pages 30 and 31 you can read about two new initiatives, launched by the media and communications team at RHQ The RLC. The basic photography course, run by the Army Photographers in The RLC Video Production Team, has proven to be massively popular and there is now a waiting list. We want to nurture and develop the many talented amateur photographers around the Corps, so The RLC has a first rate photographic record of Corps life and great images the Corps can use on its websites, in publications and on social media. Photographer is one of the 16 RLC trades. Along with Systems Analyst, Driver Tank Transporter Operator and Driver Vehicle Support Specialist, it recruits from serving soldiers who re-trade or transfer to the Corps. Until now, these trades and The RLC’s officer specialisms had no

representation on either of the official Army websites. Following a year-long project to improve and update The RLC’s presence on the official Army website, I am pleased to say that in November we launched a careers area to address these shortfalls. You can see it here: https://www.army.mod.uk/who-we-are/corpsregiments-and-units/royal-logistic-corps/rlc-careers/ You will have seen on RLC Social Media and in internal communications, that The RLC launched its new strategy in August. A very effective way to elevate reputation and enhance a brand is through thought leadership. A thought leader is someone who offers guidance and insight to those around them. They set the pace for an organisation and offer intelligent insights and informed opinions. We are looking for some well-written thought leadership articles for publication in this magazine. They should be around 1200 words and focus on subjects like: military logistics, working with industry, leadership, people development and technology. Please contact me for more information. And finally, I would like to wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas and raise a virtual glass to a return to a “Better Normal” in 2021. We deserve it!

Charter: The Sustainer records the activities and achievements of the Corps family, its units and personalities, as well as the organisations of the Forming Corps and their Associations. It keeps soldiers of today in touch with each other and soldiers of yesteryear in touch with the Corps of today. The Journal is not only a means of cohesion and communication within the Corps but also a source of research material for posterity.

Associations. The Sustainer only uses your personal data for the purpose of sending you the magazine. The mailing data is treated in the strictest confidence, is password protected, is only shared with our printer and is deleted after each use. If any serving RLC personnel have concerns with regards to the storage and use of their personal data they should contact RHQ The RLC’s Data Protection Officer, Richard Stockman. Richard is Assistant Regimental Secretary and can be contacted at: Richard.Stockman256@mod.gov.uk

Editorial Staff Editor: Peter Shakespeare Communications Support Administrator: Miss Katherine Lack Email: rlcsustainer@gmail.com Graphic Design: David Blake Copy deadlines for THE SUSTAINER: 18 Jan 21, 12 Apr 21, 12 Jul 21, 11 Oct 21 Change of Address: Serving members of the Corps who are due to move into or out of non-RLC appointments (eg E2) and other subscribers are requested to notify the Editor of their change of address. No information, no magazine! Publisher: The Regimental Association of The Royal Logistic Corps, RHQ The RLC, DCLPA Worthy Down, Winchester Hampshire. SO21 2RG. Email: peter.shakespeare100@mod.gov.uk Tel: +44 (0) 7901 676309 Typesetting, Printing, Binding and Distribution: Holbrooks Printers Ltd, Norway Road, Hilsea, PORTSMOUTH, Hampshire PO3 5HX. Data Privacy: We distribute The Sustainer using mailing data held in a secure contacts database within RHQ The RLC. Your inclusion on this database is by virtue of the fact you are serving in the military, or you are a current member of the RLC or Forming Corps

8 Peter Shakespeare Email: Peter.Shakespeare100@mod.gov.uk Contact: +44 (0) 7901 676309.

Photographs: The Editor accepts photographs for publication on the understanding that those submitting them have, where required by data protection legislation, obtained consent to publication from those depicted. Anyone who believes this is not the case or has a DPA related concern should contact the Editor. peter.shakespeare100@mod.gov.uk Advertising: There is normally no space for commercial advertising, please contact the Editor. Security: This Journal contains official information. It should be treated with discretion by the recipient. © Crown Copyright: All material in this Journal is Crown Copyright and may not be reproduced without the permission of the Regimental Association of The Royal Logistic Corps. © Cartoons are copyright. Disclaimer: No responsibility for the quality of the goods or services advertised in this Journal can be accepted by the publishers or their agents. Advertisements are included in good faith. The contents of this Journal and views of individual authors or units does not necessarily reflect the policy and views, official or otherwise, of the Corps or Ministry of Defence. Front Cover: WO2 (SQMS) Steve Blake

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THE SUSTAINER | NEWS HEADLINES

#BritishArmyLogistics

On 15 Oct 20, 110 personnel were presented with a medal for their roles serving on Op TOSCA 31. Comd 101 Log Bde, Brig Prosser, Col Howard OBE and Col Wilkinson QVRM VR attended the event, that also saw six Brigade Commander’s Commendations awarded. Lt Col Fisher MBE, Commanding Officer 27 Regiment RLC gave thanks to the soldiers on parade, amplifying that it was a team effort with assistance from soldiers from 1 Regiment RLC, 154 Regiment RLC, 156 Regiment RLC, 167 Regiment, 23 Engineer Regiment RE, 1, 4, 5 and 254 Medical Regiments, 3 Battalion REME, and 11 Brigade ensuring that the Regt’s ethos, professionalism and ability to deliver, whatever the circumstances, became the bywords in UNFICYP and for the Wolf Pack. The parade took a slightly abnormal approach with little marching and

27 Regt Op TOSCA medals

wider than usual spacing, to ensure social distancing measures were enforced. However the weather held

out and it was a fantastic opportunity for the soldiers’ superb performance to be properly acknowledged.

PIRBRIGHT DOKO CHALLENGE Every British Army Gurkha soldier will be very familiar with the fearsome ‘Doko’ – a gruelling physical challenge carrying 25kg of sand uphill for five miles in the Himalayas.The run normally serves as a pivotal moment in the selection process of every aspiring Gurkha recruit. Dokos are typically 0.1 to 0.2m3 in volume, so an average person can carry 20-50kg. They have shoulder straps, and usually head straps called namlo, that take part of the load off the carrier's shoulders and they are used to carry goods, vegetables, grains, water pots, etc.

Organised by Cpl Gurung RLC, on the morning of 23 Jul 20, 20 Permanent Staff from the Army Training Centre Pirbright carried Doko weighing 20kg for 5km to raise funds for the NHS (Frimley Health charity). By the end of the event week, the team raised £3,000. As it was participants’ first experience of a Doko, the organiser decided to allow two practice sessions prior to the event. The RLC Corps Sergeant Major WO1 Phil Broom attended the event.

8 Cpl Gurung organised the event

Capt Eve Newton RLC Army Commando In December 2020, Capt Eve Newton became the first female in the RLC to pass the All Arms Commando Course. She completed the gruelling eightweek course without interruption and joins an exclusive club of a handful of Service Women, to gain the coveted Green Beret. Captain Newton is currently Admin Officer of 23 Regt at 1 Regiment RLC, and hopes to serve within 3 Commando Brigade in the future.Well done Eve.The Corps is proud of you. 2

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NEWS HEADLINES | THE SUSTAINER

#BritishArmyLogistics

Farewell to Major Rick McSpadden The Silver Stars Army Parachute Display Team says farewell to its long-served OC. On 7 Aug 20, The RLC Silver Stars Army Parachute Display Team bid a very fond farewell to Maj Rick McSpadden, who retired after six years as the team’s Officer Commanding. Maj McSpadden was instrumental in elevating the Silver Stars from an individual corps team, with an uncertain future, to becoming one of the four currently established Army parachute display teams. His commitment to the team was substantial and given in addition to fulfilling the busy appointment of Aldershot Garrison Chief of Staff. Annual pre-display season training ensures that team members are qualified, in-date and safe to undertake parachute displays in front of the general public. As the Silver Stars team is composed of a mix of Regular and Reserve personnel, who are geographically dispersed throughout the UK, this is a significant

undertaking. Regardless, Maj McSpadden consistently delivered successful training packages, in locations ranging from Cyprus to Southern California. Under his leadership, the Silver Stars undertook a total of 98 parachute displays from 2014 to 2020, conducted throughout England, Scotland,Wales and Northern Ireland. Maj McSpadden was also instrumental in securing displays at public and private venues, which included: airshows, school activity days, race meetings and a significant number of charity events. Over the course of his tenure, the team has jumped in front of audiences totalling hundreds of thousands of spectators, promoting not only the Corps, but the wider British Army. In addition to fulfilling the OC role, Maj McSpadden was a keen parachutist who was display team qualified. He frequently gave up weekends throughout the display season to either jump into arenas with the rest of the team, or

undertake drop zone functions including ground crew management, providing commentary to the audiences and liaising with the pilots, all of which were essential to deliver a successful display. His farewell function took place at the Duke of Gloucester Barracks, South Cerney where the Silver Stars are headquartered by kind permission of CO 29 Regt RLC. Maj McSpadden is retiring from the British Army to transition into civilian life, living and working in Canada.

‘‘

Maj McSpadden was instrumental in elevating the Silver Stars from an individual corps team, with an uncertain future, to becoming one of the four currently established Army parachute display teams

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A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE The Colonel RLC

‘‘

Much of what we have done this year has been achieved remotely and while this has presented challenges, in some ways it feels like we are more connected than ever before

4

In January, no one could have predicted the events we have seen in 2020.The COVID-19 Pandemic has given us all unprecedented challenges and has affected everything we do. Since the first units deployed on Op RESCRIPT in March, I have been continually impressed with how you, the soldiers and officers of the Corps, have responded to the demands you have been faced with.We have had to adapt quickly to find new ways to do our business and you have shown resilience, agility and professionalism. Your contribution has made a real difference to the Army, Defence and to the Nation.You epitomise the vision that lies at the heart of the Corps strategy: We are, ‘World Class, Innovative and Adaptable’. The Corps’ Regular and Reserve Units have been heavily involved in the mammoth effort to supply and distribute PPE across the UK: integrating with the NHS and providing critical logistic planning expertise. Our Colonel-in-Chief, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, has visited several Units involved in the Coronavirus Response to recognise your vital contribution.There have been too many individual successes to mention, but I have been reminded time and time again that our people are our greatest asset and that our skills as professional logisticians are paramount.You should all be proud of your achievements this year. Looking forward, we can be certain our skills will continue to be in demand with the Corps at the forefront of the ongoing military support to mass testing and the Vaccination Task Force. Despite COVID-19, our units, detachments and individuals continue to be heavily committed to operations and exercises at home and overseas.This year 104 Brigade deployed to Europe on Ex DEFENDER, 27 Regiment deployed to Cyprus on Op TOSCA and soldiers from 13 Air Assault Support Regiment were involved in Op SOLIDARITY in Ukraine. 11 EOD & Search Regiment remain

committed 24/7, with over 200 personnel from the Regiment at 10 mins notice to move and 6 Regiment has successfully completed Public Duties representing the Corps superbly. Much of what we have done this year has been achieved remotely and while this has presented challenges, in some ways it feels like we are more connected than ever before.We must continue to exploit these lessons and I need you to remain engaged with RHQ to enable us to drive the Corps forward into the New Year. The Corps strategy with the four objectives of People,Technology, Integration and Communication remains the roadmap for the Corps’ future. We must continue to make it a whole Corps approach. Communication is key and this year we have worked hard to better connect with you, through Social Media, Defence Connect, our monthly DOWNREPs and of course The Sustainer. In the New Year we will hold a Corps level cross-brief, streamed online; which will allow us to share best practice across the Corps. Earlier this year RHQ The RLC moved to its new home in Worthy Down.Whilst we have not been able to hold Corps events as usual, our identity has been firmly established.We look forward to opening the state of the art RLC Museum in May 2021 and welcoming you all, to the home of the Corps. It is impossible to predict what 2021 will hold; what is certain though, is that the future looks bright for the Corps; our skills as professional logisticians are in high demand and the Army and Defence will continue to depend on us. As always, we can achieve nothing without the support of our loved ones and families.They have had to cope with many additional pressures this year with lockdown. A huge thank you from the Corps for the support you give us. Wherever you are over Christmas, I wish you all a wonderful festive period and a happy and prosperous New Year. Colonel J C West ADC

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NEWS | THE SUSTAINER

#BritishArmyLogistics The RLC has designed and piloted an all new Late Entry Commission Assessment Board (LECAB), which if adopted by Army HQ, will become the standard across the Army from 2021. The LECAB pilot was held in September this year and based in Grantham. It was used as a pilot study for a common commissioning event, in-line with the aims of Programme CASTLE. The aim of The RLC LECAB is to assess Warrant Officers’ suitability for a Late Entry Commission with the Royal Logistic Corps. Upon completion of the LECAB, a formal report is produced and sent to APC alongside a candidate’s AFB225A and SJAR book, to be presented to the commissioning board. We knew Programme CASTLE (the CGS-sponsored programme, working to transform the Army’s ‘People System’) was looking at potential changes to the LE Officer selection process and the RHQ The RLC was keen to be involved in any change that would directly impact our people, so we could have some influence on the change. During the initial stages of our joint planning, we identified the need to articulate what we wanted from our officers.Working with Army HQ, it became apparent that the future vision is for a single officer pathway which aligns with our new Corps strategy. Once the key attributes of LE Officers had been identified, we set about devising the tests and designing the assessment material. We looked at our traditional assessments and asked our serving Commanding Officers to reflect on their value. Simultaneously, the CASTLE Team consulted with the rest of the Arms and Services and it was our collective conclusion that there is a degree of similarity between objectives but no common standard. Our plan was to distil eight events to four and script each brief, to provide clear marking guidance and training for all directing staff. The four events comprised an oral brief, written brief in the form of an IRTB, a PLANEX and a group discussion. Collectively these assessments would provide an insight into the candidate’s intellectual capacity, communication skills, personality, ability to identify and

Leading from the front

analyse key information and deal with stress.The directing staff had been issued packs containing a standardised marking guide and used prepared scripts and marking guides to ensure a fair and transparent system of marking.This also aimed to provide each candidate with the same experience. In addition to the assessments, each candidate was interviewed by the Col RLC and a second OF 5, Col Munce.The LECAB reports then went to the selection board, to be considered alongside the SJAR book and 225a. 24 successful selections have been published from 66 candidates.

8 Visitors included the Army Sergeant Major

8 Syndicates received an opening brief

This pilot attracted significant interest and we enjoyed visits from the Army Sergeant Major, Field Army Sergeant Major, Head of Arm & Services, the Head of Programme CASTLE and Commander 104 Brigade. Each visitor received a brief, before visiting at least one syndicate to meet with the candidates. All our visitors remarked on the high standard of candidates and their support for The RLC pilot. The benefits of this year’s pilot LECAB are being considered in the context of a pan-army approach in Army HQ.While we cannot yet offer an exact plan for next year, the following has been proposed but not yet endorsed: 5 Dec 20 – Pan-Army LECAB Warning Order published 5 Jan 21 – DIN published 5 Mar 21 – Candidates apply 5 May 21 – Online briefing day for all candidates 5 Sep 21 – Board at a central location + Quality Line drawn 5 Oct 21 – RLC Corps Col interviews 5 Nov 21 – Results published The DIN will confirm likely activities for future events. If you are preparing for a LECAB in the future, the advice is to read widely, practice problem solving and hone communication skills. Discuss all available options with the Chain of Command and consider the merits of a mentor outside of your immediate Chain of Command.

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FROM THE RANKS

‘‘

In summary, it has been a very difficult and extremely unusual year, yet you have continuously delivered on all fronts and for that you have my utmost respect and gratitude – thank you

6

As I write, I find myself reflecting on what a strange and unusual year 2020 has been for us all.We have just finished filming the Colonel RLC’s Christmas message and there is a clear theme. Despite COVID-19 we have managed to keep our heads above water and you have continued to deliver. By the time you read this, we will have just exited the second national lockdown. But sadly it doesn’t end there! Most of the country is now a Tier 2 or 3 measures with tough restrictions in place. As we struggle on, living in hope that we can celebrate Christmas with our loved ones, we must spare a thought for those who cannot. These are sad, tough, cruel and unusual times; however we must remain positive and we must continue to follow official direction in order to see the end of this pandemic. A vaccine nears, bringing hope and the potential end to this crisis. Keep doing what you are doing, stay strong, stay in touch and reach out to one another. The positive attitudes and the daily actions of our officers and soldiers, are second to none and continue to amaze me.The Colonel and I have managed to visit 11 EOD&S Regt, 77 Bde, 13 AASR, 25 Regt, DST and 85 (Herring VC) Sqn and we have been lucky enough to accompany our Colonel in Chief to 4 Regt and more recently 27 Regt. The Princess Royal was hugely impressed and grateful for all that you do. Sadly, we did not get to visit 62 Sqn, 6 Regt RLC during their time on Public Duties. However I must congratulate you on a job well done and it’s not every day you get two visits from our Colonel In Chief! I must give 85 (Herring VC) Sqn a special mention. Despite the COVID-19 restrictions, they still managed to continue to train our future leaders when initial social distancing measures postponed, stopped or downsized training delivery. Not willing to accept the status quo, the Sqn

decided to run its courses at Longmoor. A selfless act, as in order to achieve their aim, they ran back to back courses, sacrificing many weekends with their families to ensure your soldiers, could maintain social distancing bubbles. The Squadron managed to not only safely train our leaders, they managed it without having to eliminate any of the training objectives. It is also important to mention the fantastic commitment of RHQ The RLC’s, training operations team and their ability to track and load students throughout these difficult and challenging times. Wherever we go, we always leave feeling positive and inspired. You just keep giving, you prove your robustness and mental resilience, you inspire, you care and you have an unrelenting will to help, whether that be each other or the Nation. Some of the ideas and innovative ways of conducting your day-to-day business and the way in which you stay connected with those, who are isolated, is truly mind blowing.You really are an inspiration and role models in your own right and whatever you do you make a difference. I have never been so proud to say that I am in The Royal Logistic Corps. In a brief moment of respite, the Corps was back on top, with 7 Regt RLC winning The Army Challenge Cup, beating 3 RSME in a stunning 4 – 0 victory… Well done. But sadly there will be no winter sports for the 20/21 season and all grass route sports are cancelled. Some other sports will be back on by the time you read this, which is great news. In summary, it has been a very difficult and extremely unusual year, yet you have continuously delivered on all fronts and for that you have my utmost respect and gratitude – thank you! No matter where you are in the world, I hope you manage to take a break over the Christmas period ready for a busy and exciting 2021. Merry Christmas, I wish you all the very best for 2021! WO1 P S Broom Corps Sergeant Major RLC

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#BritishArmyLogistics

NEWS | THE SUSTAINER

Lt Col (Retd) Jonathan Knowles On the 17 Jun 20, the Corps bade farewell to Lt Col (Retd) Jonathan Knowles, who retired after a 50-year career; that included 34 years in uniform and 16 years as a Civil Servant.While the intent was to dine him out in style at a Regimental Dinner Night; COVID-19 means Jonathan will now be invited back so, the Corps can say an appropriate farewell in 2021. Jonathan was commissioned into the RCT from Mons Officers' Cadet School in 1970. His subsequent military service included 15 appointments and five operational tours. On the sporting front, he was a renowned rugby player and regularly represented the RCT, the Army, the Combined Services and BAOR. He later became the Chairman of RLC Rugby. Additionally, he was a member of the 27 Regt RCT cricket team that won the Army Cup in 1972. Jonathan survived the Clapham train crash on 12 Dec 88, where he was extremely fortunate to be seated in the second carriage. Jonathan recalls being struck by a ‘flying commuter’ resulting in a badly cut lip. Seven stitches later, he returned to his desk at the MOD bloodied and bruised. His significant contribution as a Civil Servant, included 14 years as the Veterans Families and Civil Engagement Officer (VFCEO).Whilst the VFCEO role was focused on The RLC, Jonathan also covered the gapped RASC/RCT Secretary and the RASC/RCT Officers’ Club Secretary roles. He supported circa 7,700 RASC/RCT/RLC Veterans, in addition to organising a host of events, while managing several other responsibilities and dealing with the considerable administrative burden that went with all of this. Jonathan will be sorely missed by RHQ The RLC and the thousands of Veterans he supported during his hugely

8 Lt Col (Retd) Knowles and Geraldine Knowles on his final day of service

impressive career.We send him, his wife Geraldine and their family, our very best wishes for the future and wish them a long and enjoyable retirement.

INDUSTRY INTEGRATION One of the objectives of the new RLC strategy is integration.The Corps will leverage its relationship with industry, the Defence logistic community, academia and key allies and partners to provide ‘advantage’ through integration of the ‘Whole Force’.The RLC Foundation’s role in this, is to further develop relationships with industry and academia. What does a partnership with the RLC Foundation mean for Defence fuel supplier,World Fuel Services (WFS)? Peter Edwards, Senior VP Global Physical Operations, at WFS explains:“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, I look back with quiet satisfaction that World Fuel Services has still able to sustain its partnership with the RLC Foundation.We appreciate the opportunities to engage with the Foundation and the wider RLC, to champion the highest standards of logistic professionalism.The COVID-19 seminar at Tidworth in October (see P14) proved to be especially relevant for sharing best-practice and highlighting lessons for more resilient logistics.We remain focused on recognising talented RLC soldiers through our sponsored award for the RLC Foundation Apprentice of the Year. “We have a full appreciation for the tremendous value that veterans bring to our company. During the pandemic, they readily took the lead in their teams to achieve results.

Those behaviours alone, justify my company’s efforts in the UK, USA and Australia to hire veterans. For 2021, we will continue to offer work placements to selected service leavers. And we aim to hire more spouses of serving personnel and veterans through the Forces Families Jobs portal.We will also continue supporting reservists as part of a collaborative relationship with RLC reserve units. In the coming year we plan on hosting another industry/military insight event to demonstrate areas of best practice. The relationship with the Foundation is part of an absolute commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant and to the MOD’s Whole Force approach. “My company wants to be at the leading edge of a much more integrated relationship between the military and industry.We will play a full part in supporting the RLC Strategy across all its strands.With all that ahead of us,World Fuel Services looks forward to a long lasting, fruitful partnership.”

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THE SUSTAINER | FEATURE

By Lt Col Joe Brown RLC Commanding Officer 9 Regiment RLC

I was asked to pen a few words on commanding a regiment in the ‘new normal'. I wanted it to be interesting and useful to as many as possible, so what follows reflects input from another high readiness unit, a reserve unit and a training establishment. I think everybody's new normal is different - so this might not apply to all. But it might help you understand what your own CO is doing and why; what you might need to do if you are heading into unit command and how you can help. (Hint: it’s a team sport – lean in please). This is not a whinge…. Command is a privilege and when you are selected for it, you need to be first in for the bad stuff and last in for the good stuff - you aren't owed anything and you don't get to choose what fate throws at you. My collaborators agree: we wouldn't want to be anywhere else right now. What is the new normal? Dispersal was the right thing to do in the early summer, but exercises can't pause forever: there will always be a question about how essential an activity is, but armies are living organisations and if we don't carry out our primary purpose with regularity we will not be fit for it when called into the fight. The impacts will be catastrophic for tasks, teams and individuals. So we must continue to train. As Commander Field Army recently 8

#BritishArmyLogistics

Unit Command in the ‘new normal’

said: “The adversary hasn’t stopped and neither must we.” So the new normal looks a bit like the old normal. Just as busy, but with 'hands – face – space' precautions on top. The big change though is the lack of extramural activities: 'all of the work (actually more – more planning, communication, risk management and a regain on lost work over the summer) but none of the fun'. Vastly reduced sport, no Mess functions and increasingly intrusive social restrictions. So our people are denuded of the opportunities we've traditionally exploited to improve and maintain morale. Meanwhile, COs have reduced opportunity to interact with our people, gauge their personal morale, measure their characters and gather evidence for talent management. This expands to families too. Our partners (mostly wives, but of course husbands too) can’t look forward to Christmas balls and have missed summer parties. The regimental families’ day – which often includes an opportunity to celebrate our diversity and build cohesion – is also a victim of the pandemic. So what is different? Communication. There is much more direction to give. Analysing and communicating the plethora of new policies, including numerous iterations of Force Health

Protection Instruction, zaps RHQ planning bandwidth. And there are many more questions… it’s impossible to expect everybody to understand every bit of new policy and people will find plenty of other sources if they don’t like the official line (not always helpful). So questions come up the chain rightly so. Skype, email, Facebook live, Zoom, Slido etc. allow (and we've actively encouraged) forums with our most junior personnel. Most questions are well-founded, reasonable and fair. Answering them, and being confident you've landed your message, is harder though. I've used Facebook live streams, to a closed group, to answer questions, because I can't get people together. But I can't see the body language of the recipients and their view of mine is reduced. Mehrabian’s 7/38/55 rule tells us that only 7% of communication is what we say. 38% is on tone and 55% on body language. So over chat on MODNet Skype, I'm perhaps missing 93% of what's said to me and recipients are missing the same of what I'm saying the potential for misunderstanding and its implications across the board are significant. Malcom Gladwell’s ‘Talking to Strangers’ is a useful book in this context: lives can depend on understanding intent. Making sure your own

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FEATURE | THE SUSTAINER

#BritishArmyLogistics is clearly understood is much more demanding. Managing risk. Applying the Army Risk Assessment process, with COVID, can in theory elevate a large scale MATT session (e.g. 60+ people receiving MATT 6 Values and Standards from me and the Padre) to a point where it needs 1 star sign off. Authentic leaders need to either abide by the rules or get them changed. Consent and evade isn't viable. So what was simple becomes a deliberate operation to deliver safely. Track and trace puts one on the horns of a dilemma: when a positive for COVID-19 occurs and we ask our soldiers to honestly track and trace, if 10 people admit to breaking the social distancing rules, we know what we need to do to contain it. But 10 people have broken rules. Traditionally, this would see AGAI 67 or discipline action. It’s a balance of judgment whether we want people to admit mistakes (and in this case allow us to contain a potential outbreak) or to deter mistakes (or admitting mistakes) by

manage risk, in all the nuanced circumstances, it represents itself, centrally. Specific examples are section commanders running ‘shifts’ to ensure troop/squadron outputs are delivered while reducing exposure within the entire workforce to do so. So there are some positives to be had, which we must bake in for the long term. We will be more effective if we retain this approach.

punishment. Although 9 Regiment is lucky to be the sole occupant of our barracks, I can imagine multiunit occupancy of garrisons makes this all the harder.

So what? I’ve brought this article together in the side-lines over a three-week period and submit it as England enters Lockdown 2 and Field Army HQ has offered direction that this lockdown won’t look the same as the dispersal we had for the first one. This is helpful – it empowers COs to get on with their outputs. We must be realistic though: there’s a fair distance to go so we need to pace ourselves. The goodwill of our people will be tested further and they will need firm but empathetic leadership. COs will remain ultimately responsible for this in their units but they cannot do it alone. Lean in.

What is hopefully different? Empowerment. David Marquet, in his excellent book ‘Turn the Ship Around’, says that it is selfdefeating for leaders to give empowerment – instead we have to set conditions so our followers can take it for themselves. I think the circumstances have helped to set such conditions and our followers have taken the opportunity to empower themselves. Under normal circumstances, one would hope that COs trust their OCs. In the new normal, they must: it’s impossible to communicate and

THE ROYAL LOGISTIC CORPS STRATEGY We will professionalise and value our people, strengthen our ethos and maximise talent:

We will embrace the opportunity for data-led technology enabled transformation:

• We will promote pride, ethos and belonging • We will maximise the full potential of our diverse talent

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• We will accelerate trade modernisation to exploit cutting-edge technology

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N $ZRUOGFODVVLQQRYDWLYHDQG DGDSWDEOH&RUSVVXVWDLQLQJFRQWLQXRXV DFWLYLW\DWKRPHDQGDURXQGWKHJOREH$OO XQGHUSLQQHGE\DSHRSOHIRFXVVHGHWKRVDQGWKH H[SORLWDWLRQRIGDWDDQGFXWWLQJHGJHWHFKQRORJ\

We will improve links with allies and partners to learn from others and FKDPSLRQEHVWSUDFWLFHLQRXUÂżHOG

• We will develop our integration with the Defence Support community

• We will drive forward professionalisation including education and accreditation

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• We will encourage innovative, inspiring leaders at all levels.

VISION

E PL

TE C

UN

• We will professionalise contract management becoming Defence’s recognised experts.

:HZLOOLQIRUPLQVSLUHDQGLQĂ€XHQFH the Corps, and wider stakeholders including society:

• We will showcase who we are and our enduring utility to the nation

• We will improve how we communicate binding together the whole of the Corps and wider RLC family.

WORLD-CLASS INNOVATIVE ADAPTABLE

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9


THE SUSTAINER | CAREER MANAGEMENT

#BritishArmyLogistics

YOUR CAREER, YOUR CALL Career management team RLC soldiers - SO1: Lt Col Stewart SO2: Maj Brown WO1: WO1 Neilson

SOLDIERS SO1: Lt Col Stewart SO2: Maj McHugh SO3: Capt Rickerby WO1: WO1 Neilson QOGLR: SSgt Subba A message from the SO1 As we comply with Scottish Government’s direction to continue to work from home, the major benefit for us all, is the adoption of electronic ways of working, including electronic boarding. This is the first element of the roll-out of the CM Portal, which is available on the MS Web and will culminate with the roll-out of the My Career App, which will be available for us on our smart devices next April. The calendar of events below outlines all boards that will be run (all electronic). Finally, we offer a warm welcome to the new SO2, Maj Macca McHugh and bid Maj Claire Brown a fond farewell and wish her good luck in her new role at DST. The ‘new normal’ For the APC, the new normal is Working From Home (WFH). As the APC is based in Glasgow, we abide by the decisions made by the Scottish Government. In Scotland, there has been no loosening of restrictions for the Civil Service, where WFH is still very much the preferred option if you have it, so we as the MoD support the Government decisions and will remain WFH until otherwise directed. What does this mean for you? Well, nothing really. Our

outputs have remained relatively consistent throughout the pandemic. Since the end of the Assignment Freeze, we are pretty much business as usual, we’re just doing it from home and not in the office! Electronic Boarding You will already be adjusting to the “COVID Safe” practices in your own units and so are we. The old way of conducting promotion boards was to invite five board members to come up to the APC and sit around a table for a week reading hard copy SJARs and making note of the scores. This of course has its merits; board members are put in an environment with no distractions, briefings are given face to face allowing any misunderstandings to dealt with in the group. But putting people in a room that doesn’t afford the space for the correct social distancing, without having the means to endure any type of quarantine to create a safe bubble, just doesn’t survive contact. The solution is something that probably seems obvious to the new, tech savvy generation of Soldier and that is Electronic Boarding. Done via an open Skype link, board members access the board via One Note. With regular check ins throughout the day and the ability to ask questions of the secretary at any time, you the Soldiers benefit from the board members now having six to eight mins per person rather than three to four, as it used to be. Scores are submitted electronically too, so no board

Calendar of Events: Key Dates

Event

Action

19-21 Jan 21

SSgt – WO2 board sits

No action

31 Jan 21

Cpl SJARs due

Cpls, have you seen your SJAR yet?

31 Jan 21

Sgts SJARs to APC due

Sgts, has your SJAR been seen, uploaded and sent to Glasgow?

4 Feb 21

SSgt – WO2 Board results

SSgts, log onto MS Web at 0900hrs

31 Mar 21

LCpl SJAR due

LCpls, have you had your SJAR?

31 Mar 21

Cpls SJARs due at APC

Cpls. Have you seen your SJAR? Has it been sent to Glasgow?

10

member knows what the other has scored, which takes away any unconscious influence a senior board member may have on a more junior member. This helps ensure the fairness of the board and is a big advantage of the electronic boarding system.

RLC OFFICERS SO1: Lt Col Kemp SO1 LE Offrs: Lt Col Howard SO2 Snr Maj: Maj Cooke SO2 Jnr Maj: Maj Summerfield (summer 20) SO2 Capts: Maj Marples The ‘new normal’ Like most of the UK population, The RLC Officer Wing has had to adapt quickly to the new operating environment under COVID-19. COVID-19 has ‘provided the urgency’1 for change and as a result, a great deal has been undertaken and embedded within in a short space of time. It provided the impetus needed to instigate these improvements, which have not been prioritised in the past. There have been numerous hurdles that have had to be overcome at pace. These were wide ranging and included the need to manage the increased workload of the assignment freeze, while minimising the operational impact across the Army. The initial lack of available mobile IT infrastructure resulted in the re-prioritisation of work. In the early stages, the APC had an available workforce of around 25% of its routine capacity, placing a huge amount of pressure on a small group, to ensure outputs were delivered. The one thing that really stands out is the level of commitment and tenacity that our civilian colleagues demonstrated throughout. A couple of The RLC team effectively ran a ‘night shift’ for the first month or so by using their partners’ / husbands’ MODNet laptops when they were available; often seven days a week for the initial surge. Assignment Orders were being generated

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CAREER MANAGEMENT | THE SUSTAINER

#BritishArmyLogistics through the night on behalf of multiple career management desks, which was critical to maintaining assignment momentum. On a more personal level, the ‘new normal’ has been difficult for many, particularly those colleagues who have been shielding due to underlying conditions or perhaps cohabiting with vulnerable family members. For others, isolation has been a real challenge, including those with young families who may not have access to other adult interaction, for weeks at a time. It has been incumbent on everyone to be empathetic, in consideration of the vast range of situations and pressures that individuals may be enduring. The impact on mental health both during and outside of normal working hours, cannot be underestimated. The maintenance of team cohesion and the integration of new staff members has been particularly difficult. For new starters, understanding the complexities of how the APC works and how the various departments interact, has been challenging but workable. The remote delivery of Career Management PreEmployment Training has been a real enabler, taking significant effort from the training team to develop. It is a bit odd to think that there are some who joined the APC team in April but have yet to set foot in Kentigern House or even visit Glasgow.

HotTOPIC Did you know there are 48 Staff Car Driver positions from LCpl – SSgt. Turn to page 12 for more information and a real life account by a 4-Star General’s driver

There have been some significant benefits harvested from the changes that have been imposed. The use of alternative methods to deliver Formal Career Reviews via Skype/WhatsApp/Facetime has resulted in considerable cost avoidance. In The RLC Officer Wing, travel and subsistence costs for approximately 75 visits to Glasgow to receive Formal Career Reviews has been avoided. It has also saved the Army in excess of 100 workdays in nugatory travel time and the general feedback provided from recipients was extremely positive, even though the pleasure of a night out in Glasgow was missed. Similar T&S savings are being generated by e-boarding, conducting interviews online, and utilising Skype for delivery of presentations remotely to training organisations. Internal communications have improved now that Skype has been fully embraced. The ability to use conference calls for large numbers

has avoided the difficulties usually encountered in trying to secure an available conference room. It is likely that even when a return to Kentigern House is possible, that our working routine will never be the same again. Smart working practices have been adopted throughout, which has enabled a greater degree of flexibility with how our staff work. Focussing on the delivery of outputs, the ‘what’ rather than the ‘how’ will empower our staff to deliver a better, more flexible service, whilst fitting around their other life commitments. The ability to balance childcare or other responsibilities, has been a welcome by-product of the pandemic. The consensus is we must embrace what we have learned from this experience and continue to offer this flexibility. Whilst there have been significant challenges, COVID-19 has facilitated much-needed change in the way we conduct Business-as-Usual. It has provided the stimulus to modernise, has removed obstacles to change, and will undoubtedly result in many improvements being embedded within our organisational culture by the time we emerge from the pandemic. As a result, the APC will emerge from this as a more efficient and effective organisation, striving to deliver an increasingly better service to the Army. 1

Step 1 of Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model.

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11


THE SUSTAINER | CAREER MANAGEMENT In every issue of The Sustainer, The RLC Soldiers’ Wing at the Army Personnel Centre Glasgow, provides information on an area of employment that either gets little exposure within the Corps, or where the Wing has a consistent need to fill a number of positions. Currently, staff car drivers are the ‘Hot Topic’. As the home of the Driver trade, The RLC owns the majority of the staff car driver positions.

#BritishArmyLogistics

RLC Staff Car Driver

Life as a staff car driver by SSgt Higgs “I’ve been a staff car driver for three and half years and love the job. Based at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Belgium, I have been driving for the Deputy Supreme Commander, a British 4-Star General. Unfortunately the time has come for me to move on to pastures new due to promotion. As a staff car driver, you will need to complete the Defence Staff Car course held at the DST, which is two weeks long. If you’re fortunate enough, like I was, to get a job here in Belgium, you will need to complete the Blue Light Immediate Response course, held at Police HQ Lancashire Constabulary, which is also two weeks long. You may also need a Civilian Armoured Vehicle Course if the car you will drive is armoured. “Driving a senior officer is seen by many as a rubbish job. But that is so not true, it is a position of trust and responsibility that requires a high level of discretion; staff car drivers hear everything. It is also very handy having a starred officer

taking a personal interest in your career. During my time at SHAPE, we have travelled mainly in North West Europe and the UK. Previous drivers have gone to the USA. “The Job works for both single and married accompanied. The schools here are outstanding and local to, or on the base. During the summer season, there is lots happening on SHAPE itself with numerous events once a month hosted by different nations. For example: October Fest, Brit Fete, American Independence Day, SHAPE Fest and Belgium Beer Fest to name a few. Likewise in the local community, under normal circumstances, a lot happens throughout the year. To be honest, there are not many bad bits to the job. However, things like last minute diary changes requiring the DSACEUR to attend

PID

JOB

LOCATION

RANK TO FILL

DRIVING WHO

2092800

AHQ DVR A

Andover (Monxton Rd)

OR7/8

CGS

1743918

COMMARRC HOUSE SNCO & DVR

Gloucester (Imjin Bks)

OR 7

COMMARRC

1724738

CDS

London (Main Bldg)

OR6/7

CDS

1614612

VCDS

London (Main Bldg)

OR6

VCDS

1938220

HQ FD ARMY COMD GP

Andover (Monxton Rd)

OR6

1996686

BFCyp

Episkopi (Salamanca Bks)

OR6

1189750

MOD DEFENCE CENTRAL-A BLOCK

London (Regents Park Bks)

OR6

DSDF

1732075

NATO-ACO-SHAPE

Casteau

OR6

DSACEUR

1732085

NATO-ACO-SHAPE

Casteau

OR6

DSACEUR

2086464

NATO CMC

Brussels

OR6

CMC Dcom

2045971

NATO-ACO-JFC HQ BRUNSSUM

Brunssum (Graakalen)

OR6

1683435

NATO - BRUSSELS - HQNATO - UKMILREP

Brussels

OR4/6

CBF

1679799

PJHQ

Northwood (Sandy Lane)

OR4

CJO

1642032

PJHQ

Northwood (Sandy Lane)

OR4

COS OPS

1626678

DCDS (OPS)

London (Main Bldg)

OR4

DCDS Mil Strat

1751396

CDI

London (Main Bldg)

OR4

CDI DVR

1868928

DSA MAA

Bristol (Abbeywood)

OR4

DSA MAA Dvr

1869855

DSA MAA

Bristol (Abbeywood)

OR4

DSA MAA (2)

12

short notice meetings, means you have to remain flexible at all times. As far as positives go, there are too many to mention. But here are just a couple: Tax-free cars, alcohol and fuel. On SHAPE there is SELEXTION where you can buy tax-free and discounted electrical goods, there’s also a bowling alley and cinema. During my time here, I have had a positive and rewarding experience for both myself and my family.” Staff car driving offers the opportunity to serve in a huge variety of locations at a variety of ranks, with the chance to work directly for a 4-Star General. If you are interested, keep your eyes open for the availability of the PIDs in the first column of the table (below) on the jobs lists that come round at posting time. To get on the staff car drivers course you must first get an Assignment Order to drive for a 1-Star or above. Your application goes through the Corps HQ, Trg Ops Cell, who allocate the course spaces.

Some of SSgt Higgs’ role responsibilities: • Ensure that your vehicles are clean, serviced and legal at all times. In SSgt Higgs’ case, he looks after an Audi A8 (NATO) and Ford Mondeo (UK). • Ensure co-ordination of timings and reconnaissance for all routes within the UK and NW Europe are carried out. • Co-ordination with the rest of the staff on VIP movements. • The booking via email of police escort bikes for official NATO visits when required. • To produce drivers rotation (both drivers liaise) and publish on DSACEUR’s calendar and check the calendar on a regular bases as the diary can change rapidly. • To ensure the security of NATO sensitive documents when in transit. • To complete any other taskings from the outer office. • Pick up VIPs visiting on official business.

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#BritishArmyLogistics The apprenticeship offer to RLC soldiers has been updated and improved, with new opportunities for soldiers who have not previously had the opportunity of an apprenticeship relevant to their military trade. Starting in August 2020, a new generation of updated apprenticeships for RLC soldiers have been introduced. This includes some completely new apprenticeships, which will enable soldiers who have not previously had the opportunity of an apprenticeship relevant to their military trade to gain this benchmark qualification. Soldiers in all trades to which the Corps directly recruits, will be enrolled onto an apprenticeship aligned to their Initial Trade Training. Apprenticeships are programmes of vocational training designed to equip individuals with the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to effectively undertake a job role such as chef or large goods vehicle driver. They combine on-thejob training with a period of off-thejob training, which for Army Apprentices is their initial trade training. Apprenticeships must last for a minimum of 12 months, and more technical apprenticeships take longer to complete. Apprenticeships are also specified at different levels and the majority of initial Army Apprenticeships are at Level 2 (GCSE) or Level 3 (A level). Government has refreshed apprenticeships by handing responsibility for specifying the knowledge, skills and behaviours required in a job role, directly to groups of employers. The RLC has engaged with civilian employers in the logistics sector. Apprenticeships are jointly funded by employers (including the Armed Forces) and by Government. The result is a new generation of updated apprenticeships, now being introduced across the UK. Another change, initiated by Government as part of its apprenticeship reforms, is the way in which apprentices are assessed. Previously, apprentices were formally assessed continuously throughout the apprenticeship programme. In the future, there will be a formal End Point Assessment (EPA) and this is the main difference

RLC APPRENTICESHIPS | THE SUSTAINER

New apprenticeships for RLC soldiers By Maj Jay Goodchild RLC – Designated Officer for Apprenticeships and Maj (Retd) Peter Ramsden – RLC Apprenticeships Project Officer

that Army Apprentices (and their employers – RLC units) will notice. EPA will usually comprise of an on-line knowledge test, a practical assessment in the workplace and a short interview with an independent civilian assessor. The benefit of an apprenticeship for soldiers is the accreditation of their Initial Trade Training, at no cost to themselves and with relatively little additional effort. Apprenticeships are the first step on the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) pathway for all RLC trades. They contribute directly to achieving MGL’s intent to professionalise the Corps by benchmarking soldiers’ professional logistic skills with current best practice in the civilian world. It’s a win-win all round! Soldiers gain transferable skills and a recognised vocational qualification, which demonstrates their competence in the wider world. The Army, and The RLC in particular, achieve Government targets for investment in workforce development to promote development of the UK economy. Apprenticeships for RLC soldiers are delivered in partnership with two contracted service providers – the Army Catering Trust for chefs and Pearson TQ for all other trades,

8 The majority of initial Army Apprenticeships are at Level 2 or Level 3

except Marine Engineers who undertake their apprenticeship alongside REME Vehicle Mechanics with a different service provider. DCLPA and other training establishments deliver most of the off-the-job training required for apprenticeships. Any deficiencies in relation to the apprenticeship are addressed by service provider staff, working on the ground in RLC units and apprentices receive coaching to prepare them for EPA. All RLC units have a vital role in facilitating apprenticeships in the workplace and ensuring that all soldiers receive appropriate mentoring by their NCOs in their trade skills in order to consolidate Initial Trade Training. It is exactly that: a partnership between commanding officers of RLC units (usually through the Regimental Career Management Officer), our service providers and RHQ The RLC from where The RLC Apprenticeship Programme is led and co-ordinated by the Regimental Colonel (through the Designated RLC Officer for Apprenticeships). 8 In the next edition, a detailed explanation of what apprenticeships are available to each trade group.

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13


THE SUSTAINER | RLC FOUNDATION COVID-19 EVENT

#BritishArmyLogistics

RLC Foundation COVID-19 Event For most organisations and units within The RLC, 2020 has been a year of firsts. On 13 Oct 20,The RLC Foundation staged its highest profile event to date and its first ever virtual event over Zoom. The subject was Defence’s response to the Government’s need for Military Aid to the Civil Authority (MACA) to help tackle the Coronavirus pandemic and the central role The RLC and industry partners played in the initial response under Op RESCRIPT. Speakers included key figures in the military logistics world, namely: MGL Lt Gen Sir Mark Poffley KCB OBE; the Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff Support Operations, Rear Admiral Andy Kyte; the Director Joint Support, Maj Gen Simon Hutchings OBE; Commander 101 Logistic Brigade, Brig Phil Prosser and Col Tim Brent OBE (ELSC) who was embedded in NHS GOLD Command as a key logistics advisor and military/industry liaison officer and planner. It is worth explaining how such a high-profile seminar fell to the RLC Foundation to organise. Defence Support has identified that transformation is required if it is to underpin an increasing global role for the UK’s Armed Forces that could be persistently engaged, more integrated and operating at greater reach, tempo and more dispersed. This includes the need to embrace resilient data-centric technologies and develop a digitally-skilled and innovative ‘Whole Force’. What is true for Defence Support is true for The RLC. To help address the need for transformation, The RLC launched its new Corps Strategy in Aug 20. One of the four objectives of the new Strategy is ‘Integration’. This means leveraging the Corps’ relationship with industry, the Defence logistic community, academia and key allies and partners to provide ‘advantage’ through integration of the ‘Whole Force’. The RLC Foundation will help deliver this objective by enabling integration and by building on its success forming firm relationships between The RLC and the UK’s logistics industry. Its COVID-19 event, broadcast from the 14

8 Group discussion

8 Brig Prosser

8 LCpl Randolph

Tidworth Garrison Theatre, was a means to recognise this partnership and highlight some lessons learnt, which will inform future Defence Support doctrine. The COVID-19 event’s keynote speakers highlighted the experience gained from providing MACA to

address critical shortages of PPE, ventilators, planning capacity and critical care beds through the setting up of the Nightingale hospitals. They emphasised this came with a steep learning curve and the lessons learned have been invaluable in highlighting how Defence must plan for similar pressures on global and national supply chains in the event of conflict, or international civil emergency in the future. Some of the issues that had to be addressed rapidly were existing weaknesses in the supply chain, such as end to end visibility. There was a lack of usable data; stock locations and quantities, problems with procurement, negative global influences and a lack of knowledge of the full workings of government departments, which Defence needed to interact with. When it came to consumables, it became apparent very quickly that there was no initial visibility of usage rates, which led to significant problems in identifying what was needed where. The way the military responded and handled the situation was remarkable and rapid with the result being a better understanding of how global supply chains work; and how important they are as a strategic instrument of power. The need for

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RLC FOUNDATION COVID-19 EVENT | THE SUSTAINER

#BritishArmyLogistics

8 WO2 MacPherson

8 Jim Hartshorne

more resilience in the supply chain was highlighted. It was also explained how decades of underinvestment and a reliance on a ‘just in time’ logistics model, to keep costs low, can result in supply chain failures when unexpected pressure is applied. The lessons learnt will be applied to preparation for war fighting in the future and these speakers all held the view that there is a clear need to look inwards to make the Defence Supply Chain more resilient. Speakers from industry included: Jim Hartshorne, MD Retail & Consumer UK and Ireland at DHL Supply Chain; the senior operations manager World Fuel Services Global Physical Operations, Nanovo Viliame; a team comprising speakers (Huw Jenkins, Howard Hughes, Edward Askew and Lt Col Nathan Smith RLC) from Leidos Europe, Kuehne & Nagel and the CMO; Paul Kettle, business development and marketing director at TVS who presented on its commercial response to the pandemic and finally Nick Channer, COS at Wilson James. All these industry partners played their part in the initial pandemic response from the procurement and supply of PPE and provision of eCommerce platforms to ensuring the supply of manpower for security duties. DHL pointed out that the pressure on the retail and food supply chains was massive at the start of the pandemic and it saw demand levels equivalent to the Christmas period for a full seven weeks across the convenience stores it serves. The NHS’s Supply Chain Director, Chris Holmes, said the scale of the number of civilian organisations that came together to support the response was phenomenal and he thanked the military for its

8 Rear Admiral Kyte

contribution,‘which has been huge’. Ex RLC officer, David Poole, who volunteered as a GOLD Integrated Care Centre manager at the Frimley NHS Trust, presented on bringing military skills, process and experience to help streamline the Trust’s response. At the tactical level, and without doubt the stars of the show, were the young soldiers and officers, who presented short vignettes based on their experiences while deployed on the ground on Op RESCRIPT.They included WO2 Grant MacPherson (6 Regt RLC) who spoke about supporting the establishment and smooth running of mass testing laboratories; Lt Beth Capon (27 Regt RLC) commanding Immediate Replenishment Group North; Maj Paul Eaton (2IC 4 Regt RLC) on managing the Regt’s significant contribution to Op RESCRIPT and 2Lt James Hancock (151 Regt RLC) on the response of the Reserves.The final two tactical vignettes fell to Capt Jake Ardley (27 Regt RLC) who worked with Clipper Logistics on PPE quality assurance and reporting and helped the company to set-up a dedicated PPE handling warehouse and LCpl Randolph (9 Regt RLC) who as member of 84 Medical Supply Sqn was part of the extensive civilian and military team who built and set-up the London Nightingale hospital. All these serving RLC soldiers and officers spoke with passion and confidence about their experiences and the invaluable lessons they learnt. The event lasted for five and a half hours and the final session saw a panel discussion which answered questions sent in by those attending via Zoom and some from the other speakers, who had assembled at the Tidworth Theatre to present via the video link.

8 Lt Capon

8 Col Brent

Summing up, MGL said that so much had been learnt by Defence during ‘Phase One’ of the pandemic response. He said he was incredibly proud of what The RLC had delivered and the top of Government was ‘wide eyed’ at the incredible effort of the military and what it achieved in such a short time scale. He expressed the importance of understanding: 1. The networks and operating environments we are faced with. 2. The importance of accurate readily available data and the ability to communicate via a robust chain of command. 3. The importance of reversionary systems and the need to rehearse for what might go wrong. 4. The necessity for properly organised contingency plans. 5. How to re-skill so we can undertake mutually beneficial work. MGL said these things are at the heart of resilience planning along with risk analysis.We need to understand how we conduct this at both national and tactical levels. In conclusion, he said The RLC Foundation was a key link between the professional military logisticians and the civilian sector and it should be congratulated for facilitating a very useful and interesting event.

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15


THE SUSTAINER | TRAINING MATTERS

#BritishArmyLogistics

The Defence School of Logistics Commandant: Col Colin Francis MBE I write just a couple of months into appointment. I must admit to being astounded by the contribution that the Defence School of Logistics (DSL) is making. As you will see in the Wing updates that follow, they have continued to deliver against their output, despite the obvious challenges that COVID-19 has presented.Through their commitment, discipline and energy, the School is clawing back some of the ground lost when training ceased in March and April and it is doing all it can to meet the full year’s training requirement (Statement of Training Task). The social distancing requirements have seen the capacity of most courses reduced by circa 50% and new novel ways of delivering training in a blended manner have been introduced.We will incorporate some of the new ways of working into future delivery models to ensure that those elements that are proving to be effective are not lost. We will also ensure that some of the ‘goodness’ that may have been removed, particularly surrounding the restrictions placed on many visiting presenters, is reincorporated when permissible.This will ensure that the product of the School, the trained serviceperson, is capable of delivering what you expect of them when they return to their respective units and formations. In forthcoming articles, I will focus on the benefits of working here in the training environment, specifically at such an exciting, albeit challenging time. I will extol the virtues of the instructor and how such employment will enrich you personally and professionally and consequently make you even more of a prized asset when you return to regimental duty; some vignettes will be used to demonstrate this. But before then, I just wanted to publicly thank my predecessor, Colonel John Atkins. He has been at the helm for over three and a half years and simply put, has done a brilliant job. In addition to moving the Tri-Service elements from HMS Raleigh,West Moors, Lympstone, RAF Halton and Deepcut, whilst re-enforcing the out stations in Brize Norton and Marchwood, he has been delivering the college-wide Project ARIEL work. A herculean effort, I’m sure you'd all agree and the fact that he has handed over such a positive and forward-looking team must give him a huge sense of satisfaction.We are all indebted to him for establishing the School in Worthy Down, making it truly Defence in nature and setting the conditions for success. Command Wing (CW) Chief Instructor - Lieutenant Col Andy Moss OBE RLC In a period dominated by the obvious, CW’s RLC elements relate below on how they have been wrestling with the difficult task of meeting as many of our training outputs as possible, whilst keeping trainees and instructors alike safe. As the Chief Instructor, all I can do is pay public testament to the innovation, determination and unfailing positivity that every member of the team has displayed over the last few months - they have been simply awesome. 16

8 A busy serial on Ex TIMBER TRUSS

85 (Herring VC) Squadron The Army Leadership Development Programme (ALDP) and Instructor Development Course (IDC) have continued to run at full strength throughout the pandemic. Quick thinking, adaptability and flexibility by Squadron Headquarters and all instructors saw course delivery move from Worthy Down to Longmoor Training Camp. The large training estate there allowed all WO Command Leadership and Management (CLM), Sgt ALDP, Cpl ALDP and IDC courses to be delivered as forecasted, in line with Public Health England guidance. The facilitation of both classroom-based learning and the Basic Close Combat Syllabus phase all in one location, compared to the pre COVID-19 mid-course location change, has developed an old-fashioned course ethos of ‘we are all in this together’. This innovation has allowed all students to become substantive in rank within their correct promotion year timelines, without the need for eligible COVID-19 extensions. The restrictions have witnessed the training teams endure many challenges over this unprecedented time without breaking stride, highlighting the quality and resilience of their Cpl’s and SNCOs. Field Log 1 The Troop Commanders’ Course was the first course to launch on the resumption of routine training at Worthy Down. A compressed course delivered the bulk of the

8 Army Leadership Development Programme (ALDP) Instruction

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#BritishArmyLogistics Training Objectives and COVID-19 protection measures were used throughout; remote attendance of presenters, training in cohorts and ensuring the correct application of spacing/Personal Protection Equipment were the key weapons in the armoury. Importantly, the team were able to deliver the critical final exercise on Salisbury Plain. Lots of careful analysis enabled the exercise to run and we are deeply grateful to 4 Regiment RLC for delivering a first-class exercise. Unfortunately, a lot of the social elements, visits and the overseas battlefield study were cancelled and it must be noted that the Troop Commanders’ Course 083 showed class and patience throughout this challenging time. In September, the full 14-week Troop Commanders’ Course commenced under a new Senior Instructor (Major Thomas Wallis) and a turnover of Captain instructors. The overriding intent is to continue to train to the highest standard in a safe and compliant way to ensure RLC units receive their new officers without training deficiencies. Field Log 2 In Field Log 2, it has very much been a case of ‘out with the old and in with the new’ as Command Wing said farewell to both Major Ben Palmer and Captain Neal Khepar, who have departed for pastures new.We wish them both the very best in their future endeavours and thank them for their sterling service. Replacing the old guard has seen the arrival of Major Carl Fulford, as Senior Instructor and Captain Liz Polson, who assumes responsibility for the RLC Captains’ Course and the International Logistic Officers Course (ILOC).Vital continuity is being provided by Captain Danny Rumney who, in addition to his day job, is providing cover for the gapped Deputy Chief of Staff (DCOS) role in the headquarters of DSL. Capt Rumney will also deliver the Defence Logistic Contract Management Course (DLCMC) which has been eagerly awaited by numerous stakeholders. Following a summer dominated by COVID-19 cancellations, a sense of normality returned with the RLC Captains’ Course convening in September. Capt Polson led with the delivery of the course and with the first course complete, focus then switched to the after-action review and an opportunity for course development. Field Log 3 Field Log 3 were hit hard by the pandemic.The team were forced to delay a number of projects such as an invitation to observe Ex FOURLOG (a joint Hungarian, Czech and Austrian tactical logistic exercise for trainee junior officers).This was in addition to the cancellation of one Joint Logistic Operations Course (JLOC) and a delay to the second in January 2021. Despite this, the team have taken the opportunity to refine a number of courses alongside delivering a COVID-compliant RLC Majors’ Course.They have also taken the opportunity to conduct professional development with both Field Log 3 instructors having completed the initial Logistics Functional Area Services (LOGFAS) Course; the ultimate aim being to include its use on planning serials in JLOC – a long overdue development. Food Services Training Wing (FSTW - Worthy Down) Commanding Officer – Cdr Gary Manning RN A great deal has changed within the Food Services Training Wing (FSTW) since the last issue of Sustainer. The

TRAINING MATTERS | THE SUSTAINER

8 Pte Gurung (QOGLR) and Pte O’Leary (RLC) moving OFCS equipment whilst observing the 1 meter+ rule

8 Sgt Shaine Ryland-Gasher being presented his 1* Commendation by Brig Mike Caldicott CBE, Commandant DCLPA

Royal Navy has ‘come on board’ and moved maritime food services training to Worthy Down, making FSTW a truly whole-force training unit. The Chief Instructor, Lt Col ‘Fletch’ Fletcher RLC retired from the Army and handed over the wheel to Cdr Suzi Nielsen RN who, having moved the Navy element to Worthy Down at the end of her tour, then handed over to the current Commanding Officer, Cdr Gary Manning RN - all this in the space of four months and whilst battling a pandemic! The impact of the lockdown was strongly felt in FSTW and the announcement that training must cease was met with disappointment. This was however short lived as the requirement for Royal Navy and Royal Air Force chef training to continue meant instructors from all three Services, and not forgetting our civilian instructors, were pressed into service delivering the Defence Chef Basic Course. The Headquarters set about implementing new safe systems of work to allow the Fleet and Strike training priorities to be delivered and our courses underwent significant changes. Student numbers and course lengths were reduced, however the number of courses had to increase in order to deliver the required number of trained students. It was a big ask, but ultimately achieved by all available personnel who stepped in to cover for those who were having to isolate. Army Chef training has since resumed and we are continually assessing better and safer ways of delivering training. Staff and students alike have shown a great deal of

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17


THE SUSTAINER | TRAINING MATTERS

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8 The anchor revealed to 73 Sqn was named AJAX by OC 73 Sqn Maj F Darver 8 Pte Saumaki being presented with Best Student by Commanding Officer FSTW, Cdr G Manning RN

resilience and character by embracing the ‘new normal’, but none more so than Sergeant Shaine Ryland-Gasher who was recognised for his selfless commitment during the pandemic where he not only stepped in to run the G4 function of FSTW, but volunteered in the local community by delivering food to those isolating and stacking shelves in the local supermarket. Commandant DCLPA, Brigadier Mike Caldicott CBE, presented Sgt Ryland-Gasher with a 1* commendation for his sterling contribution. All courses have now resumed in FSTW and are being delivered back-to-back to ensure that they are all delivered within the training year.

8 Brig M Caldicott CBE, attending the 73 Sqn RLC Inauguration Ceremony for the new sqn gate guard

Logistic Specialist Training Wing (LSTW) LSTW provides 115 basic, pre-employment and specialist training courses to circa 3500 logisticians per annum from all three Services, as well as international students, civilian grades and Defence industry partners. Training takes place across three squadrons based at: Marchwood (73 Squadron); DCLPA Worthy Down (Defence Petroleum Specialist Training Squadron (DPSTS)); and RAF Brize Norton (Defence Movements Training Squadron). 73 Squadron On 6 Aug 20, Comdt DCLPA, Brig M Caldicott CBE, attended the 73 Sqn RLC Inauguration Ceremony for the new sqn gate guard, an anchor to a Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) lost in the Falkland Islands (FI) conflict. 18

During the conflict, 73 Sqn was called Composite Port Sqn (A) 17 Port & Maritime RCT and operated in Ajax Bay. At the end of 1982, the Sqn was renamed 73 (FI) Port Sqn 17 P&M RCT before being named 460 Port Troop, 17 P&M RLC who remain to this day on the FI. Port and Maritime training was conducted by P&M Division, School of Logistics; the change to 73 Sqn, 25 Regiment RLC, was to ensure the history of the Sqn wasn’t lost.When the Sqn was moved from 25 Regt RLC to DCLPA, it was renamed 73 Sqn RLC. After extensive searching for the perfect sqn gate guardian, an anchor from one of many RFA ships that were attacked within Ajax Bay was found in the FI salvage yard. It was fitting that this anchor should be used as the new sqn gate guard noting 73 Sqn Composite Port Sqn (A) worked to unload the ship’s supplies when sustaining the fight of the FI. Defence Movements Training Squadron (DMTS) When direction was received to pause training delivery, several Initial Trade Training (ITT) trainees were under instruction and DMTS was presented with a significant challenge in two areas; how to ensure ongoing Duty of Care requirements and how to continue training delivery in the event of an extended Lockdown. The DMTS considered how best to facilitate ongoing instructor/trainee interaction, course cohesion, retention of learning and welfare support.Within three weeks, the Sqn was delivering daily instructor-led sessions via video conferencing (Zoom) to trainees at home. The use of Zoom not only enabled continued delivery without portable MOD devices, but also allowed instructors to have ‘eyes on’ the trainees; the latter proving invaluable to ensuring an ongoing Duty of Care. What quickly became evident was that by extending the Zoom allocation to include additional time before and after instructor led interaction, the trainees began to talk amongst themselves and quickly began to use the opportunity to share experiences and challenges they were facing, leading to increased course cohesion and providing the instructors with the opportunity to identify those requiring additional support. Supply Training Wing (STW) Chief Instructor – Lt Col ‘Dutch’ Holland RLC The previous STW submission to Sustainer highlighted the fact that due to the ongoing pandemic, some courses

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8 WO1 (SSM) Dave McNeill being presented his 1* Commendation by Brig Mike Caldicott CBE, Commandant DCLPA

TRAINING MATTERS | THE SUSTAINER required to adapt working hours into shifts to ensure that adequate support was provided to trainees. These changes compelled SCD to create new solutions making use of the full benefits of DCLPA’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and provide a learning experience that maximises learner’s engagement but minimises learning disruptions. As with all major change projects, there was initial resistance by trainees due to unfamiliarity. However, with the guidance and support of a dedicated and experienced team, the needs of trainees continue to be met. Consequently, the distance learning processes are now receiving very positive feedback from trainees and from the SCD team who are responsible not only for delivering it, but also continuing to evolve and develop it in order to make the learning experience even better. A challenging but highly productive period for STW culminated in the award of a 1* commendation by Commandant DCLPA, Brigadier Mike Caldicott CBE to WO1 (SSM) Dave McNeill for his concerted efforts and dedication to the development of the LSS career and course framework. This work has provided a much improved and more effective career stream for soldiers which is fully accredited, providing outstanding CPD opportunities for personnel.

8 Logistic Supply Specialist Class 3 training delivery via Zoom

had been shortened in order to protect the delivery of ITT. These condensed courses, which have been delivered over the past few months, have allowed training output, albeit in a significantly reduced volume, to be achieved. RLC Logistic Supply Specialist courses delivered by Supply Chain Division (SCD) have been some of the most radically adapted courses and Sergeant Kwasi Amponsah, one of the SCD Trainers, explains how this was achieved. Sgt Kwasi Amponsah Due to COVID-19, SCD was faced with the challenge of redesigning courses in order to be able to continue delivering LSS trade and specialised courses whilst using less resources to do so. To continue, the team were required to employ various steps which considered the safety of both trainers and trainees whilst adhering to the Government’s COVID-19 guidelines. This included reducing the risks associated with the face to face delivery of course material using distance learning, which allowed courses to be reduced in duration whilst ensuring that trainees achieved the required Training Objectives. These courses, and the elements of distance learning, were designed with comprehensive blended learning techniques in the form of videos and scripted PowerPoints, as well as, in some cases, utilising Zoom video conferencing. COVID-19 has impacted trainers and trainees alike. In a very short period, there was a requirement to change the mode of delivery of courses whilst maintaining the same level and standard of output. At the same time, SCD were

8 Sgt Kwasi Amponsah – Supply Chain Division Trainer

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19


THE SUSTAINER | RLC DIVER

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Dive RLC! If you thought military divers could only be found in the Royal Navy or Royal Engineers, think again. Professional (military) diving is an RLC wet trade specialism. Katherine Lack finds out more Lance Corporal Jason Cole is the current Dive Store Technician at 17 Port and Maritime Regiment RLC. Sustainer asked him about his experiences in one of the most physically and mentally demanding job roles the British Army has to offer, discovering some of the challenges he has faced along the way and what really makes his diving role so rewarding. Why did you want to become an Army Diver? Army Divers are required A RLC to conquer one of the most demanding courses the Army offers – they are part of the ‘elite’. Of course, the qualification comes with a pay increase, but this wasn’t important to me. I already enjoyed diving as a civilian and I wanted to test myself and prove that I could achieve this challenge.

Q

How were you selected to dive for the British Army? Divers are typically A Army selected from three RLC trades; Port Operator, Marine Engineer and Mariner, although other trades with temporary postings to 17 Regiment can attempt the course. I joined as a Port Operator and immediately expressed my interest to the dive team. The Medical Centre then arranged an Occupational Dive Medical examination, which once I had passed, gave me a place on the next Unit Pre-Diving Assessment*.

Q

*The Unit Pre-Diving Assessment is a one-week course held within the unit which aims to examine both physical robustness as well as the ability to retain information and work under pressure.

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What happened after you completed the Unit Pre-Diving Assessment? completed the eight-week A IClass 2 Dive Course (AD2) where you are taught Military Diver First Aid, followed by the basics of military diving. The equipment is similar to civilian scuba diving equipment where all of the air is contained in cylinders on your back, although this is where the similarities to scuba ends. I was able to dive to a maximum depth of 30m and attend dive tasks with the rest of the dive team. I then completed the eight-week Class 1 Dive Course (AD1) all about specialised diving equipment. The equipment used is similar to that of commercial divers; the air supply is controlled on the surface and sent down to the diver via an umbilical

Q

8 Waiting to leave the surface during Class 2 deep diving training in Scotland

that is connected to a diving helmet. I was also trained to operate various underwater hydraulic tools, such as a chainsaw and concrete breaker and dive to a depth of 50m. What does your current role entail? Being a Diver is not a trade on A its own, it is a specialised qualification. This means that you are a soldier first and will do your usual job, but when you are needed, will be pulled out of your trade work. There are only three permanent positions that run the dive team; WO2 Unit Dive Officer (UDO), SSgt Regimental Army Dive Supervisor (RADS) and LCpl Dive Store Technician (DST). I am the Dive Store Technician, which means that I spend a lot of time maintaining our dive equipment, ensuring it is safe and ready to use. When we dive, I like how varied the jobs can be – one day we might be searching for a dropped weapon, the next checking the propeller shaft of a military vessel.

Q

How does diving with the Army differ from your diving experiences as a civilian? In my experience, civilian diving A is usually made up exploring reefs and wrecks and enjoying clear waters. However, military diving is a different experience altogether. Often there is little or no visibility in

Q

8 Open Space Diving System - Lake bed survey in Hampshire

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RLC DIVER | THE SUSTAINER

#BritishArmyLogistics the water and we have to navigate our way around by touch which can be quite disorientating. Where do Army Divers dive? We dive all over the world. For A example, the team deployed to Haiti to assist with the effects of an earthquake and to help inspect the ports structural integrity and advise if it was possible for ships to dock and provide relief. They also removed debris from the water such as large trees, metal structures and body recovery. The expertise of the team is also requested by other nations. An exercise in Jordan found us working alongside the Jordanian Special Forces Dive team, also known as ‘Frog Men’, teaching them how to use our equipment and showing them specialist techniques used to accomplish tasks. We also have live tasks local to Southampton such as inspecting the hulls of Army vessels for potential damage and clearing the propellers of foreign objects. Recently, a trailer became detached whilst offloading a ship and the dive team were called to locate it and then, using lift bags, bring it back to the surface to be recovered safely.

Q

What do you enjoy most about your role as an Army Diver? role gives me a clear A My understanding of my career progression opportunities and our yearly inspection of the kit and equipment provides evidence that we are doing a good job. Being an Army diver is unique and offers a huge amount of job satisfaction. Passing the initial tests can be difficult, but once you have passed, there are so many great opportunities. I also enjoy working in a small team - we are in permanent posts so it feels like a close family. A highlight so far, has been my involvement in the International Submarine Trials which consists of human propelled submarines racing around a course marked out in the water. In the event that something goes wrong, we are there to retrieve the pilot and bring them safely back to the surface.

Q

What has been your biggest challenge whilst diving with the Army? the COVID-19 A During pandemic, getting hold of parts and spares has been tricky. We were also held on standby ready to deploy to Beirut after the explosion earlier this year which meant that all planned maintenance for the next three months had to be completed within days. Our involvement in this didn’t happen in the end, but we ended up conducting diving depth progression training in Wales, followed by a two-week exercise in Scotland. Although enjoyable, this busy period came with its challenges. Work at Plymouth Aquarium has also seen me carrying out maintenance in shark tanks with only a PVC pipe used to distract the sharks if they come too close; it is a nerve-racking experience!

Q

8 Entry into water prior to vessel maintenance, Marchwood Military Port

Army Dive Supervisors Course (ADS)*. I would then like to become the SSgt Regimental Army Dive Supervisor (RADS) and then WO2 Unit Dive Officer (UDO). *After gaining experience as a diver and becoming a minimum rank of Selected Cpl or Capt, Army Divers attend the 12-week Army Dive Supervisors Course (ADS) course where they are taught how to safely supervise every single person on the dive site. 8 LCpl Jason Cole

What diving plans does your team have for the next few months? are carrying out a A We beach recce in Browndown, Portsmouth, as part of a regimental training exercise and next year and we plan to the carry out tasks in Cyprus.

Q

What would you like to accomplish next in your diving career? want to be promoted to A ICorporal and to undertake the

Q

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21


THE SUSTAINER | TRAINING MATTERS

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The Defence School of Transport Commandant DST – Col Chris Henson QGM COS – Lt Col Simon Watkins DELIVERING TRAINING IN THE COVID ERA The national COVID-19 lockdown in spring 2020 saw units and establishments dispersing their personnel to protect the force. The Defence School of Transport (DST) was directed to reduce numbers on site by sending all Army Initial Trade Training (ITT) personnel home on leave and suspending non-essential courses. Despite this, operational courses and resilience training continued. Initially limited to RAF MT Driver T16 and Civilian Armoured Vehicle (CAV) courses, this was quickly expanded at the Field Army’s request, to provide bespoke packages of Cat C, GS MOD1, HAZMAT and CAV Operator to meet an urgent operational request from 1 Div. Military and Civil Service staff from all three instructional squadrons delivered this training and were supported by the wider DST staff, including 25 Regt RLC as well as the contractors running the workshops, kitchens, cleaning and accommodation services. With a national lockdown in full force, essential staff were issued with Key Worker letters and the operational fleet marked up so training could continue throughout the East Riding of Yorkshire roads and towns.This, coupled with an information campaign involving the Local Authority,Town Councils and Chief Constables, ensured that support was maintained across the local community. With operational training secured, DST started preparing for a return to ITT training. Every day lost to COVID-19 results in potential backlog and a failure to prime trade training or deliver gains to unit strength. Squadrons set about creating a COVID-19 safe environment re-working hangar floor plans to reduce congestion, creating safe routes and placing hand sanitising stations at key points. Cleaning and sanitisation regimes were introduced for vehicle interiors and exterior 22

contact surfaces as well as workstations to reduce the risk of infection. Given the inability to meet a 2m social distancing rule in most cabs, 1:1 ratios for practical driver training were enforced. Easy in hindsight, it took considerable effort and tenacity by the team to develop workable practices and procedures as well as resourcing the FP kit required. DST Leconfield was the only site for a considerable time conducting licence acquisition during COVID-19.The safe system of work developed there, which evolved at pace in line with changing guidance, has informed wider Defence procedures for driver training in a COVID-19 environment. After the lockdown was lifted, DST recommenced training of ITT and STT students. Restarting the largest driving school in Europe is not an immediate process and it has taken time to reach full productivity. ITT training has been prioritised over STT at the request of HQ Army and additional resources have been provided from across the Field Army as a temporary uplift in capacity. These measures are working and there has been a significant increase in DST output with 510 theory tests, 408 practical driving tests passed and the successful conversion of 284 individuals to military platforms (GS MOD1 & 2 (RAF pers only)) in Sept 20 alone.Whilst the numbers are moving in the right direction, winter will pose a continuing challenge; it

8 DLW at the vehicle decontamination demo

will be a race to the finish, but we have the right team in place. DST – moving forward into its 25th year and beyond Formed at Leconfield in 1996, next year will be DST’s 25th birthday – and while we will celebrate this milestone event (COVID permitting) we are focussed on the future. Compared to the civilian driver training industry, DST is an effective training provider – outperforming the DVSA pass statistics in every category last year. In some areas, such as theory test training, we are over 20% more effective and in others, such as Cat C licences, our comparable pass rates are impressive given the relative inexperience and breadth of our student base. Our pass rates are in part due to the intensive nature of our training as well as the investment in instructors in improving their teaching/coaching abilities. COVID-19 restrictions accelerated our plans to reassess and streamline course delivery. STMS Sqn has led the way with the Advanced Driving Section redesigning the CAV Operator Course. Previously four days long, it has been reduced to one and a half days including the night serial by using 1:1 intensive training ensuring a greater continuity of instruction and more time behind the wheel for each student. Elsewhere

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TRAINING MATTERS | THE SUSTAINER

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8 Bees in residence at DST

within DST, delivery teams such as MT Management have taken full advantage of the enforced pause in training to develop and innovate course material with a view to improving pre and post course material, as well as the delivery of residential aspects of the training. DST will continue to transform its business through training technology, digitisation of processes and innovation of practices. Trailed in the last edition of Sustainer, simulation will; augment our existing teaching methods, deliver savings in our annual fuel usage against vehicle mileages, contribute to the Government’s green targets and improve the driver competency. Plans to deliver the urban training facility on the DST site to provide a bespoke training environment for vehicle crews are now under way with site clearance commencing this year. In addition, an uplift in instructor recruiting will increase our training capacity from 2021 onwards. Longer term, the initial commitment to develop the Normandy Barracks site with a £60M rebuild is welcome and indicative of the long-term future of the site.We will be working from now until April 2021 on setting the requirement to inform the subsequent assessment phase.

8 Sgt Pryor with DLW Coin

viewed the range of measures we have in place to protect our instructors and students in a COVID-19 training environment. The General also presented Sgt Pryor, a soldier on secondment at DST, with a DLW Coin in recognition of his swift actions at the scene of a road traffic accident in our local area. Before leaving, DLW officially opened Ladysmith House, a new welfare hub for military personnel, their families and civilian staff at the school. The hub will house the unit welfare team, the DST HIVE and the local branch of SSAFA. Charity events Despite the restrictions placed on us all throughout the pandemic, our staff and students have still managed to support and raise funds for various military charities.

The Annual SSAFA Big Brew was greatly supported and raised a fantastic £690.50. In addition, Cpl Townsend, Cpl Postlethwaite and SIO Haywood, took on the epic challenge of climbing the height of Mount Everest, cycling the distance of Land’s End to John O’Groats and running the distance of the Coast to Coast between them. They successfully completed the task within an impressive five days and raised a fantastic £1,120 for SSAFA. Cpl Riddell organised a run where staff ran between three Bomber Command memorials in the local area, raising £1,190 for the International Bomber Command Centre and 158 Squadron Association who have close links with Leconfield. We have new residents! In an effort to become a more environmentally friendly site, we have recently welcomed 120,000 bees to Normandy Barracks. The bees, which are kept by the Beverley Bee Keepers Association, are situated in hives across the training estate and will go some way to offsetting our carbon footprint.

Director Land Warfare visit In September, we hosted Director Land Warfare (DLW), Major General James Illingworth OBE on a visit, where he observed mounted and dismounted tactical training and 8 L-R Cpl Townsend, SIO Haywood and Cpl Postlethwaite climbing Everest for SSAFA

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THE SUSTAINER | ARTICLE

By Maj J McCroary RLC SO2 Pers RHQ The RLC It’s no secret that over the last year there has been a push from the Army to increase recruiting numbers. In Feb 20, the Minister for the Armed Forces, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP said: “We remain committed to ensuring that the British Army has the right people, in the right roles, in the right timeframe to deliver on all our operational commitments”. To CAPITA’s credit, it seemed that the Army’s recruitment partner had received this message. Earlier this year and with several weeks to go before their end of year deadline, it had already hit 99% of the target number. Things were looking positive. Then came COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdown. Phase 1 training establishments were temporarily closed, engagement events were cancelled and the constant inflow of new soldiers into the Army appeared to be grinding to a halt. I lead the RLC Corps Engagement Team (CET) and our job is to engage with, and attract, civilians at a number of events dictated to us by Recruiting Group. We then nurture candidates through the recruiting pipeline, give advice and answer military and cap badge specific questions, which CAPITA cannot. It appeared that we were out of work. While those with far larger offices than me were working on a way to restart the recruiting pipeline, the CET was focussing on engaging with those on our books by any means possible. We had the details of numerous candidates who were at differing stages in their application process. We started to use tools such as Whatsapp and Facebook to make contact, answer any questions, talk about the jobs available in The RLC and provide some assurance. However, we were struggling to engage with civilians who hadn’t applied for the Army. Then in April, Recruiting Group began to organise virtual open days, via a new platform called Adobe Connect. Seen pictured above, this platform allows a presenter to deliver a presentation and play videos while 24

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Virtual Recruiting… Is it the new normal?

still being seen by the audience. It also has features such as question and answer boxes, a group discussion forum and live polls. Our first virtual open day was scheduled for the 20 May 20; a presentation on the 12 trades a soldier can join after completion of their basic training. After advertising the event on Facebook and Instagram, the CET delivered a successful virtual open day to over 150 people. Despite this initial success, it was important to evaluate and see what could be done better. Firstly, social media is vitally important. By advertising events on Facebook and Instagram, we were able to reach a larger audience than we had been able to do previously. Going hand in hand with this, is the importance of growing our social media platforms. By studying trends and understanding what the most popular content is, the RLC Instagram page has gained nearly 5000 new followers since April. Secondly, by liaising with the RLC Media & Comms team, we were able to ensure that we were getting coherent and useful messaging

‘‘

It was important to have a variety of events planned for the future. If we kept repeating the same presentation, the audience would lose interest

8 A virtual open day on Adobe Connect

across in our adverts and in our presentations. Finally, it was important to have a variety of events planned for the future. If we kept repeating the same presentation, the audience would lose interest. Since 20 May, the CET has worked with Recruiting Group and has delivered a number of different events catered to different demographics. This includes specific virtual open days on individual trades within The RLC, diversity and inclusion focussed presentations, female focussed presentations aimed at those at school, the list could go on. The CET has continued to develop this virtual capability with continued success. An example of this being when a diversity & inclusion focussed event was shown to GOC Home Command as an example of how to deliver a virtual event. Based on the success of the RLC CET, having delivered up to four virtual open days on a weekly basis, Sgt Sean McMenemy (the CET Sgt) was selected by Recruiting Group to take the lead on procuring film making kit for all CET, which would allow them to make similar content. The RLC CET is now focussing on joint virtual open days with different cap badges with the end state being a pan Army engagement event. With restrictions on physical events still in place, it appears that virtual engagement and virtual recruitment is here to stay.

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ARTICLE | THE SUSTAINER

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By WO2 (SQMS) Paul Parsons On a quiet Saturday evening in mid-September 2020, an RLC Systems Analyst of Logistic Information Services Troop, 233 Sig Sqn, 13 Sig Regt was tasked to rendezvous with HMS Albion in Gibraltar. Its MJDI (Management of the Deployed Inventory) system had crashed catastrophically and with members of 40, 42 and 47 Commando embarked en route to support NATO’s Mediterranean security operation, to conduct multinational exercises and demonstrate the UK’s support for regional security and freedom of movement in Black Sea waters, it had to be fixed. At 176 metres and 19,560 tonnes, HMS Albion is capable of accommodating the equipment and manpower equivalent to that of a small Army Regiment. HMS Albion’s logistic staff rely heavily upon the immediate reports and information the MJDI afloat provides. Understandable, as a ship’s store is spread from bow to stern and across many decks. While there is manual back-up, having to use it could have proved a laborious task for the remainder of the deployment. The MJDI failure was first reported by the user on the Wednesday, via the Logistic Point of Contact, whilst the ship was still at sea and passed to 233 Signal Sqn for investigation and resolution. All attempts to resolve the issue remotely had failed and the only option remaining was to deploy and fix on site. The decision to request deployment of an RLC Systems Analyst lay with the Ship and Navy HQ. Following excellent liaison between Army HQ, Navy HQ, 13 Signal Regiment (my parent regiment), 1 Signal Bde and HMS Albion; as the team leader for deployed support for Logistic Information Deployable Hardware (LIDH), I was briefed (Friday) that the possibility of a deployment to support HMS Albion was on the cards. The deployment was sanctioned by Land Operations Centre, Army HQ at 0200hrs Saturday and it was decided that all best efforts

HMS Albion

“MJDI” dead in the water should be made for me to get on a civilian flight with the necessary equipment in time to meet the ship. Saturday consisted of a rally of Skype, mobile phone conversations, emails and land line exchanges between stakeholders, all whilst building and assuring a new MJDI server. However, once the dust had settled, I found myself with a functioning server, flight tickets printed and hotel confirmation emails in hand. Sunday I arrived at Gibraltar International Airport sometime after 1300hrs Sunday and proceeded to drag my bags and 37Kg of server into a taxi and onward to the ship in the Naval Dockyard. I arrived at the dockyard gates and was escorted

8 Board of Ordnance Arms preserved on a gun tampion in Gibraltar (1538-1888)

to the ship. It was an impressive 29° C, no less warm onboard ship, and perhaps warmer still in the ships Network Equipment Room. The offending MJDI server in question was undoubtedly defunct of life with only minimal functionality for me to access its core operating system. By 2300hrs (12 hours after landing) a sweaty, half stone lighter Q man, was content that the account data was being re-constructed on the new hardware; however, user access ship-wide for MJDI still could not be achieved. Monday The next day was spent toing and froing around the vast maze that is the ship’s decks. By this time, I had proven MJDI to work, but only on a network I had created locally. This only left the ships network as a possible stumbling block. The ships Communication Information Systems engineer and I set to work analysing the ships network and finally, by mid-afternoon, and much to the relief of many aboard ship, MJDI could be accessed all by all. Systems Analysts are selected from volunteers of Sgt rank across all trade groups of The RLC with a minimum of six years residual service remaining. If you are interested in learning more or becoming a Systems Analyst, contact WO2 (SQMS) N Buckley. Buckley, Neil WO2 (13SIG-233LIST-SA15), DTN: 94240 4058.

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THE SUSTAINER | ARTICLE

Interview with CO 159 Regt RLC – Lt Col Stewart Dines There is no doubt that the Army Reserve has demonstrated its adaptability and innovation during lockdown and will do so again, having entered another period of restrictions in November. Sustainer asked Lt Col Stewart Dines, CO 159 Regiment RLC whose RHQ is based in Coventry, how his unit has responded to these challenging times… Times now referred to as the ‘new normal’. Regimental life has changed over the last nine months for all units in The RLC. But the Reserves had unique challenges to overcome. Lt Col Dines says: "The way Army Reserve units conduct their training has changed significantly over the last few months. As soon as the lockdown was announced on 23 March, we had to quickly shift to delivering virtual training. Fortunately, due to the agility and innovation of my training team and instructors, all our planned activities continued throughout." “This was crucial, not just for continuing to enhance our capability, but because some reservists rely on the income. This became significant, especially for those placed on furlough by their civilian employers.” Initially, 159 Regt started by using on-line courses available through the Defence Learning Environment (DLE). This ranged from e-learning driver training, LSS trade revision, MATTs and other development courses. Many soldiers enjoyed the freedom of

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COVID lessons for a better normal

being able to work at a time or location of their choice, rather than being fixed to a specific Drill Night. Once access to Zoom and Microsoft Teams was available, they were able to run virtual Drill Nights and a series of progressive training weekends. "It was important to still deliver constructive training that was relevant to the rank, trade and role of each soldier,” Lt Col Dines continues. “Less some practical elements, all the planned training objectives for the year were still achieved.” He explains that each week the training got better as the training team and personnel learnt what worked well and the NCOs became more innovative with training

8 Ex HALBERD DAWN exercised operating an FSA

delivery. “We asked everyone to be agile, flexible and innovative and they really stepped up to the challenge and delivered a varied programme to develop the capability of our soldiers. This included interactive driver training videos, supply trade training, virtual PT and even the chefs cooking in their own kitchens under virtual supervision from the Unit Catering Manager. “Meanwhile, the officers and SNCOs honed their logistic planning skills by progressing through a series of virtual logistic estimates. This involved the Command Wing Instructors joining them to deliver a troop level logistic planning exercise and culminated in a squadron estimate, to site a Field Storage Area (FSA),” he says. 159 Regiment’s squadrons returned to their Army Reserve Centres at the beginning of September. Lt Col Dines emphasised how important this was, allowing the reservists some time to get used to maintaining social distancing in a military context before deployment on Exercise HALBERD DAWN, the 102 Log Brigade co-ordinated Annual Continuous Training (ACT) exercise.

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ARTICLE | THE SUSTAINER

#BritishArmyLogistics The exercise was an opportunity to deploy and operate a FSA, which allowed all the lessons conducted throughout the lockdown to be put into practice, while operating alongside 158 Regt, 150 Regt and 7 Regt RLC. Planning the exercise introduced different challenges, he says. “Every activity had to be analysed to decide what mitigation measures were required to ensure they could maintain social distancing while operating in a COVID environment. This included changing the layout of tents, minimising double cabbing of vehicles and enforcing the wearing of masks if the 2m rule had to be broken. Fortunately, everyone adapted well.” Lt Col Dines maintains the two main challenges during the lockdown were, the lack of IT and maintaining internal communications with a dispersed workforce. “Watching a weekend of virtual training on your phone, if you did not have a laptop, was not conducive to learning and was difficult to overcome. We had more success with improving internal communications by using Defence Connect. This was used for disseminating information, training instructions and updates. From a standing start, the Regiment very quickly became one of the most

engaged units on Defence Connect in the Army and this will now remain our main method of communication with the soldiers. The final challenge, he explains, will be ensuring that the lessons and practices learnt during the lockdown are embed into the Regiment’s future activities. While disliked by some, the term the ‘new normal’ can be viewed in

a positive light. New ways of communicating, innovative use of training delivery methods, the extensive use of technology have brought some quantifiable benefits over previous practices. As Lt Col Dines points out, a more flexible approach to Drill Nights has been well received by some reservists, allowing them to fit the commitment better around home lives. Other Reserve Units report that they have seen a reduction in non-attendance as individuals have been able to re-engage with their squadrons thanks to the more flexible, ‘working from home’ approach to training. While a Coronavirus vaccine brings promise of a return of many elements of the old normal; for the Army and wider society, mass inoculation is unlikely to be rolled out until spring 2021. Still several months away and with a long winter to endure, it looks highly probable that we will have to live with the new normal for a while longer. But when the UK emerges from the gloom of COVID-19, there is a good chance we will experience a better normal. And if, as Lt Col Dines says, the positive lessons learned and practices developed during 2020 can become a permanent feature of Regimental life, this could enhance the overall offer of the Army Reserve.

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THE SUSTAINER | 6 REGT PUBLIC DUTIES

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Guarding the Queen By 2Lt Matilda Butler – Combat Support Troop, 62 Squadron and Officer of the Queens’ Guard

For 85 members of 62 Squadron, 6 Regiment RLC, foot drill and polish has been the new normal for the last six months. Earlier this year, despite the national lockdown, 6 Regiment RLC began the preparation for Ceremonial Public Duties - a task usually only associated with the Household Division. As restrictions eased, the soldiers of 62 Squadron started refining their drill, using the Yorkshire countryside and cobbled streets of Ripon as a substitute for the Royal Palaces. Our preparation was somewhat different than first imagined; with the pandemic adding considerable restrictions to the way everything is usually planned. The ever-evolving restrictions affected everything from; tailoring, drill practice and even the ceremonial formats. Social distancing had become the new normal and presented its own difficulties. It was down to the hard work of the SQMS, Sgt Mason and the many drill instructors from within the Regiment, that we were able to continue training and finalising uniforms with minimal risk. A Short Term Training Team (STTT), provided by the Scot’s Guards, was hosted in Dishforth, two weeks prior to deployment to instruct the Sqn and apply the fininishing touches. This ensured that all our personal drill, formations and drill sequences were

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up to standard, prior to the move to Cavalry Barracks, Hounslow. The culmination of the training for 85 members of the Sqn was the Fit for Role Inspection. This was conducted by the London District Brigade Major, Lt Col Stone and Garrison Sergeant Major, WO1 Stokes. The Sqn passed the inspection with a high standard of drill and overall turnout, ready to mount its first guard on the 28 Sep 20. Despite the lack of ceremonial parades, due to tightening national restrictions, the soldiers still felt the pride and honour that comes with guarding the Queen. The soldiers were immensely grateful for the opportunity to meet The RLC’s Colonel-in-Chief, HRH The Princess Royal when she visited the soldiers of the Queen’s Guard and Windsor Castle Guard, inspiring the newest generation of RLC soldiers. 13 years ago, the Regt was the first RLC unit to carry out this prestigious role. Some of the NCOs who took part in 2020 took part as Private soldiers in 2007 so have completed Public Duties for a second time. One of whom, Cpl Meakin, received the local rank of Sgt for the deployment as a Senior Sergeant of Queen’s Guard. It hasn’t been all drill. A moment hasn’t been spared; with the time between mounts being spent continuing the professional development of the soldiers. The Sqn ran a MATT camp alongside BCS and driver training, ensuring all personnel were ready for further training in the new year, as well as online educational courses and visits to various museums across London.

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6 REGT PUBLIC DUTIES | THE SUSTAINER

Photography: WO2 (SQMS) S Blake, LCpl J Farr, LCpl H Gorsuch-Wright

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THE SUSTAINER | RLC PHOTOGRAPHIC TRAINING A new ‘Basic Photography Training’ programme has been launched by RHQ The RLC to develop RLC soldiers’ photography skills and further advance their professional development. Run by WO2 (SQMS) Steve Blake of the Video Production Team (VPT), the training intends to give an insight into basic-level photography, providing regular and reserve RLC personnel with the opportunity to learn how to use digital cameras to better effect and develop an awareness of the rules and theory of photo composition – all with the idea of creating competent and confident ‘unit photographers’ at the end of it. “The main aim of the course is to improve the photographic capability of the soldiers within the Corps so they can be of further use to their squadrons and regiments and called upon, where necessary, to support the Headquarters,”WO2 (SQMS) Blake. The first successful course ran in August 20 with eight RLC soldiers in attendance. Monthly courses thereafter have proven very popular, with many regiments receiving multiple applications from personnel to attend. Plans are now being made to extend the numbers in each intake in order to develop the training further. The course itself is split into two days; day one looks into the theory behind taking a good photograph and the different elements of composition including: patterns, texture, leading lines, rule of thirds, close up details and contrast. Having focused on theory in the morning, the students then spend the afternoon practising these skills taking pictures around Worthy Down Camp. Following a

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New RLC photography training off to a flying start

8 Day one: learning the different elements of composition

8 WO2 Blake instructing how to capture images on a mobile phone

debrief and individual feedback, students are given a valuable tutorial by Captain Ryan Vincent on capturing images suitable for Corps Social

Media platforms and publications. The second day sees the students put their new-found skills into further practise with a day of photography in and around Winchester. Tasks include taking ten pictures of one item, focusing on picking out different details and being given a ‘shot list’ – a list of images including a moving object, person, pattern and landscape that need to be taken in a particular time frame. Once the students are back in their units, they are encouraged to document key events such as squadron exercises or sporting opportunities in order to refine what they have learnt and to support output in the Corps HQ. LCpl Gorsuch-Wright, a former student commented:“During the course, we spent time learning about the different types of photos we could take. I particularly enjoyed the different challenges we were given to practise what we had been taught straightaway.The course has been fantastic for my professional development and it will be great to assist in unit photography from now on.” 8 WO2 Blake (right) providing on the spot feedback to a student

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PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION | THE SUSTAINER

The 2020 RLC Photographic Competition While The RLC is the home of the Army Photographer trade, the Phots are an Army asset and are tasked by Army HQ, Army Media & Communications’ press offices or in some cases Brigade HQs. Through no fault of their own, the opportunity to shoot images of their own cap badge, only presents itself if a tasking allows. Sadly, over recent years, the relatively small archive of high-quality professionally shot, imagery of The RLC in action: trades, deployments, exercises, training, equipment and Corps life, has become out dated. The majority of current imagery has been taken by amateur photographers within RLC Units and by soldiers and officers using their mobile phones, predominantly for use on unit social media or to support articles in this magazine. As The Sustainer receives many hundreds of amateur taken images each year, the editorial team knows that there are some talented snappers out there. In order to identify them and to encourage people to go out and take images of The RLC in action, helping to create a current archive of good quality stock images; in September it was decided to invite members of the Corps, with an interest in photography, to enter an inaugural competition. The best 13 images were chosen by a judging panel - including the Corps Adjt, the Corps SM and Army Photographer, WO2 (SQMS) Blake - in late October. These images have been published in a 2021 RLC Calendar. Over 100 images were entered in six subject categories – Belonging, Making a Difference, Person or People, Equipment in Action, Trades in Action and The New Normal. We intended to select a winning image from each subject category and for the best mobile phone image, professional portfolio, amateur portfolio, black and white image, image taken by an Army Cadet and an overall best image. Unfortunately, we did not receive entries for all of the intended awards, so the judges decided to select the winning images purely on merit. The winning photographers were: • Lt Pukar Shah – 9 RLC (Best image) • WO2 Andy Lock – 157 RLC (Best image runner up) • LCpl Birendra Gurung – 27 RLC (Best image runner up) • WO2 Glenn Hartwell – 159 RLC • Cpl Rob Brockis – 17 P&M RLC • SSgt Daz Curtis – 13 AASR RLC • Sgt Tom Evans – Army Communications • Pte Roddis Lantigua – LS Sqn, CLR RM • Mr Shakespeare (RHQ The RLC)

Lt Shah 9 Regt RLC

LCpl BIRENDRA GURUNG 27 Regt RLC

WO2 Andy Lock, 157 Regt RLC

Warning Order The overall standard of entries was high and keen amateur photographers from around the Corps now have until 15 October 2021 to get out with their cameras or smartphones to take some brilliant images, along the lines of this year’s subject categories, ready to enter the 2021 RLC Photographic Competition. A detailed admin order will be sent to units in the New Year and competition entry details will be published on Corps social media. www.royallogisticcorps.co.uk • Facebook: The Royal Logistic Corps • Twitter: @UKArmyLogistics

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THE SUSTAINER | ARTICLE LCpl Alex Champion is a Class 2 Vehicle Specialist in 165 Port & Maritime Regiment RLC and has contributed as a Reservist in Army Headquarters as a subject matter expert, thanks to his civilian career as a lead engineer, specialising in additive manufacture within Industry. Over the last year, the British Army has presented him with numerous professional development opportunities that have allowed him to advance his skills and develop in both his Reservist and civilian roles. Sustainer asked him about how he has been able to use his training to help during the pandemic and what he believes is in store for the future of Army additive manufacturing and engineering. With a degree in Motorsport Engineering and as an Incorporated Engineer with the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, LCpl Champion spent his early civilian career working in the motorsport manufacturing industry making parts for Formula One. In 2018, whilst working for a metal 3D printing company, he quickly familiarised himself with the 3D printing process and with an interest and background in the automotive industry, made the decision to join the Reserves. “I decided to join as a Vehicle Specialist and in 2015 and began work with 142 Vehicle Squadron, 165 Port and Maritime Regiment RLC, which I knew would give me the opportunity to learn about a range of vehicle platforms.” In October 2019, whilst attending an engineering exhibition at Millbrook Proving Ground, LCpl Champion met Brig Matthew Cansdale from Army Headquarters, who mentioned that the Army was looking to expand its manufacturing and engineering capabilities. Soon after, Brig Cansdale introduced LCpl Champion to the REME SO1 responsible for the expansion project, Lieutenant Colonel Dan Anders-Brown CEng FIMechE, who subsequently asked LCpl Champion to give a talk on 3D printing and manufacturing to several senior officers. Lt Col Anders-Brown said: “I was so impressed by this soldier’s knowledge, ability and confidence in briefing senior officers, that I would have been mad not to have asked him to assist me in designing the 32

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3D component supply An RLC Reservist Lance Corporal is at the cutting edge of British Army Additive Manufacturing (3D printing), helping to turn the Army’s aspirations into technology procurement used in Op RESCRIPT and planning the roadmap for years to come to ensure the Army remains fit for purpose and future-proof. By Katherine Lack

future of 3D printing for the Army.” After this hugely successful briefing, LCpl Champion was offered his 44 days for the year working as a Reservist at Army Headquarters. He was tasked with designing four deployable and containerised capabilities, that would include bespoke manufacturing equipment, 3D scanners, Computer Aided Design software and a recycling capability, which could be deployed on the back of a MAN SV vehicle. These would be trialled in remote operational locations, informing the Army’s future engineering, manufacturing and logistics policy.

8 The face shields in use by a member of the local council in Northampton

8 Junior NCOs assembling 3D printed face shields during a training night

“The Army is looking to adopt technologies such as 3D printing in order to manufacture urgently needed parts. This approach will reduce the logistic burden and save money in developing or updating equipment. We are currently focusing on using the technology to produce temporary and non-safety critical 'get me home' repairs,” LCpl Champion explains. He was invited to give a presentation about the planned trials to Deputy Commander Field Army at the REME Officers’ Conference at the Shrivenham Defence Academy, followed by another talk at a TriService conference in Portsmouth. LCpl Champion says our European allies have already seen a significant advantage gained by the use of 3D printing to produce key components for their older vehicles. Similarly, the American Department of Defence has invested heavily, and is now benefiting from being able to 3D print metal-repairs for Main Battle Tank axles; a capability that alone has saved the United States military months of repair time and hundreds of thousands of dollars. According to LCpl Champion, the

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ARTICLE | THE SUSTAINER

#BritishArmyLogistics MOD is also taking the lead in other aspects of the ‘manufacturing race’; researching into objectives which have not yet been achieved by European allies. The MOD recognises the enormous potential in being able to recycle waste plastic on the battlefield into new material for producing 3D printed items of equipment. Captain Adrian Allen REME, SO3 Equipment Support Capability Development, who works with LCpl Champion as part of this project adds: “The British Army is continuing to increase its understanding of how to reduce the logistic need and costs in the deployed battlespace, by fabrication through additive manufacture. This includes battle damage and expedient repair, as well as printing spare parts, while maintaining control of safety and risk policies. To advance in these areas, a Centre of Excellence is being developed to enhance current experimentation as developments in this disruptive technology emerge. LCpl Champion is key in this advancement.” In November 2019, along with Lt Col Anders-Brown, LCpl Champion attended a European Defence working group on 3D printing in Frankfurt. The Conference was an opportunity for MOD representatives to meet with allies who were conducting similar trials and to discuss and share results. He also accompanied the Colonel to the United States of America for a

8 LCpl Champion (left) with Major General Bill O'Leary QVRM TD DL VR at the REME Reserve Officers’ Conference at Shrivenham Defence Academy

8 LCpl Champion (left) and Col AndersBrown (right) meeting the lead engineer at their Manufacturing Centre of Excellence, Rock Island, Illinois

meeting with the United States Department of Defence at its military manufacturing facility in Rock Island, Illinois and a manufacturing and logistics conference in Florida, where they were joined by the United Kingdom’s Defence Attaché at the Pentagon. LCpl Champion continues: “The visit to the USA was one of the best things I have ever done - it was an honour to be invited. I am proud to be able to say that I have had the opportunity to update the Army Engineering and Logistics Policy and help to formally reintroduce manufacturing into Defence.” LCpl Champion spent much of February working at Army Headquarters full-time, creating risk assessments and training documentation for the developing deployable systems. He also supported the ongoing planning for the ‘Advanced Manufacturing Centre of Excellence’; a MOD-owned facility at MOD Lyneham that will be capable of continuing experimentation and manufacturing low-volume urgent items. When the COVID lockdown was announced in late March, LCpl Champion was able to put his training and experience into good use, helping his squadron to 3D print Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for various schools, care homes and charities as part of Op RESCRIPT. The pandemic created challenges for

logistics across the world and as a result, various RLC, REME and Royal Engineers units utilised their engineering skills and 3D printing technologies. With the help of LCpl Champion, 142 Vehicle Squadron produced face shields supporting charities such as Emily’s Star and Katharine House Hospice. Capt Allen says: “LCpl Champion’s contribution and technical expertise in additive manufacture has strongly influenced the alignment of Army strategy. In particular, when the initial period of lockdown highlighted shortages of facemasks as critical elements of PPE, the experimentation that LCpl Champion contributed to, allowed the Army to step in with a deployable solution that could not be matched by industry.” LCpl Champion adds: “The project was a great example of teamwork with various tasks such as running the 3D printers and completing deliveries being undertaken remotely by the team. This combined Army response to the pandemic highlighted the successful collaboration with junior soldiers, as well as the value that the Army Reserve can bring to the community during challenging times.” We ask how he believes this support could be utilised in the future. “I believe that units will continue to support in any way they can and as more units adopt manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing, and as the doctrine and strategy is developed by Army Headquarters, it will be used more and more to support operations, especially when supply chains are fragile and key equipment is in short supply, as we saw with ventilators and PPE at the start of the pandemic.” What does the future hold for this RLC soldier? Having recently passed the Army Officer Selection Board, LCpl Champion plans to continue his work in the Reserves, as an officer, alongside developing his expert understanding of 3D printing. It is without a doubt that his enthusiasm and willingness to help has given the British Army the technical support and fundamental knowledge to be able to move forward in this exciting new field and equally, he has excelled in his military career, thanks to the extensive opportunities given to him by the British Army.

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THE SUSTAINER | EXERCISE

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Ex CAULDRON BOAR 20

Shortly before the UK went into lockdown, 24 members of 167 Catering Support Regiment RLC visited the KwaZulu-Natal region of South Africa to conduct a battlefield tour. The Second Boer War marked a key point in British military development, moving away from the line and square formations that had characterised the previous hundred and fifty years, it started to adopt a more tactically modern approach. This was driven by two main factors; the faster rate of fire achievable by advances in weapon technology and the tactics used by the Boers, which forced the British to respond in kind. Lessons like this were learned by the members of 167 Catering Support Regiment RLC who visited the KwaZulu-Natal region of South Africa during 11 – 18/19 Mar 20. Led by Maj Keiron Drew and WO2 John Colville, a mixture of Army Reserve, Full-Time Reserve Service and Regular soldiers and officers embarked upon this once-in-alifetime experience. Setting off from Heathrow on an eleven-hour flight to Johannesburg, one of the planning considerations was whether travel to South Africa was restricted by the threat of COVID-19. At the time, the threat was elsewhere and the green light was given. Transport, like the training, would be provided completely by the group. Five 4x4s rather than a coach, proved to be very useful in navigating the more rural areas that would be explored. Accommodation and full board were provided by the Royal Hotel in Ladysmith; a family-run establishment with a proud history

provided the perfect base from which to operate. That Ladysmith had been the British Forces HQ was an added bonus. Once out of the city and on the road, the first thing to notice about this area of South Africa is the incredible terrain. To drive through it is spectacular, but to operate across and fight over, it would have been tortuous. The wide, open spaces are broken up by rocky outcrops and ridges reaching many hundreds of metres above the plains. The ground underfoot is covered in unforgiving rocks and boulders. The going is difficult. It is very different today. Thanks to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the main roads are good and modern travel

is quick and easy. Movement to the battle sites throughout the week would be predominantly on these roads and hassle free. The first battle sites visited were Talana Hill and Elandslaagte. These could not have been more different. Talana hill is contained within the open-air museum in the town of Dundee and is well maintained with good facilities.

8 Zebra in the Nambiti Game Reserve

8 Giraffe in the Nambiti Game Reserve

8 Cheetah in the Nambiti Game Reserve

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8 Maj Drew briefing at Talana Hill

8 William the Nambiti Game Reserve ranger

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EXERCISE | THE SUSTAINER

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Elandslaagte is located far from the main road, down one of the fabulous ochre-coloured dirt tracks that criss-cross the countryside. Despite its location, it too is well maintained; a characteristic that was common across all sites visited and a true credit to the local council. The distance from Ladysmith to the two battle sites was not great and so the opportunity to visit a battlefield from an earlier war could not be ignored. Rorke’s Drift is evocative and beautiful with an informative museum and guidebook, a truly unforgettable experience. The following days saw visits to more incredible and breath-taking locations that had been witness to dramatic and often disastrous events, especially from a British perspective. Spion Kop, the hill from

which the famous terrace draws its name, was equally spectacular and grotesque. The location provides a stunning view of the surrounding area for 50 miles in all directions

8 The British approach up Spion Kop

and was the site of many deaths, indecision and fear on both sides. Sgt Humphries and Pte Martin brought to life at each stand the

8 Waggon Hill overlooking Ladysmith

grim reality of the confusion faced by combatants on a hill side, in fog, at night and under fire. Just outside Ladysmith is the Nambiti Big Game Reserve, another opportunity that could not be ignored. Arranged for a late afternoon drive, the group split into three vehicles and were treated to beautiful views of a multitude of exotic animals and their exquisite surroundings. The return journey was complicated by the impact of restrictions enforced by COVID-19, forcing some of the group to remain in Johannesburg an extra night due to flight cancellations. Being fully funded by the airline, this was hardly a hardship and capped a wonderfully unforgettable exercise.

8 Rorke's Drift and the Zulu hill

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THE SUSTAINER | EXERCISE 156 Regiment RLC has returned from Wales having topped off a challenging summer with a wide-ranging and successful Annual Continuous Training Exercise (ACT). Ex SAVA DRAGON 20 saw 156 Regt cast its net over the facilities of four different training camps, combining driver training, supply courses, a gruelling LFTT range package, followed by a week-long AT moral component package, set around the rugged shores of Tenby, West Wales. For the Regt having already deployed on Op RESCRIPT to assist the NHS with initial pandemic stocks, it came as a bitter - but understandable - blow to be forced to switch from the initial plan of an OTX in Croatia, thanks to COVID-19 restrictions. Nevertheless, the XO Maj Hutcheon and his G7 planning team, delivered an outstanding alternative ACT exercise. Initially centred on Sennybridge, where personnel were provided the opportunity to refresh and build on the Battlecraft Syllabus; the week proved a significant step-up in terms of both mounted and dismounted Basic Close Combat, with troops rising rapidly past the ACMT and the fire and manoeuvre (F&M) test, into an epic range package of: MMTTR static vehicle shoots, pairs F&M, defensive contacts by day and night featuring overhead and flanking fire from GPMGs and PE Batsims from both trenches and FIBUA houses. The package culminated in a speedy withdrawal by Chinook helicopter. Elsewhere, seven soldiers successfully passed their Logistic Supply Specialist Class 3 to 2 upgrade course, with several more completing their General Service Driver qualifications to increase the reach of the Regt’s deployable capability. The second week saw the Regt

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156 Regiment Ex SAVA DRAGON

8 COVID meant Sennybridge rather than Croatia

8 The outdoor climbing centre

deploy to Manorbier Air Defence Range, Tenby, using the hangars as the launchpad for an incredible week of adventure training with multiple activities on offer. The climbers had a great day at the outdoor climbing centre, where WO2 McDougall introduced many novices to the joys of bouldering and burning forearms. SSgt Argent and LCpl Gibney headed up the mountain bikers, who each day returned to the camp muddy and smiling after a progressive day on the hills. The coastal walks were stunning and led by Capt Steutel and WO1 Land and combined

with coasteering, kayaking and deep-sea fishing, the AT week was a truly impressive package. It was a surprise to see that 224 Squadron (157 Regt RLC) got a mention, in relation to its Battle Honour of ‘Fishguard’ as part of the Battlefield study. The Regt explored the heroics of the Pembroke Yeomanry, which helped to fend off the last invasion of Great Britain. Over the period 22-24 February 1797, 1400 men from the Revolutionary French La Legion Noire landed near Fishguard as part of a two-pronged diversionary tactic to draw British reinforcements away from a planned 15,000-strong invasion of Ireland at Bantry Bay. This along with the study of St Catherine’s Fort made for an insight into little known battles and military activities, all delivered by LCpl Hamer. An added bonus was that the CO, Lt Col K Haigh, presented Cpl Turner, LCpl Crighton and LCpl McCue with VRSMs or VRSM bars. Overall, Ex SAVA DRAGON proved to be a phenomenal success and was a significant boost to the Regt’s morale, in the wake of a difficult and challenging training year. 8 Walking was combined with kayaking

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LETTERS | THE SUSTAINER

#BritishArmyLogistics The recollections of the end of World War Two by a former RAOC officer. The Editor The RLC Sustainer Magazine

Dear Sir, This year 2020 saw the 75th anniversary of the ending of World War II.Your readers may be interested in the recollections of someone who was serving in the RAOC at that time. On VE Day, 8 May 1945, I was home in Belfast on leave from the Central Ordnance Depot in Derby. Before my leave was up, I had a telegram recalling me immediately. Having collected my kit in Derby, I travelled by train to the RAOC Mobilisation Centre adjoining the Central Ordnance Depot at Donnington (now part of Telford). There, we were issued with lightweight “khaki drill” uniforms and given various inoculations and vaccinations. We were given 14 days embarkation leave but not told of our destination. The first move was by troop train to Greenock, where we embarked on the Union Castle liner Canton, converted to a troopship with three-tier bunks. After about 10 days we landed at Naples and were sent to a “holding” unit near Salerno. Our main problems… There were mosquitoes and Americans. Why Americans? Because they were in big numbers and paid more than twice as much as us. Prices in the area were fixed accordingly. On my first day off in Sorrento, it cost me two days’ pay for egg and chips. Towards the end of July, I was posted to a Port Ordnance Detachment in Naples and lived in some comfort, in a requisitioned hotel. The buzz was that we were to go to Rangoon. But the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan, brought the war in Burma to an immediate end and we were no longer required there. Shortly after VJ Day, we embarked on the Empire Trooper (a captured German liner) and headed for home. The ship had begun its voyage in Capetown where it had taken on board a large consignment of tinned fruit. I bought several and packed them half-way down my kitbag. At the foot of the gangway in Southampton, I swung my kitbag onto my left shoulder – only to hit the side of my head against the tinned fruit. The mild concussion I sustained was the only injury in my brief service abroad. Off we went by troop train to a tented camp in Wellington in Shropshire and were given 28 days disembarkation leave. That made something like 50 days leave in less than four months – not bad going. On our return from leave, there was no training programme as many of the men were awaiting demobilisation.We were sent out by the lorry-load to help local farmers. For the first couple of weeks the farmers paid us directly, ten shillings a day, more than double my Army pay. But the War Office soon stepped in and claimed the money. As the autumn wore on and the weather got colder, we slept in bell tents inside a small marquee – not conducive to nocturnal excursions! Towards the end of 1946, I was posted to C.O.D. Donnington. It was a vast establishment with a Brigadier in command, two battalions of RAOC, various supporting services, a huge civilian staff (many of them bussed in

8 Lowry Sinclair Duncan and son Malcolm

from Staffordshire) and Italian and German POW labour. Several of the key civilian staff spoke with a London accent, having been evacuated from Woolwich Arsenal in the 1930’s. The remainder of my Army career was uneventful. A spell as an NCO at Donnington, OCTU at Aldershot, School of Ordnance at Tidworth and back to Donnington as a subaltern. On demobilisation in 1948, I continued my RAOC connection for a further 20 years in various forms of reserve service TA/AER/TAVR, collecting a couple of TD’s en-route. During my Civil Service career, my Army connections stood me in good stead. In the 1970s, at the height of what we call “The Troubles”, I was appointed secretary of the Northern Ireland Joint Security Committee. This was chaired by the Secretary of State and included the Security Minister, the GOC (a Lieutenant General) the Chief Constable and their advisers. For this and other service in Stormont, I was awarded the now obsolete Imperial Service Order. While at my age of 95, I now recognise none of the names in “The Sustainer”, I still enjoy reading of what is happening in my old Corps.

Yours faithfully L.S. Duncan

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THE SUSTAINER | RLC FOUNDATION Launched in spring 2020, the MGL Reading List has been specifically devised to enhance The RLC’s professionalism.The list offers a potential baseline of eclectic knowledge, ranging from politics and international relations through numerous campaign studies to analysis of the latest innovations in global logistics.The list offers a number of advantages. Created by the RLC Foundation, it is inexpensive to maintain, offers all ranks the opportunity to contribute to its composition, whilst tendering an entry level format for those wishing to embark on a programme of selfstudy whose tempo is solely dictated by the reader. To aid the RLC Foundation to maintain the list, contributions, especially from those who are thinking of volunteering to review books and/or journals that may subsequently be entered into the Foundation’s growing pending catalogue, are welcome. The following books have been reviewed by Brig J Blair-Tidewell and WO2 A Brown.

FIGHTING THE PEOPLE’S WAR By Jonathan Fennell Fighting the People's War by Jonathan Fennell ambitiously views the performance of the British and Commonwealth armies in WW2 through a socio-political lens, placing them in their national context and exploring the relationship between the state and the mass armies they created to fight the war. Drawing on a wide range of primary sources, he 38

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MGL’s Reading List exposes the tensions that existed within Britain, India and the Dominions that defined their war-effort and how the experience of the soldiers themselves influenced the societies from which they came and shaped the post-war political environment. His analysis of their performance across all theatres of the war highlights how the articulation of a legitimate war aim was essential for the morale and effectiveness of the citizen-soldiers of the Commonwealth. Surprisingly, Fennell's two references to Clausewitz are not in connection to his famous trinity and by focussing on armies, the book inevitably overlooks the experience and influence of the other Services. Nevertheless, Fennells's book is tightly written, powerfully argued and a professionally rewarding read. Brig J. Blair-Tidewell FUEL TO THE TROOPS – A MEMOIR OF THE 698TH ENGINEER PETROLEUM DISTRIBUTION COMPANY 1943 – 1945 By John G. Sullivan For any avid reader studying the European theatre in WW2, this recounting of how a small band of innovative engineers and logisticians kept the allied forces moving is a must. The book, which is a love letter by the author to his former comrades, their sacrifice and achievements, is packed with anecdotes, third party accounts, easily understood engineering and a personalised narrative. The author sets the scene well, beginning in the USA in the late 30s, to early on in WW2 with the USA’s rapid transformation into the huge fighting force it became. Sullivan describes the challenge of keeping an Army of such size and reliance on technology on the move as it inevitably sprawls across Europe. This captivating retelling from a logistician's perspective of some of the largest campaigns and footnotes from the European theatre, gives the reader a real sense of the challenge experienced by the 698th during the Allied march to victory. As much as

the landmark events, unit exploits, expertise and operations of the 698th EPD Coy are equally interesting, the most captivating element of this book is reading about the unit’s characters, their escapades and the selfless contribution of some of the “Greatest Generation”. Any reader who has a real passion for logistics or a specific professional interest will find the book highly readable. To fully appreciate the impact that the 698th EPD Coy had on modern military logistics, Sullivan’s book should be read in conjunction with Petroleum Operations in the Gulf War Operation Desert Storm, a Personal Experience by Lieutenant Colonel Joseph T. Thomas United States Army. WO2 A. Brown

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RLC MUSEUM | THE SUSTAINER

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Museum Musings By Maj (Retd) Simon Walmsley Director, The Royal Logistic Corps Museum Vehicle repair during WW1 is part of The RLC’s story and a task our predecessors undertook well into WW2. The RLC Museum is being offered a WW1 mobile repair workshop lathe (originally truck mounted) which it hopes to utilise to help tell this story in the future. During WW1, vehicle maintenance was initially undertaken by both the Army Service Corps (ASC) and Army Ordnance Corps (AOC). To simplify the process, it eventually all came under the ASC, allowing the AOC to concentrate on the repair of artillery pieces and other mechanical equipment. The REME was not formed until October 1942. At the start of WW1, the Army owned only 200 motor vehicles with another 700 available through a subsidy scheme, where commercial vehicles were sold at a subsidised rate to commercial haulage companies, with an understanding that they might be requisitioned in time of war. By the end of WW1, on the Western Front alone, the number had grown to roughly 73,000 vehicles, including 34,000 lorries, 14,000 cars, 10,000 ambulances and omnibuses, 1,300 tractors and 14,000 motorcycles. Much like today, during WW1, vehicle repair and maintenance started with driver checks and continued with increasing levels of repair back to major workshops where a full rebuild took place.

mud. If left unchecked, the damage would increase leading to a major breakdown, which would be much harder to repair. Consequently, vehicle cleanliness became essential and regular vehicle inspections have remained a part of military life ever since. Company Mobile Workshops Every ASC MT Company had their own mobile workshop capable of undertaking minor repairs. They consisted of machine and hand tools built onto a trailer which were at first hauled by steam traction engines. 59 Coy ASC arrived at Cambrai in August 1914. Their diary states “unable to carry out repairs as slow-moving steam drawn workshops are yet to arrive.” Five days later, the Deputy Director of Transport issued the following General Order: “Travelling workshops too slow to be of practical use – transfer workshop equipment to motor lorries as soon as possible.” Each workshop was accompanied by a store’s lorry for spare parts and companies quickly began converting older lorries into recovery lorries with home-built cranes and recovery gear.

8 Mobile Repair Units (MRU)

Mobile Repair Units (MRU) More complex repairs were undertaken by MRUs, which

8 An MRU Recovery Vehicle

consisted of fully equipped mobile workshops and recovery lorries. The recovery lorries were based on a 3-ton chassis and these lorries had a large, sturdy jib and hand winch as the lifting gear. There were six MRUs based on the Western Front with a further one in the Middle East. Established in factories and warehouses, the MRU undertook repairs that were too large for the company travelling workshops. Heavy Repair Shops (HRS) Five ASC HRS were formed to support the Western Front, based in Rouen, St Omer and Dunkirk. The work of the HRS differed to that of the MRU in that they were large workshops employing 1,200 men on average. They had all the facilities of the original vehicle manufacturers and when parts were not available, they simply made them. Each had a design office for modifying parts that were proven to be troublesome. All vehicles passing through HRS workshops were fully refurbished. They arrived by rail and were stored in yards where they were examined. Only when all the parts needed for a full refurbishment were available would they be moved into the workshops and repaired. Inside a Heavy Repair Shop

Driver Checks Drivers were responsible for checking oil, coolant and fuel levels daily, reporting any faults found. Early studies had shown that most breakdowns in France were caused by minor damage to springs, chassis and axles, which could be easily fixed if caught early, although often hidden under dirt or www.royallogisticcorps.co.uk • Facebook: The Royal Logistic Corps • Twitter: @UKArmyLogistics

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THE SUSTAINER | 7 REGT ARMY CHALLENGE CUP

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2014-15 winners

7 REGT MAKE IT THREE 7 Regiment RLC has won the 2019 - 20 Army Football Association Challenge Cup, making it three wins in the last five years. This impressive run of victories places the Regt up with some of the most prolific victors. Since 1981, only The School of Electrical & Mechanical Engineering has matched 7 Regt’s record, with 28 Engineer Regiment (nine wins since 1981) the most successful team in the Cup’s 131-year history. In 2020, the Army Cup Final was hosted for the first time in its history at the Army Rugby Stadium in Aldershot. 7 Regt RLC (in blue) scored twice in both halves to win 4-0 against 3 RSME (in black/white). Due to COVID-19 there were no marching bands or changing rooms and no tannoy or programmes. The Army FA Challenge Cup is one of the oldest standing cup competitions in the world. It was established in 1888. The final is played annually at the Aldershot Military Stadium as part of the Festival of Football, which also combines with the final of the Minor Units Cup Final. Since 1888, The RLC and its predecessor corps have had their fair share of success, notching up a total of 15 wins. The roll of honour is below. • 1913-14 - Army Service Corps (Woolwich) beat 1st Bn Hampshire Regiment (1-0) • 1922-23 - RASC (Training Establishment) beat 2nd Bn Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders (1-0, after extra time) • 1927-28 - Royal Army Ordnance Corps, South Comm (Sth) beat 1st Brigade Royal Horse Artillery (2-1) • 1936-37 - RASC Training Centre (Aldershot) beat Training Bn Royal Engineers (2-1) • 1949-50 - 3rd Training Bn (Basic) RAOC beat 64th Training Regiment, RA (2-1) • 1953-54 - 9th Bn RAOC beat 6th CIC Army Catering Corps (4-3) • 1959-60 - 29 Coy RAOC beat 2nd Training Bn RASC (2-1) • 1961-62 - 6 Bn RAOC beat 6 Training Bn RASC (2-1) • 1963-64 - 6 Para RAOC/REME beat l3th/l8th Royal Hussars (QMO) (2-1) after a drawn match (2-2) • 1972-73 - RCT Training Centre beat 28 (BR) Signal Regiment (NORTHAG) (2-1) • 1988-89 - 10 Corps Transport Regt RCT beat School of Signals (5-0) • 2005-06 - 4 LS Regt RLC beat 4 Royal Irish (4-3 on penalties) after drawn match (5-5) • 2015-16 - 7 Regt RLC beat 1 YORKS (3-1) • 2014-15 - 7 Regt RLC beat 30 Signal Regt (4-2) 40

2014-15

2019-20 winners

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7 REGT ARMY CHALLENGE CUP | THE SUSTAINER

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2015-16 winners

2015-16 2014-15

2019-20

2019-20

2015-16

2019-20 Photography: Soldier Magazine

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THE SUSTAINER | UNITS

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1 Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps BICESTER CO: Lt Col H Cook • Adjt: Capt E Thompson • RSM: WO1 A Parker The majority of 1 Regiment RLC has returned to St David’s Barracks for the autumn term, after a period of dispersed working. During this busy period, the Regt has continued to deliver training, develop the STRIKE concept and find new ways of empowering its people. The CO’s Council of Corporals In line with CFA’s empowerment agenda, the Regt has created the CO’s Council of Corporals. These JNCOs will act as ‘Senior Cpls’ representing the best of class in the following categories; driver, supplier, communications specialist, REME, leadership, personal and professional development (PPD), engagement and wellbeing. A selection panel was held on 27 Jul 20, with Field Army Comd SM, 3 (UK) Div SM, 101 Log Bde SM, AHQ COWO and the Corps SM as the panel members. 18 Cpls gave a five-minute presentation, before fielding questions from the panel members. All delivered excellent presentations on their respective subjects, which made the selection tough. Many congratulations to: Cpl Allen (Driver), Cpl Tamang (LSS), Cpl Hogg (Communication Specialist), Cpl Pearson (REME), Cpl Cole (PPD), Cpl Blood (Engagement), Cpls Greenhalgh, Loiti and Cameron (Wellbeing) and Cpl Doody (Leadership) for being selected. The Council has already made an impression, providing technical expertise and the lived experience to the CoC, as well as instigating several initiatives and training opportunities. Ex JERBOA CLAW After three weeks of the ‘new normal’ within Barracks, in September 2 CS Sqn deployed to Oakhampton, Dartmoor, to deliver their BCS 1 training package. The five-day exercise included recce patrols, platoon attacks, navigation and a number of MATTs encompassed into all the training serials. The focus of the exercise was 42

on leadership and empowerment, with many junior commanders successfully stepping up into more senior leadership positions. The exercise culminated in a final platoon attack, followed by a CASEVAC over two miles. A challenging training area, members of the Sqn were well tested, but all had a huge sense of achievement at the finish. The Sqn celebrated ENDEX with a socially distanced Field Kitchen breakfast, served by the Sqn Officers, Commanding Officer and RSM. STRIKE experimentation Focusing on the evolution of the Army's new STRIKE Bde, 12 CS Sqn has been tasked with shaping and developing 1 Regt RLC to play its part in the formation of the first CSS Regt. The Regt has been looking at how to provide accurate and mobile logistic support over extended lines of communication. To this end, two working groups led by members of 12 Sqn have been employed to look at the conceptual development and the other to experiment with the tactical use nuances that come with this new method of sustainment. The conceptual side scrutinised the efficiency of the current ORBAT to find ways to reshape the regimental structure to achieve the Bde ME. Concurrently, they are redesigning a STRIKE specific set of SOIs and battle-book to deliver accurate and self-reliant sustainment.

8 Cpl Cole fielding questions from the Council of Cpls Panel members

Their tactical counterparts have been exercising and demonstrating modular and scalable HQ constructs, to deliver a much more agile and resilient command and control node. In order to develop our TTPs and the STRIKE ethos, the Regt is planning Ex RHINO WRATH, a road move to demonstrate a 2000Km reach by driving to the most north-westerly point of the UK – Cape Wrath. This will offer a fantastic opportunity to practice the new STRIKE concepts and TTPs, challenge our trade skills and empower our junior commanders. Sport and AT Sport and Adventurous Training has continued where possible. In August, Lt Kieron Young arranged for six of his soldiers to take part in a two-week mountain biking AT package in Germany. The golf team had a successful RLC Championships with LCpl Weir crowned the overall Corps Scratch Champion for 2020. In addition, the team introduced five novice soldiers to the sport, who enjoyed taking part in their first ever Autumn Championships. Eight members of the Regt have also participated in the Military Ultra Trail Trotters first event, a 50Km trail race at Bernwood forest – a fantastic achievement for all who took part!

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UNITS | THE SUSTAINER

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3 Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps ABINGDON CO: Lt Col G Wincott • Adjt: Capt R Ritchie • RSM: WO1 G Millar It’s nearly all change again at 3 Regiment RLC. Over the last three months, four of the Regt’s five OCs have moved on and replacements are now in post. And after months of nudging the mouse every five minutes, to appear online, the time finally came to put the MTP trousers back on (no more top half only for zoom meetings) and for the whole Regt to return to barracks to prepare for an extremely busy period that lies ahead of us. As the Regt winds back up to readiness, training has taken the centre stage. The Squadrons have gone back to basics with BCS training before deploying on Charlie exercises (CT2) in the loved area of Otterburn. Nothing says welcome back to work like Otterburn training area! The Regt saw an uplift of personnel for Op CABRIT 7 to provide second line support to theatre and the 5 Rifles BG. Operating as part of a large, multinational BG has offered a plethora of opportunities, from

Adventurous Training to battlefield studies. After two successful rotations of Op CABRIT, the Regt look forward to a break before again deploying Op CABRIT 9. Wednesday afternoons have seen the introduction of new teams in mountain biking, enduro motorbikes and go-karting, all new on the programme for COVID compliant sports. The Regt definitely has some talent out there and plenty more in the making.

For this issue of Sustainer, 3 Regt RLC will let the images of what it has been up to do the talking.

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THE SUSTAINER | UNITS

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4 Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps ABINGDON CO: Lt Col C Yates • Adjt: Capt S Kennedy • RSM: WO1 G Johnson 4 Regiment RLC has experienced a busy period as it approaches the end of a challenging year. Tasked as the Logistic Support Team (UK) the Regt supported the government response to the pandemic, in addition to deployments around the world on operational tours and it continues to exercise. Ventilator distribution 28 personnel and 10 vehicles deployed to London to provide Military Assistance to Civil Authorities distributing ventilators throughout March and April. The NHS London Team recognised a need to redistribute ventilators around private and NHS hospitals to provide critical life-saving care during the height of hospital admissions. 4 (Close Support) Squadron built capacity within the NHS London Team by providing advice and guidance on priority order planning and operational record keeping, assisting in the distribution of ventilators in response to short notice, publicly sensitive requirements and provided an asset tracking capability. The Sqn delivered a total of 315 ventilators and 1,278 pieces of ancillary equipment with a total value of £63 million. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) warehouse management Sgt Liam Dornan deployed to Alconbury in May as a warehouse manager for the Local Resilience Force (LRF) providing PPE for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. The Alconbury supply hub provided PPE to over 1,000 dependencies across a multitude of disciplines. This was a sizable task for a team that was newly formed from charity volunteers from RE:ACT Disaster Response. Sgt Dornan and the team established an online order method that streamlined the demand process and increased warehouse productivity significantly. He also worked with the charity group 4x4 Response 44

delivering a total of 5,774,198 items of PPE across 2,500 orders to over 1,000 locations. Their combined efforts enabled many key workers to stay safe during an unprecedented and difficult time. Ex TIMBER TRUSS Out with the Regt’s commitment to Op RESCRIPT, 60 (Close Support) Squadron QOGLR deployed to Salisbury Plain in support of Ex TIMBER TRUSS in July 20. This was the RLC Troop Commanders’ Course (TCC 83) confirmatory field training exercise. The turnout of vehicles and personnel from the Sqn was exceptional and applauded by DSL’s Command Wing, with a total of 96 personnel, 41 vehicles and Log IS supporting the exercise. Throughout the week, the sub-unit performed logistic operations, providing a valuable training opportunity for its own soldiers in addition to supporting TCC 83. The feedback from the course was extremely positive and emphasised how professional, knowledgeable and enthusiastic the Sqn is in its Close Support role. Operating with known critical unknowns At the start of Op RESCRIPT, 4 Regt was directed to deploy at best effort from Oxford to support the NHS in London. With no time for a full estimate, the ‘four Ds’ were stencilled on the whiteboard and

8 60 Sqn host Col RLC and Corps SM visit on Ex TIMBER TRUSS

agreed as the minimum detail needed to deploy personnel. As the minutes ticked on, the Regt soon realised that it could not wait for the RV location and sent the coach in the direction of NE London. This decision delivered an hour of planning time to co-ordinate where personnel would meet the hastily borrowed ventilator distribution fleet. The static HQ fought for the missing information while the commander on the ground operated on reasonable assumptions. We learnt the four Ds is not the minimum required to deploy a team; it is the minimum required to employ them. 2021 – Getting better every day to succeed on operations The Regt plan to transform inbarracks working practices, to take full advantage of the new capabilities of Marketplace and Muster, to plan better, work smarter and where possible reduce uncertainty for its personnel. In Feb 21, the Regt will support the Army to educate and inform key homeland and international defence stakeholders, by enabling the Army Expo on Salisbury Plain. During the spring, 4 Regt will refresh its conventional operating skills, before a double deployment to the Canadian prairie in the late summer.

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UNITS | THE SUSTAINER

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6 Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps DISHFORTH CO: Lt Col A Richardson • Adjt: Capt T M Furlong • RSM: WO1 M Hickey

On 6 Oct 20, the new Commanding Officer Lt Col Andy Richardson assumed command of 6 Regiment RLC. The Regt wishes Lt Col Leila Green luck in her new assignment. The Regt is extremely proud to announce that during this period it was named Army Sports Trophy winners for 2020! Congratulations to SSgt Young and his team for being the driving force behind attending and recording all of the Regt's sporting achievements, to all the athletes and to the Chain of Command for being flexible enough to release their athletes for competitions. Public duties Throughout lockdown, a detachment from 62 Sqn has been hard at work ensuring their drill regime was flexible enough to incorporate social distancing measures. The training to refine their drill and to prepare their kit to take over the public duties role was ultimately a success and the Sqn passed its fit for role inspection in September. Although it is unfortunate that there are no ceremonial parades due to COVID-19, the soldiers feel privileged to be deployed to London in guard mounting duties until Nov 20. Throughout, the Sqn will be

performing duties at St James’s Palace, Windsor Castle, The Tower of London and Buckingham Palace. Op TOSCA 34 - Pre-deployment training In preparation for Op TOSCA 34, one of the numerous predeployment requirements is to be Public Order (PO) trained. To achieve this, Lt Barr and 2Lts Lovell, Dyer and Lowe from 64 Sqn completed the PO Exercise Conducting and Safety Staff Instructor Course in Bassingbourn Barracks. The course teaches the participants to conduct a safe public order training exercise, as well as the tactics, skills, and drills associated with PO.

8 Lt Col Green hands over command

8 62 Sqn training for public duties Encompassing the fundamentals of equipment, crowd dynamics and escalation and de-escalation tactics, the Troop Commanders were fully immersed from arrival. The introduction of CIVPOP in the latter stages of the course tested them when wearing full PPE on a sweltering autumn morning, as they were instructed to disperse the aggravated crowds. Chaos ensued with petrol bombs from the Paras and flying spinning kicks from the Gurkhas. It was a high intensity environment with weaknesses exploited by both forces. As time went on, the PO troops adapted to the high intensity environment, exercising command and control to execute the correct drill in the correct manner, to reduce the conflict and calm the aggravated crowd. Having completed the course, the Troop Commanders are now planning PO exercises and teaching the lessons they learned back to 6 Regiment with the aim of getting the Regiment up to the highest standard for deployment. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @6RegtRLC Facebook and Instagram to remain current on regimental activity.

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THE SUSTAINER | UNITS

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7 Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps COTTESMORE CO: Lt Col J Edwards • Adjt: Capt D Smith • RSM: WO1 D Todd On the back of what has been a difficult time for the country, 7 Regiment RLC has had to make changes to the way it runs on a daily basis. Although similar to the civilian world, the Army has considerations, that in other employment sectors are not so pertinent. In barracks, people eat and live together, which is something that the Regt has had to take very seriously. This meant introducing measures such as one-way systems, mealtime rotas and social distancing. PT sessions have required considerable ingenuity from the PT wing, to allow the unit to maintain its fitness and ability to deploy despite the restrictions. Ex HALBERD DAWN Off the back Op RESCRIPT the Regt has continued at a high tempo. The ability for it to fulfil its regimental commitments is vital. The Regt is in its training year for its commitment to the Light Brigade Support Group (LBSG) and thus an increased amount of training has been conducted in preparation for this commitment. 7 Regt recently deployed on CT2 Ex HALBERD DAWN for nine days to Salisbury Plain and Barton Stacey, in order to test its capability in providing logistic support, within the LBSG concept. The exercise was a valuable experience and one that was fully

8 68 Sqn preparing their vehicles prior to Ex HALBERD DAWN

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embraced by the troops. 68 Sqn is the primary logistic Sqn for the LBSG commitment and the exercise saw almost the whole Sqn deploy on the ground. The opportunity for both transport and supply elements to be able to ply their trade around the clock, with an evolving threat picture, will undoubtedly prove invaluable moving forwards into 2021. The exercise also gave RHQ the opportunity to deploy and exercise its planning capability as a team within a brigade context. AT Despite COVID-19 frustrating many aspects of life within the Regt, an environment in which junior soldiers can access the opportunity to partake in activities outside the workplace has been maintained. To this end, all sqns across the Regt have been making use of Low Gillerthwaite lodge in the Lake District as a hub for conducting AT. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the groups have been small, but it has still given soldiers and officers the ability to develop themselves through activities that for many are new and challenging. Sporting success With the return of more sporting fixtures on the horizon, one noteworthy sporting endeavour has

8 7 Regiment FC, 2020 Army Cup Champions

stolen the limelight recently, with the Regimental football team having a wonderfully successful campaign in the Army Cup. After a tough cup run, 7 Regt came up against 3 RSME and after a comprehensive display, came away 4-0 victors, to win the cup for the third time in six years. This achievement has not been matched by any other RLC Unit and sets the conditions for further success in 2021, as well as inspiring the next generation within the Regt’s ranks. Look forward 2021 promises to be a fast-paced year for 7 Regt, with multiple exercises taking place. 9 Sqn will deploy on CT2 to hone its trade skills ahead of ASKARI STORM1/21 and 68 Sqn will continue to develop its operational capabilities ahead of WESSEX STORM 2-3/21. This coming year also holds special importance for the Regt, as it is the Diamond Orzel year, marking the Regt’s 60th anniversary. The Regt will look to mark the anniversary with an occasion befitting of its significance and in the process capping what will be a historic and busy year.

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UNITS | THE SUSTAINER

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9 Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps HULLAVINGTON CO: Lt Col J Brown • Adjt: Maj A Stahlmann • RSM: WO1 P Douglass This unit report has been written to outline how one of the largest units in the British Army has adapted to life in the ‘new normal’. From maintaining readiness during dispersal, through a scaled return to work and finally to force generation and preparation for operations, 9 Regiment RLC has had to adapt to and embrace an entirely new way of operating as a high readiness unit in the COVID era. Accepting and exploiting dispersal 84 Medical Supply Squadron constantly has personnel deployed on operations overseas. This requires a continuous churn of: ensuring deployable troops and kit at readiness; trade courses (from supply-focussed training to maintaining clinical currency for our RAMC soldiers) and engagement with other units, agencies and industry. Thankfully, a squadron of young, technologically aware soldiers meant that social media and apps could be adapted for troop-level training, also tapping into Defence Connect and the DLE to ensure MATTs levels were as high as possible. As Project PHOENIX came into play, a burst of technical trade activity was required to train and validate soldiers managing the supply chain of vital medical stores. More recently, 84 MSS travelled to 4 Armoured Medical Regiment in Tidworth to learn how the Unit has consolidated its medical stores. Reinventing normality After several months’ mass dispersal, significant work was required to return 9 Regt to mandated readiness states. This challenge was perhaps most evident in 66 Fuel and General Transport Squadron. One of the Army’s largest regular sub-units, 66 Sqn had to simultaneously manage servicing and maintenance of its vehicle fleet, graduated physical training to ensure a safe but speedy return to deployable standards and

the careful integration and training of 46 Combat Logisticians from DST into Class 3 Drivers. Robust distancing, shift patterns, ever-changing safety briefs and a UST’s worth of sanitiser, ensured that the servicing bay could have vehicles ready to familiarise the semi-trained Combat Logisticians on their new platform variants. Just as complex, the SSI (SSgt Ayrey, RAPTC) and his team concluded their virtually-delivered Lone Soldier training programme – where Facebook streaming sessions had been pulling in literally thousands of views – and prepared for the delivery of reconditioning and mainstream PT. Such ingenuity was also seen in the Training Wing, which on top of a full gamut of MATT 1-9 packages hosted a plethora of internal and external courses. COVID doesn’t stop operations 94 Squadron QOGLR, who after enduring dispersal, quickly found themselves preparing soldiers for upcoming operational deployments across the globe. As it was, the command team already had to deal with the preparation of multiple personnel for various theatres; add to this a five-week turnaround and the entire world of chaos brought by COVID, this was a challenge hitherto unfaced by the team. They prevailed thanks to their diligence and professionalism, perhaps best summarised by the following series of lessons: Learn rapidly. What was the mission? What resources would be

8 Training is returning the Regt to deployable standards following dispersal

required? Which would actually be available? What were the training requirements? Adapt – Adapt to a whole new way of training. Maintain – Diligence in the previous months had paid dividends – fitness challenges during dispersal had kept all fighting fit; online MATTs and trade courses ensured a minimal training deficit; perhaps most importantly, use of phone calls, video hosting and social media had allowed commanders to keep a finger on the pulse. Evaluate – Evaluate constantly and re-evaluate. If new ways of working didn’t work, alternative methods were found; what worked in some areas could be tested and exploited in others; old behaviours and habits had to be ‘trained out’; complacency was the enemy, adaptability and professionalism were the solutions.

8 94 Sqn has stayed fighting fit

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10 The Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment ALDERSHOT CO: Lt Col G R Sugdon • Adjt: Capt Z Young • RSM: WO1 G Limbu As we progress into the second half of the year, we saw 10 Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment embracing and adapting to the ‘new normal’. You would imagine that due to the current COVID-19 climate, the Regt would have experienced a period of relative quiet. However this has definitely was not the case, with taskings flying thick and fast in its direction. In traditional 10 QOGLR fashion, it has embraced each new challenge, ensuring that in a time of social distancing and uncertainty, it continues to remain Ready, Relevant and that its Reputation is sustained. 1 Squadron has continued to play its key role in Op RESCRIPT, adapting quickly to fast-paced Army HQ tasks. Over a period of three weeks, a small team from 94 MAT Troop and the Custodian Account, receipted, issued and delivered over 270,000 face masks to 354 units across the UK and overseas: including Op SHADER and Brunei. Though short lived, this task provided an invaluable experience to the more junior soldiers; giving them a taste of the high intensity, fast-paced nature of tasks that would normally only be experienced on kinetic overseas operations. Elsewhere, 28 Squadron saw itself deployed on Ex NOBLE PARTNER in Georgia as a dismounted infantry company. It was a multinational exercise which saw the Sqn exercising alongside 2,800 soldiers from Georgia, US, France and Poland. The UK’s

composite company group consisted of 128 soldiers. This included 12 separate trade groups from across six cap badges (10 QOGLR, The RLC, The Royal Gurkha Rifles, The Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Royal Army Medical Corps and The Small Arms School Corps). The security and stability of the Black Sea Region is of strategic importance to the UK. Ex NOBLE PARTNER allowed the UK to continue to strengthen the strong relationship, which the UK enjoys with Georgia and its Defence Force. 28 Sqn has been afforded a valuable training opportunity by deploying to Georgia as a dismounted infantry company. In addition to the six months of build-up training, Ghurkha soldiers are initially trained for nine months as Class 3 infanteers prior to any subsequent trade specialisation. The role has built upon this core skillset and also wider operational experience.

8 The new Regt'l Col, Brig P Reehal MBE With the easing of lockdown, the RTO's department has also been in a position to stretch its legs, in the form of its Training Log IS Infrastructure trials on behalf of HQ Fd Army. The RTO's department, at the beginning of September, had the opportunity to conduct trials in order to demonstrate the deficiency of the Army’s current Log IS training infrastructure and in turn, pilot what could potentially become its future replacement. Further trials were also conducted in November, placing the Regt at the cutting edge of future optimal training capabilities across the spectrum of the Fd Army. As the Regt now gets to grip with the ‘new normal’ and is embracing the opportunities this provides, it is also experiencing a period of change. This comes in the form of not one but two personality changes. The Regt says farewell to not only the Commander, Lt Col A F West, but also the Colonel of the Regiment, Maj Gen ASJ Fay CB. The Regt and cap badge have flourished, growing in both strength and numbers under their command and leadership. The Regt wishes them all the best and now welcomes Lt Col G R Sugdon in as Commander and Brig P S Reehal MBE as Colonel of the Regiment. Jai QOGLR! 8 The change of command at QOGLR

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11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment RLC DIDCOT CO: Lt Col N G Joynes QGM • Adjt: Capt R Kelly • RSM: WO1 A Turner During this period of global uncertainty, 11 EOD & Search Regiment RLC has found a new normal: learning lessons, adapting the way it operates, all whilst providing unrelenting support to numerous operationally critical MACA operations. Some highlights include delivering COVID-secure mission essential licensing exercises, hosting a Royal visit and witnessing the broadcast of ‘Inside the Bomb Squad’ on Channel 4. An update from LCpl Gregory, Edinburgh EOD Troop, 521 EOD Sqn On 18 Mar 20, Edinburgh EOD Troop was instructed to reduce manning to minimum duty teams due to the COVID-19 pandemic and personnel speedily implemented measures to ensure the continued support to Op TAPESTRY went uninterrupted. The on-duty teams adhered to strict measures limiting their contact with non-mission essential members of the Troop and stringent hygiene measures were followed. With the majority of the Troop working from home, the Squadron took this as an opportunity to sweep up online courses and MATTs and many personnel took the opportunity to complete professional development. Being the only Scottish troop in a regiment based across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, close attention was made to remain

8 New RCV - STARTER

8 NLAW Firing – before within the devolved administration guidelines. With the benefit of a relatively new and well-designed workplace in Dreghorn Barracks, the Troop was able to gradually return to work ahead of most of the Sqn in a safe manner. With normality now slowly returning, the Troop remained fully operational, had no confirmed cases of the virus and continued to ensure all measures were implemented to react to the ongoing, ever evolving ‘new normal’. 8 NLAW Firing - after An update from 621 EOD Sqn and CSAD Troop COVID-19 has not halted the Squadron; in-fact quite the opposite. It saw a significant increase in numbers of taskings; this has been attributed to much of the population making the most of the British summer. Since the start of the lockdown, the Sqn has continued to provide immediate duties across the South and South East of England and ADW duties across the UK; this has covered a multitude of tasks ranging from collection of historic rounds to potential IED threats. Along with the daily task lines, the Sqn has been busy conducting training with the new Remote-Controlled Vehicle (RCV), STARTER, ensuring all personnel

are ready for the operational rollout of the MOD’s new EOD RCV. CSAD Troop has been exceptionally busy, being committed in its operational year and working to full capacity to ensure that essential operations and exercises around the world continue to go ahead. One standing commitment CSAD has been maintaining is supporting the Battlegroup as the Enhanced Forward Presence on Op CABRIT in Estonia. Operating in a small detachment attached to the First Fusilier Regiment, CSAT continue to provide In-Theatre support for everything from ammunition storage within Tapa Camp to guided missile firings for multi-national exercises in Latvia.

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13 Air Assault Support Regiment RLC COLCHESTER CO: Lt Col J Beere • Adjt: Capt H Eaton • RSM: WO1 N Waring Throughout COVID-19, 13 Air Assault Support Regiment RLC has maintained a high state of readiness with soldiers from across the Regt rising to the new challenges. Ex BLACK LEADER Jul 20 saw 82 AASp Sqn lead with 13 AASR’s annual junior leadership development exercise, in the form of a patrols competition. Set over 36 hours, 15 Sections patrolled to 10 check-points, covering between 30 and 50km. The stands included: command tasks, medical serials, a river crossing and a defensive stand. A testing environment for the junior leaders, empowering them to face challenges and think on their feet in dynamic scenarios. 47 Air Despatch Squadron 47 AD Sqn has been busy throughout the lockdown and has continued to work with units from across Defence to provide Aerial Delivery capability. June saw the Sqn drop a Role 1 medical facility, in its entirety, to 16 Med Regiment, alongside the other elements they require to provide medical support to 16 Bde. The Sqn has also supported the Light Dragoon Battlegroup in its PDT, a critical objective for the BG before it deploys to Mali on operations. The Sqn made history by conducting the first live drop to exercising troops (from 63 Sqn) from the A400M, as well as maintaining exercises for discreet customers. Ex BLACK TEMPEST September saw 63AASp Sqn deployed on a 10-day CT2 sqn exercise to Otterburn Training Area. Throughout the exercise, the troops honed their skills while operating as a sqn to replenish dependant units, conducting DPs, PLMs and establishing an FSA. The entire Sqn took up realistic tasks, generating QRF and FP serials and serving DZs to receive stores from A400M and CH47. Interoperability was a key element of the exercise – 50

receiving the first live drop from the A400M and assisting 1 ITB RIFLES on the final attack of its confirmation exercise, by marshalling and running the landing points for the two CH-47 used on the exercise. Whilst on the training area, 63 Sqn took the opportunity to conduct invaluable under slung training with the Wildcat attack helicopter. A testing yet rewarding exercise, good preparation for the upcoming Ex WESSEX STORM. Ex BLACK FLIGHT Ex BLACK FLIGHT was the first time in over 10 years that 13AASR has moved fuel by air to set up a Forward Refuelling Point. This involved flying 2xAPFC’s (Air Portable Fuel Containers) under a CH47 to STANTA in order to refill vehicles, thus proving the capability to support Air Assault Operations. The next step is the testing of the Air Portable FARP’s (Forward Air Refuelling Points).

8 63 Sqn ran CH-47 landing points

8 Ex BLACK FLIGHT Pet Ops and APFC 1X CSS Strike visit September saw the Regiment host an interoperability day to further enhance and provide support to the developing Strike CSS Group. 13AASR provided key information on AD, Heli Handling and ES support; enabling the further development of Strike CSS doctrine. Award winners The Regiment would like to congratulate LCpl Lord and WO2 Keir. LCpl Lord won the Carmen Soldier Award for Best Young Soldier for her work as an Air Despatcher and RLC and Army snowboarder and wakeboarder. WO2 Keir won an award in the ‘WeAreTheCity's’ Rising Star Awards 2020 in the ‘Logistics and Transport’ category, a fantastic achievement for a brilliant logistician. Squadron charity fundraising Squadrons within the Regt have been working hard raising money for worthy causes. Through multiple tough physical challenges: 5 8 Para Fd Coy REME raised over £1,000 for ASM Simon Cooper. 5 63 Air Assault Support Sqn raised funds for a former soldier of the Regt, Lee Earnshaw. 5 47AD Sqn raised over £7,000 for the ‘47Hundred Challenge’ raising funds for NHS Charities.

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17 Port & Marine Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps SOUTHAMPTON CO: Lt Col P Eaton MBE • Adjt: Maj Conor McNama • RSM: WO1 M Calverley In February, 17 Port & Maritime Regt provided two Combat Support Boats (CSBs) and six crew to support Ex CHAMELEON in Cyprus. However, the Coronavirus pandemic escalated globally and a maritime asset was required to support the sovereign territories in Cyprus. One CSB was provided along with three crew members; Cpl Williams, Cpl Little and LCpl Guthrie volunteered to stay behind for what was later to be known as ‘Op BROADSHARE’. In the following months, CSB 45 and the crew supported various maritime tasks. Working with the Joint Logistic Squadron (JLS), it supported the refuelling of RAF Akrotiri by multi-national ocean tankers, as well as carrying out ship to shore transfers of equipment and personnel. Whilst on the island, the CSB attracted a lot of attention, including a visit from Commander British Forces Cyprus, Maj-Gen Robert J Thompson CBE DSO. Ex SEAHORSE BLUNDELL September saw the joint deployment of 52 and 53 Squadrons onto Browndown Beach training area. This exercise was designed to test three different trade groups working in unison in the establishment of a Logistic Beach Unit (LBU). The exercise began with an amphibious landing from the specialist Mexefloat,

8 Establishing an LBU on Browndown beach

departing from the Sea Mounting Centre (SMC), Marchwood, On arrival at the beach, the Port Operators worked tirelessly to lay down trackway, enabling the Vehicle Support Specialists (VSS) to offload from the Mexefloat. Throughout the week, 52 Sqn conducted various beach operations as part of an effort to prove the Regt JEF TEG readiness capability. VSS Tp meanwhile, went back to basics conducting core driver activities, which placed a strong emphasis on the delivery of ‘green’ lessons by JNCOs. Upon the closure of the LBU, VSS Tp redeployed onto Salisbury Plain to further their skills and add additional levels of complexity. A further week of activity saw VSS soldiers drilled rigorously on anti-ambush drills, obstacle crossings, CASEVAC and a sprinkling of CBRN for good measure. The exercise culminated with a visit from the CO, Lt Col P Eaton MBE, who jumped into the thick of the action as the Troop Sgt’s driver during the last serial. Their time on Salisbury Plain also presented an opportunity for inter-service co-operation and training synergy, with VSS Tp taking up the role of enemy for 3 Commando Brigade.

8 Pte Wood's family at the Woody's bar opening in July

Welfare Woody’s Sports Bar officially opened on 14 Jul 20 after a twomonth refurbishment period by the Unit Welfare Department. The Unit received grants from 11 Infantry Brigade HQ and Forces Mutual. The sports bar has been redecorated and filled with new furniture, pool tables and TVs. It has also now become the main hub for sports with free access to WiFi, Sky and BT Sports. The transformation is unrecognisable and it has become a fantastic place for soldiers to socialise and relax. The name of the bar was dedicated to the memory of Pte Robert Wood, ‘Woody’ to his friends, who tragically lost his life on 14 February 2011 in a fire, whilst deployed on Op HERRICK 13. His family travelled to Marchwood to be present for the official opening. His nine year old son, Noah, who had never met his father, was proud that the name of his father will be permanently engrained into the Regimental history. The Welfare Officer presented Noah with a lifetime membership of the sports bar, so when he is old enough, he can visit and enjoy a beer!

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25 Training Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps LECONFIELD CO: Lt Col R Amor• Adjt: Capt J Maitland • RSM: WO1 J Girvan

With the obvious challenge of Coronavirus, 2020 has continued to be a period of real change and activity for the 25 Training Regiment RLC. For a considerable period of time, most of the Initial Trade Trainees (ITTs) were dispersed to their homes, to prevent the Spread of COVID. This presented a number of challenges including the continued provision of duty of care, online training and planning for the return to training post lockdown. In addition to the challenges of COVID, 2020 has seen a change in a number of key personalities including Lt Col Rob Armor taking over from Lt Col Mike Scannell as CO 25 RLC and Capt Jodie Maitland taking over as Adjutant from Capt Ffion Harris. Promotions July saw the promotion of four members of 25 Regt’s permanent staff from Corporal to Sergeant namely Cpl Aldred, Cpl Morris, Cpl Robertson and Cpl Robinson. The

new CO Lt Col Rob Amor had the privilege of presenting them with their new rank slides. Distributed training With the vast majority of trainees being sent home for an extended period, it was important in order to ensure that trainees stayed both mentally and physically active. To achieve this, a full package of online learning was produced, which could be accessed via Defence Connect. This also allowed the CO to communicate directly with the trainees and give them first hand information about the resumption of their training and the situation within 25 Regt. The package allowed for the continuation of theoretical driver training and some military training including MATTS and other mandatory courses. Despite very few trainees being present at Normandy Barracks, a number of permanent staff remained behind to prepare for the return of ITTs. The DST gym staff provided a fantastic

8 25 Training Regiments Newly promoted Sergeants outside of RHQ. Left to right: Lt Col Rob Amor, Sgt Lee Aldred, Cpl Joshua Robertson, Cpl Ben Robinson, Cpl Scott Morris and WO1 (RSM) James Girvan and continuous supply of self-led fitness sessions, based around the Lone Soldier Fitness Plan. Uplift in driver training and transition training With the resumption of driver training, an uplift in driver trainers was required. In order to deliver this, a number of DLAIs were sourced from the wider Field Army and Army Reserve. This allowed 25 Regt to cope with the increased number of recruits being sent from basic training and to continue to provide the Field Army with competent and effective soldiers. In addition to the uplift in driver training, a programme was created to “top up” the Soldier First skills of some of the ITTs whose basic training was cut short due to COVID. The transition training package has allowed the JNCOs to deliver some exceptional training, filling the knowledge gaps created by COVID. Local training areas have been used to conduct BCCS exercises in addition to ranges and other on camp training. This will leave those SP whose basic training was cut short by COVID in a far better place ready to begin their Initial Trade Training. 8 Transition Troop BCCS training at Driffield Training Area

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27 Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps ALDERSHOT CO: Lt Col D J Fisher MBE • Adjt: Capt R Francis • RSM: WO1 R Coleman COVID-19 has changed the way most people and organisations live across the UK. 19 Tank Transporter Squadron, 27 Regiment RLC had to adapt and find innovative ways to meet an enduring demand for heavy lift capability in the Field Army. At the start of the pandemic, the number of tasks being received were reduced, but the pandemic did not, however, stop the tank transporters from remaining hugely committed across a variety of activities. The School of Tank Transporting continued to train aspiring Driver Tank Transporter Operators, albeit with reduced numbers in vehicle cabs and enhanced protective measures. They played a central role in retraining personnel on 40 civilian articulated lorries for use on Op RESCRIPT. The Sqn was tasked as the Immediate Replenishment Group responsible for co-ordinating and distributing essential PPE to NHS Trusts across the UK. Operating out of a 156 Regiment RLC centre in Salford, the troops delivered this critical task for three months. Instead of letting COVID-19 dictate the Sqn’s actions, the Regt used it as an opportunity to reflect, improve and adapt. A reduction in tasks allowed it to optimise the structure to meet a variety of outputs including: troops held at high readiness, focus on progressive soldier training (including a novel GPMG cadre) and to celebrate the achievements of LCpl Pickering who received a Carmen’s Award for his contribution to operations. Capable of transporting anything up to 72 tonnes, it even had the chance to recover an AH-64D Apache from Salisbury Plain Training Area. Adapting to the current climate, the next few months are littered with exciting activities, including a FIBUA exercise, moving armour across France, trialling the uprated Light Equipment Transporter and an escape and evasion exercise.

Ex MOORLAND PANTHER by Capt Jake Ardley On the rolling hills of the Peak District, young Grouse and other vulnerable birds scavenge for what little nutritious food they can find. For over 50 years, over-grazing by sheep has occurred on this once fertile moorland, leading to a decline in the wild bird population and biodiversity in the region. In September, 20 soldiers from 91 Supply Squadron travelled to the area to partake in some navigational training and contribute to a heather regeneration project, spearheaded by National England. Traversing over 15 miles of undulating terrain, the soldiers completed both day and night navigation, scrambling off the beaten track to reach each checkpoint over a 2,200-acre estate. 27 RLC soldiers have completed conservation work that will benefit the Peaks for years to come and has fast-forwarded the regeneration of heather in the region. DM Kineton visit - by LCpl Limbu 91 Squadron grasped the opportunity to visit Defence Munitions in Kineton. For Ammunition Troop, this was highly beneficial. Ammo Tp is responsible for holding, maintaining, protecting, accounting, provisioning and distributing ammunition to satisfy the requirement of dependencies. As an LSS soldier in Ammo Troop, it

8 Carmen’s Award Recipient 2020, LCpl J Pickering

is crucial that my level of knowledge is to the highest standard as ammunition is both dangerous and expensive! It was interesting to see how ammunition is stored and then distributed onwards. Kineton holds more than 60% of the MOD’s munitions; there is even a rail-link, enabling ammunition movement by train. On the visit, the Sqn received various lessons including the formation of Batch Key Identity, Classification Code and ADAC. All lessons were well-instructed and enforced the importance of learning this as ammunition is not accounted for by NSN. The Sqn was shown how the different compatible ammunition groups are stored and was also fortunate enough to see the storage of the ammunition in parts and out of the storage. This was an experience I will remember and it was fantastic to have this opportunity at a time when COVID-19 has put up barriers elsewhere. Looking forward 27 Regt RLC will enter 2021 focused on training, ready for Ex IRON VIPER, while remaining flexible to respond to the pandemic. Keeping its people safe will remain a priority, as it continues to exploit opportunities to develop people as leaders, tradespeople and soldiers first.

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29 Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps SOUTH CERNEY CO: Lt Col J Symons • Adjt: Capt J Broad • RSM: WO1 A Burrell The soldiers of 29 Regiment RLC have adapted to the new ways of working under COVID-19, in order to remain safe and healthy. Throughout these unprecedented and difficult times, the Regt have continued to provide essential enabling activities to exercises and operations across the globe including; Op CABRIT, Op ELGIN, Op TORAL and Op SHADER. Between April and September, the JAMC has carried out 221 tasks with 5,527 personnel being processed alongside 235,617kgs of baggage, 696 weapons bundles, 152,335kgs of freight and 33 vehicles. The skill and perseverance of soldiers in the Regt has been tested throughout, especially when those who have been operating the JAMC and various Op cells have been working on reduced manning, in order to adhere to the social distancing guidelines and other policies. July saw the Regt facilitating 16 Air Assault Brigade's readiness assurance serial, Ex TOTEMIC 20. This was swiftly followed by the enablement of the World Food Programme's transportation of a field hospital, weighing 130 tonnes by air and sea. It was transported to Accra, Ghana, using five C-17 aircraft carrying 50 pallets and one ship carrying six ISO containers and two flat racks, all in support of the global COVID-19 response. The Regt was also privileged to receive HRH The Princess Royal, on her first public engagement since

8 The Regt’l Motorocycle enduro team training for Army Championships

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the introduction of lockdown. The Princess Royal visited soldiers and officers from across 104 Logistic Support Brigade at The Duke of Gloucester Barracks, discussing their experience, particularly in establishing the Nightingale Hospitals and IFAC facilities. Returning to the 'new normal' In September, regimental personnel returned from remote working into the new socially distanced operating environment; conducting activities ranging from trade training to leadership development, testing and confirming they had learned from their virtual education whilst away from barracks. With the steady easing of restrictions, 29 Regt was also pleased to reintroduce distanced PT sessions and sports afternoons, allowing for certain sports to resume training; such as the Motorcycling Enduro team. The Regt also had the pleasure of hosting the RLC Troop Commanders’ Course (TCC 84). The newly commissioned Second Lieutenant’s received various comprehensive and informative presentations on the mounting process, by which units and freight transit through South Cerney, enabling Defence deployments globally. The young officers also received trade presentations on Postal and Courier Operators, Movement Controllers and the wider outputs of 104 Logistic Support Brigade.

8 HRH The Princess Royal speaking to members of 29 Regt during her visit to South Cerney Closing comments 2020 has proved a difficult and challenging year for all units across the Army, including 29 Regiment. However, the perseverance and willingness to adapt across all ranks, has meant the Regt has been able to continue to maintain high levels of efficiency and the continuation of its key enabling activities. The Regt looks forward to the new challenges and opportunities 2021 will bring; with soldiers set to support Ex DEFENDER 21 and Adventurous Training is planned to deploy to BANFF, to receive a bespoke ice climbing training package and expedition.

8 SSgt Andrea Pearson deployed to the Caribbean in support of COVID -19 relief operations

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The Defence EOD, Munitions and Search Training Regt BICESTER CO: Lt Col M Long QGM • Adjt: Capt G Holdcroft • RSM: WO1 Tom Kowalewski RE Foreword by the Commanding Officer of the Defence Explosive Munitions Training Regiment. First, a thank you to Colonel Rich Hallett OBE for his hard work and effort setting DEMS up for further success. Seizing the baton, I will look to add creativity and integration at the heart of my tenure and empower teams to innovate, research and experiment practical solutions as we strive for continual improvement. DEMS really does epitomise that ‘whole force’ approach and offers a wide array of opportunities from instructor qualifications through to professional development. Over the next 12 months, the Regiment will deploy on Defence Engagement tasks as a matter of routine, begin to understand its own conceptual and capability development through rigorous warfare development and begin to shape how it trains, looking in detail at terrain and the character of threat. The features below are a snapshot into what will come next… Training The DEMS Training Regt has continued to deliver first-class training, despite the additional frictions caused by COVID-19. No courses have been cancelled; personnel from across the Regt have worked hard to ensure that staff and trainees remain safe – requiring agility from the Regt and a review of all training. Certain elements of training have even increased! Munitions Squadron is now delivering three, instead of two, Ammunition Technician (AT) Class 2 courses a year. This will provide the Field Army with increased numbers of trained ATs, to mitigate the current shortage of JNCOs across the Corps. Search Squadron has also piloted a new Explosive Ordinance Disposal and Search (EOD&S) course. This will provide specialist training to Officers and Warrant Officers to equip them with the understanding of EOD&S

capability to successfully manage EOD objectives. Training within Improvised Explosive Devise Disposal (IEDD) and Conventional Munitions Disposal (CMD) Squadrons also remains as busy as ever. The Sqns have also integrated new technology and training facilities into their courses. IEDD Squadron is now using a new bomb disposal remote control vehicle, the Harris T7 STARTER. It is cutting its teeth across courses delivered by the Sqn and has become the mainstay of operations in the UK and overseas. Search Squadron has conducted a recce to integrate new

8 An example of 3D printing conducted by the Regiment

8 Maj Davies RLC, Maj Gen Illingworth OBE, Lt Col Long QGM RLC (left to right)

training areas such as MOD Corsham Mines, a subterranean urban complex, into training. Innovation To support innovation across the Regt, a Regimental Innovation Cell has been established. It aims to identify and exploit new opportunities from across Defence and the commercial sector and aid continuous improvement across the Unit. Current work strands include the use of a new additive 3D printer to produce novel training aids and use of Prowise (interactive technology screen) to deliver training. Regimental activity In September, the Regt had the pleasure of hosting Director Land Warfare (DLW), Major General Illingworth OBE. During his first visit to the Regt, DLW was able to see first-hand the Regt’s capability and meet its personnel. Health and wellbeing and diversity and Inclusion ‘Roadmaps’ have also been developed to guide regimental activity during the next 24 months. Additionally, there has been a significant number of postings (27 personnel) into the Regt. This includes the welcome of OC IEDD Sqn, Maj Davies RLC and OC Search Squadron, Maj Howourth RE.

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150 Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps HULL CO: Lt Col D Aspin • Adjt: Capt B Walters • RSM: WO1 P Berry At the beginning of August, 150 Regiment RLC said farewell to Lt Col Michael Casey and welcomed Lt Col Daniella Aspin as the new Commanding Officer. Lt Col Casey was thanked in a COVID secure way for his two years at the helm and is wished the best of luck from all members of the Regt for his future. Lt Col Aspin has set out her direction, with a focus on operational readiness and the retention of our current soldiers, seeking to ensure that the Regt lives up to the Army ‘offer’. Her aspiration to empower the Regt and seek good ideas from within, as well as creating a challenge culture, will fit well with the themes and timing of Project TRANSFORM being rolled out in the next few months. COVID secure exercise 50 members of the Regt deployed on Ex HALBERD DAWN 20 at the end of September. This 102 Log Bde exercise on Salisbury Plain, gave both Reserve and Regular soldiers and officers an excellent opportunity to shake out after lockdown and exercise their basic soldiering and trade skills. For 150 Regt, the exercise was a step towards being ready as a Non Regular Deployable Component for 102 Log Bde. Soldiers at every level learnt new skills on the exercise and for the more junior soldiers, it was

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8 Commanding Officer handover the first time getting into a field routine and operating at a realistic tempo over a sustained period. A new style of training In order to stay in line with the COVID-19 restrictions, the Regt continues to be creative in ways in which training is delivered to as many members of the Regt as possible. Through a mixture of physical and virtual training, 150 Regt has conducted mandatory annual training, as well as PT and heat injury prevention. This change in how soldiers train has given

more opportunity for some members of the Regt to become more involved as they can balance it around their home or work life with greater ease, with some long term non-attenders being able to re-engage with the Army Reserve once more. The Regt will look to how we retain this option to train virtually, balanced alongside collective training in barracks and on exercise. The Regt has also been continuing to develop its use of Defence Connect to communicate opportunities to our soldiers and to share experiences, successes and best practice. 219 Sqn lead the way in this and are amongst the top users in the Army. After achieving top student on his BRAVO Course, Pte Hasnip shared his experiences and top tips in an article on Defence Connect, reassuring other soldiers under training in the Regt and allowing them to anticipate how the COVID restrictions would be implemented on their training. Looking forward Looking ahead, the Regt will continue to deliver a variety of training to progress towards readiness as the Non Regular Deployable Component and to develop and retain its soldiers. With five squadrons spread across the North East of England this will be challenging, looking to balance the local lockdown restrictions with demanding but safe training. The Sqns will conduct AT packages within their local areas in November and in February, and an alternative ACT will be held to qualify more drivers in C+E and B3. The Regt benefits from a high proportion of its Reserves working at the Defence School of Transport in their day jobs, allowing the Regt to offer its own training as one of the options for our soldiers to qualify in trade. Despite the difficulties that the restrictions present to 150 Regiment RLC, they will be used as opportunities to develop into better soldiers and officers.

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151 Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps CROYDON CO: Lt Col D Taylor • Adjt: Capt T Joyce • RSM: WO1 C Sutherland This quarter has seen 151 Regiment RLC continually challenged by the Coronavirus. However, the Unit has successfully reconstituted its assets from Op RESCRIPT, adapted and provided excellent Annual Continuous Training (ACT) on Ex TRIDENT GYAN III, discussed future ways of working and has enabled 507 Specialist Team Royal Engineers (STRE) to conduct Ex TURNOUT 2020. Op RESCRIPT 151 Regiment RLC was at the forefront of the national response during Op RESCRIPT, having received tasks to support the NHS Distribution Centre in Allington and to deliver Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to 35 locations. On the 23 Mar 20, within 24 hours, a troop had been deployed to the Maidstone Army Reserve Centre, in support of the NHS Distribution Centre in Allington. Under the command of 2Lt J Hancock, the troop was able to inload, organise and out-load vital NHS supplies across the south of England. An estimated 69 million items of PPE were processed at Maidstone. Furthermore, 151 Regt

8 Lt Dexter Cook enjoying a cycle during AT

was tasked to deliver an Immediate Replenishment Group capability for NHS locations within London AOR. The group was soon utilised and on 26 Mar began to deliver 400,000 items of emergency PPE to 32 locations. Other tasks included: supporting 4 Regiment RLC with driver training, 10 Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment RLC with Class I & II materiel and 27 Regiment RLC, by providing real estate and real-life support. Overall, 84 service personnel from 151 Regt were utilised during Op RESCRIPT. A successful handover takeover between regimental assets and their NHS counterparts, on 11 Apr at Allington, enabled the regimental focus shift from an operational output to a force developmental one. Innovative ways of working The distributed nature of the Army Reserve in London, combined with lockdown measures since the 23 Mar, has coerced the Regt to embrace remote working and training in order to continually engage with its personnel and impose a sense of normality. Between April and July, the Unit Health Fair, military annual training tests, the utilisation of standard learning credits, physical training, mess functions and more; were delivered by multiple virtual platforms to members of 151 Regt throughout lockdown. Regimental engagement from reservists stood at over 200 throughout lockdown. Coupled with conducting Open University and Level 3 leadership and followership courses, the Regt

8 Ex TRIDENT GYAN III in-loading railway sleepers

was able upskill its personnel and increase their competency portfolio. These lessons were consolidated at the Innovative Ways of Working symposium held on 2 Sep 20. Annual continuous training Ex TRIDENT GYAN III (ACT) saw 61 service personnel from 151 Regt conduct an initial couple of days of theoretical training, before deploying to Barton Stacey for trade specific practical training. Here, both commanders, drivers and communication specialists were able to refresh their skills and hone their abilities after a period of virtual training. To enhance this training further, a live task was given from 507 STRE to in-load 632 concrete railway sleepers from Driffield for Ex TURNOUT (the replacement of 250m of railway). This formed the basis of the FTX phase. Also included within this ACT package; 50 members of the Regt deployed to Newquay to undertake some wellearned Adventure Training, focussed around socially distanced activities of mountain biking and water-based activities. Additionally, due some clever sequencing of events, throughout the exercise, the Regt delivered three separate range days at Pirbright and Ash Ranges; where 93 personnel achieved ACMT. This enabled the regimental shooting team to identify future members. The Regt also hosted visits by the Brigade Commander and Deputy Commander.

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152 (North Irish) Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps BELFAST CO: Lt Col C Sykes • Adjt: Capt J Reehal • RSM: WO1 G Furlong 152 (North Irish) Regiment RLC has successfully adopted the mantra ‘no plan survives contact with COVID-19’. The added complexity of balancing direction from 104 Log Bde, 38 Bde, Westminster and the Northern Irish Assembly, has forced the Regt to think innovatively to continue training. As it embraces the ‘new normal’, the Regt has continued to deliver quality training, conduct charity events and deploy its personnel on Op RESCRIPT, Ex DEFENDER and Op CABRIT. Virtual Training Despite initial resistance (and confusion) from the old and bold, technology was the Regt’s greatest asset during the initial lockdown; enabling training and regimental business to continue. Online platforms have enabled each sqn to provide online PT sessions, leadership training and MATT completion, with a focus on involvement at all levels of the regimental family. Most notably, a ‘mindfulness’ weekend focusing on mental health was delivered, supporting our personnel and their families, throughout the isolation of lockdown. Virtual charity events The Regt has a proud record of supporting military and local charities. 211 Sqn led the way in ensuring this continues during the ‘new normal’. The 100/30 challenge utilised Strava to record 211 Sqn members running, jogging or

cycling 100 miles throughout the 30 days of June - successfully raising over £2,000 for local and military charities. 152 (NI) Regt is planning a future event, built around the distance between the Corps Battle Honours. Keep your eye on the Regt's Instagram for updates! Annual Continuous Training (ACT) The Regt successfully conducted a non-residential ACT over 11- 21 Sep 20. Agile planning enabled a COVID-19 compliant exercise to be conducted, focusing on basic soldiering skills, driver training and AT. Despite restrictions preventing trade training, the ACT provided an ideal opportunity to focus on the basics, after five long months of virtual training. Adventurous Training (AT) Blessed with the proximity of the Mourne mountains, Loch Erne and (in the Regt's opinion) the best beaches

8 Mil Skills competition prize giving in the UK; each sqn was able to deliver a three-day AT package. With a focus on rock climbing, hill walking and sea kayaking, individuals had the opportunity to stretch themselves, in a socially distanced environment. A refocus on utilising the world class AT opportunities within Northern Ireland will continue during the ‘new normal’. Driver training The Regt's MTWO (WO2 WilsonMacGillivray) organised an excellent safe driving skills competition, with 400 Sqn as close overall winners. This involved utilising the virtual driver simulation facility, speed awareness, FLRT competency and vehicle maintenance, to name a few. The event highlighted how planning, flexibility and innovation, can enable the delivery of quality training despite current restrictions. Ranges and field craft Each sqn conducted bespoke range packages and a three-day exercise phase. This allowed the Regt to hone basic skills, enabling a continuation of training as restrictions enable more activity. This phase culminated in a military skills competition in which 211 Sqn were overall winners. 8 Rock Climbing

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154 (Scottish) Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps DUNFERMLINE CO: Lt Col J Yates • Adjt: Capt F Hunter • RSM: WO1 W Marquis

Maintaining engagement with 154 Scottish Regiment RLC’s soldiers, has been a key priority for the training teams over the last quarter. This is to ensure they remain supported, but also will return to training following the pandemic. Training has been a combination of virtual means, physical attendance in the Army Reserve Centres (ARC) and completing a socially distanced Annual Training Camp in September. The first time the Regt was able to welcome reservists into the ARCs was in August. A welcome relief to most soldiers, who were ready to leave the confines of their homes. With some detailed planning and permission from Brigade, the first socially distanced training events included a range package, map reading lessons, CBRN training and, of course, some driving. Later in the month, special to arm training for the various trades within the Regt was held, to prepare for the annual camp. Virtual training continued to be utilised, as the staff exploited what had been learnt during the lockdown. Annual camp in September took a lot of planning and preparation to ensure all elements were in line with social distancing. It was hugely successful with over 80 reservists attending. The opportunity was

used to deliver licence acquisition, B3-B2 upgrades, as well as dismounted skills, a mounted exercise, BCIP 5.6 training and some Adventurous Training in the Edinburgh Pentland hills. Promotions The Regt is hugely proud to celebrate the continued progression of its soldiers. Congratulations to Capts Pugh, Robinson, Sparks and Stott, WO2 Kirk and LCpl Ferrini on their recent promotions. 2Lt Allcock has also recently commissioned and will join 221 Squadron in January following completion of the Regular Troop Commanders’ Course.

8 Mountain Biking AT in the Pentlands Poole. Both will be greatly missed and it is hoped they can return to be dined out appropriately in the coming months. Maj Francis and WO1 RSM Marquis are now in post and have been welcomed to Scotland and to 154 Regiment.

Looking ahead Ex MUDMASTER in late October is a highlight of the regimental driver training calendar. Despite some changes to organisation this year to allow for COVID-19 measures, it was very successful with a large number of teams competing. In February 2021, the Regt will run another smaller Annual Training Camp. Focus will then shift to preparing to be the lead Reserve unit for the 101 Log Bde FTX, Ex IRON VIPER. Changing personalities Over the summer period, the Regt said goodbye to the XO, Maj Ferguson and the RSM, WO1

8 Mounted training on ACT

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156 Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps LIVERPOOL CO: Lt Col K Haigh • Adjt: Capt A Maclaverty • RSM: WO1 R Armour Returning back to physical training, 156 Regt RLC adapted its forecast of events in order to conduct a myriad of experiences within a COVID-secure environment. The Regt completed: range packages, Adventurous Training (AT), soldier trade courses and Annual Continuous Training (ACT) which saw both exercise and enabling staff deploy over a two-week period to Sennybridge and Tenby. Ex SAVA DRAGON 5 – 19 Sept 20 After the cancellation of Ex SAVA STAR, Croatia, due to COVID-19, 156 Regt turned to Sennybridge to conduct the annual two-week ACT, Ex SAVA DRAGON which saw 124 members of the Regt deploy to Sennybridge covering: fieldcraft, a Logistic Supply Specialist (LSS) 3-2 upgrade course, Land Rover general service conversion training, helicopter extraction, Live Firing Marksmanship Training / Live Fire Tactical Training Defence shoots and a teambuilding AT phase at Tenby. The ACT fully delivered its aim of providing a professional, challenging and exciting course that increased the Regt’s capability, developed leadership and promoted a regimental ethos. Ex SAVA DRAGON was visited by 156 Regiment’s Honorary

8 Part of the exercise phase of Ex SAVA DRAGON

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Colonel, Mrs Lesley Martin-Wright JP DL and 101 Brigade’s Deputy Commander Reserves, Col M Simpson TD VR. Over a two-day period, the visitors were given the opportunity to get hands on with a Land Rover, fire a General Purpose Machine Gun, make an explosive charge and extract on a helicopter. Throughout ACT, seven students conducted the LSS upgrade 3-2 course which was conducted at 156 Regt and Grantham. Students covered topics such as: demands, receipts and issues, storage, stock and warehouse maintenance amongst other key skills expected of a RLC supplier. All of the students passed and deployed on the AT element of ACT where they conducted coasteering, mountain biking, kayaking, rock climbing, hill walking and sea fishing. Ex NORTHERN MASTERS DRAGON 15 – 21st Aug 20 Over a wet week in the middle of August and after the difficulties of organising an AT expedition throughout the ever-changing COVID-19 regulations, 15 members of 156 Regt deployed to Capel Curig to hone their trekking, leadership and navigational skills. Soldiers and officers of all ranks refined and supplemented their knowledge of leadership and safety in a week-long, mountain-based Adventure Training environment.

8 Personnel on Ex NORTHERN MASTERS DRAGON

The AT saw personnel build their confidence throughout the week, culminating in the summit of Cnicht on the final day. Weather, however, was not on their side and they were barraged with the worst Wales had to offer including thick mist, galeforce winds and horizontal rain which forced the group to abandon some of the more technical peaks. Nevertheless, the group used this as an opportunity to test their skills in adverse conditions and this left them thirsty for further AT packages. Looking forward Irrespective of the uncertainty with future COVID regulations, the Regt is working hard to ensure the forecast of events continues to be exciting, informative, motivating and challenging. The Regt held its annual Chalker Cup event at Swynnerton Training Camp on 10/11 Oct 20 which is a military and leadership event including patrol lanes, physical and mental command tasks, observation lanes, driving challenges and much more. There are also Annual Combat Marksmanship Training/Annual Fitness Test and leadership weekends throughout the next six months which will develop the soldiers’ fitness, technical and leadership abilities.

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157 (Welsh) Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps CARDIFF CO: Lt Col B D N Beaumont • Adjt: Capt A J Gutzu • RSM: WO1 R J Bould The Unit has bid farewell to RSM WO1 C Hunter who newly commissioned and joined 7 Regiment RLC, as well as Major AR Meek who departed for 13 Air Assault Support Regiment. In their places, RSM WO1 RJ Bould and Major DRO Jones are welcomed into the Welsh family. The Regiment’s Corps of Drums Whilst the recent lockdown measures dramatically impacted on all physical training, the Corps of Drums (CoD) quickly switched to Zoom, conducting fortnightly ‘Virtual Drum Training Sessions’ which have been extremely successful both in maintaining proficiency and testing the Drum Major’s IT skills! The CoD has quite literally drummed up more members during these unprecedented times with an extra four joining the ranks. Ex DRAGONS RESOURCE Some radical and innovative thinking by the Regiment’s G7 (training) team has facilitated the Regt's Annual Continuous Training (ACT) for this training year. Placing cohorts into ‘training bubbles’ allowed for Enhanced Pallet Loading System and Mechanical Handling Equipment courses, as well as a Class 3 to 2 upgrade. The Unit even conducted a battlefield tour of the Battle of Fishguard where the Regiment hosted Commander 160th (Welsh) Brigade, Deputy Commander 101 Logistic Brigade and the Regt's Honorary Colonel. Not only have the team adapted and overcome significant planning challenges, but the innovation and training has been truly invaluable.

objective. LCpl Rachel Moore, an Adventurous Training Instructor outside of the Army Reserves, organised a very challenging weekend. Ex DRAGON LIGHTNING, after months of lockdown and online training, was the perfect way for the Sqn to re-establish cohesion, reignite team spirit and build mental resilience. During the exercise, nerves were tested on the high ropes, accuracy verified on the archery range and resilience and teamwork validated during the bush craft phase - even the Squadon Headquarters managed to complete the Command Task without too many arguments! However, it was the infamous Llyn Mud run that truly tested mettle.

Post Lockdown - Making the most of what Wales has to offer… 224 Sqn RLC With access to the Defence Estate restricted post lockdown, 224 Sqn took to the green pastures of west Wales to fulfil the OC’s Command and Leadership Development

8 224 Sqn completing the Llyn Mud run

8 Soldier’s in 223 Sqn cycled 80 miles between Swansea and the Brecon Beacons

580 Sqn RLC At Newgale Sands Camp in west Wales, 580 Sqn pitched their tents on a chilly Saturday morning before heading out on the day’s challenge. Donning camouflaged clothing and being issued with body armour and a weapon may sound like a typical training weekend, however, Heatherton Park had something else in store for the weaponised officers and soldiers of 580 Sqn paintball! With officers and SNCOs versus everyone else, it turns out experience won the day with the ‘old and bold’ making a clean sweep - much to the dismay of the more junior members of the team. Finishing with PT on the beach and a bath in the Irish Sea, 580 Sqn headed home to their families to tell tales of paintball heroism and sqn cohesion. 223 Sqn RLC The Gower Peninsular has a great deal to offer any outdoor enthusiast so 223 Sqn’s soldiers didn’t need much encouragement to make the most of the opportunity on a typically damp August weekend. WO2 Leyton Griffiths led a team of road cyclists on an 80-mile tour that stretched from the Swansea coast to the borders of the Brecon Beacons. A hilly arduous trip on two wheels, the team sped across Wales showing real grit and determination.

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158 Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps PETERBOROUGH CO: Lt Col R Futter • Adjt: Capt S Milligan • RSM: WO1 P Anderson As has been experienced by the wider RLC, swift and bold adaptation has been the order of the day in 2020. They say change is the only certainty, so with that in mind, it makes sense to face it head on and when your training audience and instructors are suddenly isolated at home, innovation gets front and centre in your thinking quite quickly. A number of initiatives were identified to keep the Regiment’s training audience engaged and progressing. Communication Information Systems and remote working quickly became the glue that held the Regt together – for example, the use of the Strava App to ensure everyone stayed active. This included a competition to see which squadron could clock up the most miles and was duly won by 201 (Bedford) Sqn (bragging rights secured!). The NCOs of the Regt stepped up superbly delivering support to those deployed on Op RESCRIPT and also conducting virtual training via Zoom. From basic skills and drills to leadership lessons, the breadth of the ‘lockdown syllabus’ quickly expanded. The instructors excelled and the guys and girls of 158 Regt stayed engaged, current and competent, whilst still accruing training days and MATTs towards their annual bounty. The test of this came in October when the Regt participated in 102 Logistic Brigade’s 2020 Collective Training (CT) – Ex HALBERD DAWN 20, the first post-lockdown face to face training event. 158 Regt deployed a sqn of soldiers and officers across the plethora of activities required to deliver brigade level logistics in the field. Building on the essentials that were kept alive during lockdown, the Composite Log Sqn that was formed took their CT to the next level by focussing on Battle Craft Syllabus and trade craft, whilst also delivering the exercise Neutral Organisation capability. Looking forward to the new year, 62

8 Anti-ambush drills on Ex HALBERD DAWN 20

158 Regt has the lead for Ex LION STAR 4 in Cyprus, as well as supporting 6 Regt RLC on Op TOSCA. As ever, the Steelbacks will adapt and rise to new challenges as they present. A Reservist’s view on the national COVID-19 effort Major Rich Pelan RLC 2020 – a year that will not quickly be forgotten. As lockdown took effect, the mobilisation of reservists from 158 Regt started in the final week of March 20. While Officers and Warrant Officers provided military liaison roles to regional Local Resilience Forums, the Regt’s soldiers provided recce and planning capability to establish NHS Nightingale facilities across London and South East England. This was quickly followed by mobilisation of Reservists to support 7 Regiment RLC in the national testing programme. Major Daz Knight and I were mobilised to support 102 Logistic Brigade staff embedded in the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) at Westminster, just as the national testing programme was being initiated from a newly created military operations team. I found my own professional experience from the health sector to

8 Heading towards the DP on Ex HALBERD DAWN 20

be useful as a network was established with NHS leads to target the best locations for testing units. The complex layers of the local healthcare systems included commissioners, local Trusts and public health teams to which I was able to guide my team in finding the right decision makers at regional level, as well as de-coding health care language and abbreviations! As the restrictions started to ease, the number of Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) tests being conducted exceeded 14,000 per day which felt like a very significant accomplishment from a ‘scratch’ team. The MTUs were transferred to civilian contractors in July 20 and although short, my time assisting the national effort was very rewarding. I was particularly pleased to be able to use my civilian skills in a military context – exactly what the Army Reserves is all about.

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159 Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps COVENTRY CO: Lt Col S Dines • Adjt: Capt D Gibson • RSM: WO1 A Muir After several months of predominantly virtual training due to the COVID-19 lockdown, 159 Regiment RLC welcomed the return to face to face training at the beginning of September. Returning to training within the Army Reserve Centres allowed practical lessons and skills to be refreshed and to commence preparation for the Annual Continuous Training field exercise. Throughout the summer the Regt has wished fond farewell to: Capt Pearn, WO1 (RSM) Cabo, WO2 Allsopp, WO2 Evans, WO2 Korologa and SSgt's Guest, O'Neill and Beddoes. UK Resilience After the successful mobilisation of the first tranche of 10 reservists to support 7 Regiment RLC, at the beginning of Op RESCRIPT, a further tranche was deployed in July. Whether working as part of a mobile testing unit, in Regimental Ops or supporting the Quartermaster's Department, the opportunity to work closely with the Regt's Regular counterparts was thoroughly enjoyed by all. The Regt has also seen personnel mobilised for Projects PHOENIX and HERCULES, to support the training of Regular recruits at DST Leconfield and the G4 chain at MTMC(I) respectively. Training Throughout the summer, a series of progressive virtual training weekends were held, with lessons covering the combat estimate, virtual PT, virtual practical chef training and other trade related lessons. The Regt's agile instructors enabled training to quickly switch to on-line and they embraced a variety of delivery formats to ensure the training remained interesting and engaging. Throughout the summer, attendance remained high as the ability to dial into training events around civilian employment commitments remained popular. Going forward, it is essential that

elements of virtual training continue to capitalise on the lessons learnt throughout the lockdown. The Regt has continued to successfully embrace Defence Connect for internal communications with its dispersed workforce and to facilitate the delivery of training. In just a few months, the Regt has gone from a standing start to one of the most engaged units in the Army on Defence Connect. Well done to everyone for grasping the new ways of working and exploiting technology to make the Regt more agile and effective. Since September, the Regt has

8 Pte Campbell-Morris on Ex HALBERD DAWN

returned to face to face training for evening and weekend training events. It has also deployed 40 personnel to Salisbury Plain for Ex HALBERD DAWN 20, the 102 Logistic Brigade Annual Continuous Training exercise. This saw the Regt work closely with 158 Regiment RLC to enhance its soldier tradesman skills, while deployed in the field and operating in a COVID19 environment. For some this was the first opportunity to operate MJDI deployed in the field and proved to be an excellent opportunity to build the Regt’s capability. Looking forward Looking forward, the focus for the next few months will be the generation of a troop to deploy in April 2021 on Op TOSCA 34, to support 6 Regiment RLC. This will be an excellent opportunity to enhance the Regt's integration with its sister regiment, develop its professional knowledge and to generate a joint ethos. 8 Mat Tp on Ex HALBERD DAWN DAWN

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162 Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps NOTTINGHAM CO: Lt Col T Hope MBE • Adjt: Capt N Covington • RSM: WO1 J Parker For all the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been several opportunities that have presented themselves to 162 Regiment RLC. The Regt’s recruiting team has been working hard to find innovative new ways to both make and maintain contact with potential recruits. Their efforts have seen a number of reserve soldiers successfully pass out of basic training, with at least another 50 recruits on the books awaiting courses. Sub-units have also been quick to exploit opportunities in the virtual training environment, with all squadrons now incorporating a virtual training drill night at least once a month. The Sqns have hosted numerous events over virtual means, including quiz nights, MATTs, trade training and ALDP preparation. Another positive impact of the alternative training arrangements, has been the increased representation of national soldiers at both regimental and squadron training events. Physically attending weekly drill nights for a national soldier, who lives hundreds of miles from their sub-unit, is virtually impossible, however; by adopting virtual methods, attending training serials has become a realistic option. Looking forward, many of the practices that have been successful during lockdown will now become the normal, especially when it comes to recruiting and training. Though some areas have undoubtedly suffered, such as Mess life and the camaraderie associated with it, 162 Regt is making the best of a bad situation and looks forward to a return to normal; whatever that may look like. Support to the Regular Army Throughout the pandemic, 162 Regt has continued to mobilise reservists for operations. Soldiers have deployed on Op KIPION and Op TORAL, as well as six-month detachments to the Falkland Islands. Deployed personnel have 64

seamlessly fitted into the role, with several receiving high praise for their outstanding contributions. LCpl Kyei (280 Movement Control Squadron), was awarded the Commander British Forces Afghanistan coin, for his efforts during his recent deployment. 162 Regt is well on course to spend in excess of 1,800 Reserve Service Days (RSDs) on operations in the 20/21 financial year. Op RESCRIPT Maj Matt Pittaway (QM) has been deployed on Op RESCRIPT; the Armed Forces support for the national effort to defeat the Coronavirus. Under command of Joint Midlands Command (East)/7 Bde, he was the lead NHS and Military Liaison Officer who had sole responsibility for the COVID-19 Support Force response for Derbyshire.

8 LCpl Kyei (280 MC Sqn) with his Commander British Forces Afghanistan coin

8 Maj Pittaway and fellow Mil LO at Derbyshire County Hall

Based at the HQ Local Resilience Forum (LRF), County Hall, Derbyshire, he was able to bring his military leadership and planning experience to bear; quickly establishing strong and beneficial links across the disparate local civilian authorities, national organisations and local businesses in challenging circumstances. Gaining trust linking the civil authorities and the military was essential. “You quickly understood the requirement and were able to evaluate potential solutions and select not only the best option for the task, but also at the best value for money”, says Maj Pittaway. The attitude and drive he displayed, combined with advice and guidance he gave, was crucial to: the delivery of mobile test team deployment; PPE scheduling; test trace and Isolate planning, implementation and follow up on actions / communications. Latterly, he helped the NHS immunisation cell plan the mass flu and COVID19 vaccination roll-out. Throughout, he notes the logistics estimate was invaluable as a process. “It was a privilege, to work alongside the NHS and LRF in Derbyshire and to be able to add value to National crisis,” he adds. Maj Pittaway now has a far greater understanding of how UK operations are conducted during a crisis.

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165 Port & Maritime Regiment RLC PLYMOUTH CO: Lt Col R Williams • Adjt: Capt N Hand • RSM: WO1 S Ware As with all units in the Corps and wider Army, COVID-19 has had a profound impact on 165 Port and Maritime Regiment’s ability to train and operate effectively. The Regt is large, with a huge geographical footprint. It consists of six squadrons spread across five counties, adding complexity to communication and training at the best of times. The Regt has however adapted well to the current environment, using a mixture of technology and ingenuity to continue training and ensure cohesion between its departments. The virtual training program provided by the Sqns has proved a huge success, ensuring our soldiers remain engaged with the Regt throughout the lockdown period. It has also seen some re-engage with the unit after periods of non-attendance, paving the way for how training is conducted in the future. The virtual PT sessions have been particularly popular, seeing personnel logging on throughout the UK and as far away as Canada. September saw the Regt's first physical training evenings conducted since March, with strong attendance and many new faces for attestations. This shows that the work of the recruiting and engagement teams has paid off, despite the lack of face to face contact. The Regt’s Annual Continuous Training (ACT) package, was run

8 Maj Jenkin boards the 0445 to Paddington

during October. After much deliberation, this was conducted in a dispersed manner by sub-units, ensuring the right balance between training conducted and safety. This saw 142 Sqn supporting projects in Ashchurch; 232 and 265 Sqns carrying out special-to-arm training in Bodmin and RAF St Mawgan; 266 Sqn training with their regular counterparts in the SMC at Marchwood and Longmoor training camp and 710 Sqn supporting several larger exercises. This included Ex LOYAL LEDA which supported HQ ARCC. All these smaller training packets proved to be a huge success and ensured the Regt maintained currency and competency in its numerous trades, despite the restrictions in place. The event was a huge success with over 100 soldiers taking part and qualifying for their annual certificate of efficiency. The ACT was greatfully received by the reserves after lockdown one and as previously mentioned, it saw some long-term non-attenders reengage. The past several months have proved to be incredibly challenging for the Regt, but also a great opportunity for innovation.

8 ACT saw units exercise at dispersed locations

The Regt has embraced the opportunity to operate with new technologies and find imaginative ways to carry out training. These will prove valuable going into the new year where the Regt will use all the lessons learnt to prepare for its deployment to Cyprus for Exercise LION STAR in May. Regardless of how long COVID restrictions remain, the Regt will come out the other end of the crisis stronger, more efficient and more capable of carrying out its role in the modern operating environment. The Regt supported the reduced Remembrance activities due to COVID restrictions, imposed during lockdown two. Although Parades could not go ahead, virtual poems and videos were made, along with individuals holding small services on their own or within family groups. Maj David Jenkin was asked to carry out a unique event, by putting a wreath on a train from Penzance to London at 0445hrs on Armistice Day, so it would arrive in time to be laid at the Cenotaph on behalf of the Army in Cornwall.

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167 Catering Support Regiment RLC GRANTHAM CO: Lt Col J Young • Adjt: Capt J Gajdus • RSM: WO1 P Jordan 167 Catering Support Regiment RLC comprises of Army Reserve soldiers and officers. Like all Reserve personnel, its soldiers are required to complete certain training requirements throughout the year to achieve their Certificate of Efficiency. For a national regiment like 167, this training is delivered by means of training weekends and an Annual Continuous Training Camp. Reserve soldiers have different needs to Regular soldiers when planning training, as their wide dispersal around the country must be taken into account. This has obvious impacts in a COVID-19 environment and was a key consideration in planning training over the last few months. The training that 167 Regiment delivered during lockdown began with three squadron-delivered training weekends. What made these special is that they were entirely virtual; all lessons were delivered over Zoom, supported by Kahoot and Facebook Live. Starting with a virtual parade to account for all attendees, confirm the structure of the day and clarify what was expected of participants, the first lesson, as normal, was morning PT - planned and delivered by the Regimental PTIs. Basic soldiering skills were then covered, with the Squadron Sergeant Majors overseeing the training programme to ensure it was appropriately structured and suitably delivered. Subjects as varied as diversity and inclusion, Fire Control Orders, JPA skills, report writing, battlefield

8 The two-week training camp took place at Penally Training Camp, Pembrokeshire

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casualty drills, bike maintenance and of course, cookery classes, were delivered. Every opportunity to complete MATTs training was taken to further assist in soldiers meeting the necessary requirements. The Regiment was honoured by an appearance from the Army Sergeant Major himself, who delivered a brief and answered all questions the soldiers posed to him. These weekends were in preparation for the two-week training camp. Initially planned to take place in Sennelager, COVID-19 forced the Regiment to look closer to home. Fortunately, a forwardthinking training team had looked into alternatives early in the planning process and were able to secure Penally Training Camp in Pembrokeshire in August 20. Endorsed by a physical inspection from 1 (UK) Div Environmental Health team, a socially distanced training package was developed. The plan was to conduct two tranches of the same eight-day package, delivered to six ‘households’, each with six training personnel. This approach greatly minimised potential for cross-infection in the group, making it suitably safe for all involved. The round-robin format of the training meant that all households could conduct each aspect of training in a controlled manner and the groups moved through MATTs, ranges,

8 An improvised cooking stand, part of the socially distanced training package

radio-user and improvised and field cookery stands. The necessity of small groups also meant that there was time to pay close attention to individual skills and training needs. There was an extra logistic burden to taking such care, for example the range package was delivered to one household of six firers at a time, but 24 weapons were required to ensure that a 72-hour quarantine period for each handled weapon was observed before anyone else picked it up. This, and every other mitigation, had been devised between the training team and the appropriate medical authority to ensure COVID-19 compliance. The culmination of training was a Defence Engagement Catering Competition in which teams competed to produce afternoon tea and a fine-dining lunch experience suitable for VIP feeding to showcase the skills of the competitors. As one of the first regiments in the Army to train away from barracks under COVID-19 restrictions, 167 Regiment has set a precedent and a new standard for what can be achieved in these trying times and it looks forward to continuing with this resilient and innovative approach in upcoming training weekends, whilst blending with the flexibility of new ways of working.

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Allied Rapid Reaction Corps Support Battalion (ARRC) GLOUCESTERSHIRE CO: Lt Col I Sands REME • Adjt: Capt J Crowley • RSM: WO1 W Hall Following the impacts of COVID19, Allied Rapid Reaction Corps Support Battalion has jumped straight back into routine, working in the ‘new normal’ environment. The Battalion switched focus from Op RESCRIPT to Ex LOYAL LEDA 20, recalling both Mobile Testing Units (MTUs) and bringing all personnel together to begin training and executing the Regiments mission: to deploy, protect and sustain the 3* ARRC HQ. In the wake of COVID-19, the Battalion continues to ensure personal development, with physical training, MATTs, Adventurous Training and sports being organised and conducted once more. Op RESCRIPT Members of the Battalion’s MTUs were awarded a certificate of thanks from the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, for their efforts in assisting with the fight against coronavirus. The two teams, made up of personnel from 14 Squadron, deployed to two county areas in South Wales, Glamorganshire and Powys, led by SSgt Tilak Pun (QGE) and Sgt Ashish Malla (QGE). Lt Colonel Mark Jolly, Guest of Honour, who acted as one of the Medical Liaison Officers, presented the certificates to the personnel.

Mastiff Commanders’ Course Despite restrictions caused by COVID-19, the ARRC Support Battalion Training Wing ensured the Mastiff course was organised and delivered back in July. Six members of Forward Support Troop completed the essential Commanders’ Course for the platform. This has allowed the Troop to be fully capable along with the arrival of the Mastiff back in January and the Mastiff Crew Driver Course being completed in March. This has fully qualified Forward Support Troop to become part of Commander ARRC’s Tactical Mobility Support Group, ensuring COMARRC has flexibility, situational awareness and communications across his Area of Operations.

8 Training for Ex LOYAL LEDA 20 at Lulworth Camp

Ex FLYING SPEAR 20 With the implications imposed by COVID-19, ARRC Support Battalion was forced to adapt preparations for Ex LOYAL LEDA 20. However, in just over a week, 14 Sqn carried out Ex FLYING SPEAR, constructing the Rear Command Post (CP) and a quadrant of the Main CP at Imjin Barracks. The exercise was visited by ARRC Commander Lt General Sir Edward Smyth-Osbourne KCVO CBE and 1st (UK) Signal Brigade Commander Brigadier John Collyer during the construction and completion of the Rear CP build. The exercise was a great success and allowed the whole of 14 Sqn to operate together in what is the Battalion’s ‘new normal’. Looking forward On the back of Ex LOYAL LEDA, the Battalion looks to continue to seize training opportunities and maintain a safe working environment and will continue to stay at readiness for any additional taskings required in the midst of COVID-19. On a lighter note, members of the Battalion are hoping to be successful at this year’s Army Alpine Championship and Ex SKI RLC 21. 8 Preparation for Ex LOYAL LEDA 20 (Forward Support Troop, 14 Squadron)

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132 Aviation Supply Squadron Royal Logistics Corps IPSWICH OC: Maj K Desai • SSM: WO2 G Fisher With the global pandemic taking hold, 132 Squadron quickly adapted to a new way of working. There was little rest for the Sqn who had to maintain their functional output of providing Equipment Support Materiel to the Army Air Corps (AAC) so they could maintain pilot currency. The Sqn quickly moved into a shift rotation which managed its outputs accordingly whilst allowing for its 24-hour Logistic Focal Point (LFP) service to endure. With social distancing measures in place and many of the Sqn dispersed, 132, like so many others, had to learn new ways of interacting and maintaining contact with its soldiers. From grading boards held over Skype, to PT delivered over Zoom, the Sqn quickly adapted to the ‘new normal’ - looking to seize every opportunity to innovate how it does business. Whilst it had a limited impact in the UK Armed Forces response to COVID-19, the Sqn successfully maintained a key output to Defence throughout the lockdown months – the attack helicopter fleet. Whilst many saw the lockdown as a momentary pause and chance to spend time at home with family, some of the Sqn’s soldiers used this

8 Cpl Enoegbe completed the Run for Heroes five times under CAMBRIS

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newfound ‘white space’ to conduct a whole host of activities. The most notable contribution was the work of Cpl Ivo Enoegbe, who completed the Run for Heroes five times whilst under the umbrella of the network of British soldiers of Cameroonian heritage (CAMBRIS). Whilst only a small contribution, his effort helped CAMBRIS members to cover a total of 1,300km, raise over £2,000 and nominate more than 250 participants in six different countries over a period of two weeks. In true 132 Sqn ethos, the soldiers rallied to numerous causes during the lockdown period helping to raise money for the NHS and those less fortunate. Return to training Following the initial lockdown period, the Sqn witnessed a slow burning return to training. This saw a team of four deploy out to Otterburn training area in support of the Apache Conversion to Role (CTR) team on Ex LIGHTNING FORCE; an exercise designed to train new Apache pilots in various scenarios. The Sqn also provided support to Ex BACCARAT in the south of France, Ex OLETHRION GREY in Scotland, and A/Cpl Kris Kirby returned to Canada to complete his six-month detachment to 12 Flight in BATUS. Much to everyone’s despair however, Ex PINION DAWN (CRIMSON EAGLE) in California

8 Pte Ahmed deployed to Otterburn on Ex LIGHTNING FORCE

was cancelled. Going forward however, the Sqn is looking forward to Ex CLOCKWORK 21 as this sees it yet again supporting Attack Helicopter training within the arctic circle. E-Model transition Closer to home, the Sqn has seen the E-Model transition kicking into place with the latest upgraded Apache Helicopters due to start arriving in Wattisham towards the end of the year. This has seen an expanse in real estate and responsibilities, with 132 Sqn eagerly poised to face the challenges involved with bringing new equipment into service. As the Army’s only Aviation Supply Squadron, 132 is going to be at the heart of all supply matters as the Emodel transition progresses. With that in full swing, the Sqn is looking to deploy on Adventurous Training to Castle Martin later this year and up to York on a battlefield study, proving it’s not all just work in Wattisham. Welcomes/farewells The Sqn has received its new SSM, WO2 Graham Fisher and said goodbye to Captain D Titley who has now been replaced by Major Ketan Desai. The Sqn wishes them all the very best of luck going forward in their new appointments.

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British Forces Brunei - RLC Logistic Support BRUNEI SO3 Log Sp: Capt N Kelsey • GSM: WO1 Khem Ollivierre Brunei reported its first case of COVID-19 on 9 Mar 20, a few months into a pandemic ravaging much of the world. On 17 Mar 20, the Brunei Ministry announced that any individual including British Forces Brunei (BFB) personnel - arriving in Brunei would have to self-isolate for 14 days. Later the same week, Ministry of Home Affairs (Brunei) further tightened controls, in line with much of the world and closed some social amenities. This led to a significant number of stranded service personnel, both in the UK and across the world, who were waiting to return to their families in Brunei. This crisis meant logistics operators faced unprecedented challenges, due to the significant reduction of international flights, including cancellation of all Civil Air Transport and a delay in sea freight. This led to a slowdown in the movement of essential goods, including medical supplies from the UK. Brunei, due to its geographical location, faced logistical bottleneck restrictions on the flow of material. This adversely affected the freight capacity, to support the UK’s major strategic location in South East Asia. The first few weeks of the pandemic made it clear to the BFB, what an essential role transportation and logistics plays for our community. Services such as postal, med log, and a lack of ES spares for vehicles and the Bell 212 helicopters, were first amongst the many issues that were faced. The

arrival of post in early April, was a morale boost for the BFB community and BFPO 11 worked efficiently to handle this workload. Optimising the stock movement, demands planning to reduce frequency cycle and inventory management, were few a steps that were implemented from an early stage. Local procurement was also utilised effectively, to enhance allocated capacity on the air transportation links. Operational capacity of BFB was sustained by 10 strategic air transportation links to and from the UK over four months. During this period RAF C17 Globemasters transported a Bell 212 helicopter to Brunei to aid jungle training and the Jungle Warfare Division that runs courses for all members of the British Army. A dedicated website, active social media pages and regular updates from BFBS Brunei, has helped to achieve the

8 The Bell 212 being offloaded in Brunei Commander’s intent and also to enhance the community’s situational awareness, while maintaining the operational capacity of BFB. Scarcity of consumable goods and more demand for essential goods, were amongst the many challenges that were faced by a BFB community, that was 11,000km from home. A resilient supply chain has been established since and routine flights are in operation to support BFB personnel. COVID-19 forced a rapid and precise adjustment to the existing supply chain within a short period in Brunei Garrison; no mean feat when supporting over 2,000 people. An important lesson that was learned during this pandemic, was how logistics will have to react with agility and flexibility to new situations in future events, even during non-operational circumstances. General Sir Nick Carter, CDS described Coronavirus has been the “single greatest logistic challenge” he has seen in 40 years of service and this was certainly felt in Brunei. A further study of transportation and logistics vulnerabilities that developed during lockdown, will play an important role in future Defence operations. 8 BFPO 11 finally received mail in April

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Bicester Garrison ST GEORGE'S BARRACKS, ARNCOTT CO: Lt Col AJ Atherton RLC • Adjt: Capt (Retired) K Jessop • RSM: WO1 K Poole Located on the border of Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, Headquarters Bicester Garrison is based in Saint George’s Barracks, Arncott. The HQs primary role is to provide Firm Base support to Units, support UK operations and community engagement. The whole force population of the Garrison is over 1,500 personnel – 50% military, 17% civil servants and 33% are contractors. Annually (pre-COVID-19), the Garrison welcomes over 5,500 cadets and military students to attend courses and training. In Jun 20, HQ Bicester Garrison bid farewell to the WO1 (GSM) A Lodwig RLC and welcomed WO1 (GSM) K Poole RLC, who arrived on completion of appointment as RSM 154 (Scots) Regt RLC. The HQ and staff would like to thank WO1 A Lodwig for all he has done for the Garrison and wish him and his family the best of luck for the future. In September, the Garrison had the honour to host the Commander 11 Infantry Brigade Brig B Cattermole MBE. This was his first visit and the Brigadier spent a busy day with Team Bicester Garrison. During the visit, he received updates on the initiatives to improve and enhance the lived experience of the Garrison's service personnel and their families. He enjoyed a tour of the estate, which included a brief from Sgt Harbour on the Clay Target Range (CTR) build project. Later in the day, he met the Garrison Conservation Officer, Mr Gary Beckett and Dr Nicole Pascale and Miss Holly Williams from the Fresh Water Habitat Trust, who briefed him on Project Neptune, which is designed to deliver pond habitat creation and restoration around the Garrison. COVID-19 The pandemic has caused significant upheaval and disruption to the efforts of the Bicester Garrison Support Unit. It is testament to the team’s dedication 70

and professionalism that they have continued to deliver excellent standards of real life support throughout. Of note, during this challenging time, the Bicester Garrison MPGS Platoon were awarded a Commander 11 Infantry Brigade Commendation for their valuable service during Op RESCRIPT. Two cup finals (in one day) The Garrison was incredibly proud to host both the Army FA Women’s Inter-Corps, Edwards cup final and the Men’s Minor Units cup final. After a week of intensive preparation led by the QMSI, WO2 S Lingwood and the Bicester Garrison Support Unit, a new pitch was ready. The Edwards cup final was contested by the Army Medical

8 Dr Nicole Pascale and Miss Holly Williams (Freshwater Habitat Trust) briefing Brigadier BJ Cattermole MBE (Comd 11 Inf Bde and HQ South East) on Project NEPTUNE

8 Major General D Crook presents the AMS with the Edwards Cup

8 Sgt Kevin Harbour briefing Brigadier BJ Cattermole MBE (Comd 11 Inf Bde and HQ South East) on the Garrison Clay Target Range Project Services (AMS) and Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) and it did not disappoint. After a thrilling, competitive and hardfought match, the AMS were victorious (3v2); retaining the Edwards Cup for a second successive year. The Army Minor Units cup final between Armoured Centre and 34 Field Hospital followed and after a fiercely competitive match, Armoured Centre were victorious (3 v Nil). It was fantastic to host representative football in Bicester and the Garrison looks forward to the next competition.

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Logistic Support Squadron CLR RM BARNSTAPLE OC: Maj M Murphy • SSM: WO2 T Ormiston It has been a busy few months for Logistic Support Squadron. With innovative thinking and forward planning, troops have overcome many hurdles placed by COVID-19. This included splitting the Sqn into shifts to maintain second line support to Brigade and was managed through online learning and relentless fitness competitions on Strava. Alongside this, the three regular Troops in the Sqn have re-formed, the first step in being able to provide more flexible support to the Bde in both their current role and also with an aim to be lighter and operate at greater reach in support of the Future Commando Force. Seaton Troop, which is in the generate phase of readiness, has been flat out delivering exercises for both trade and green skills. Recently it deployed to Salisbury Plain to work on driver training and troop operating procedures. This exercise was tailored towards progressing junior leaders, giving Cpls, LCpls and even Pte soldiers a chance to lead from the front. This has included navigating by day and night, leading attacks and delivering orders. Back in camp, the Troop has worked tirelessly to ensure the second-line accounts are prepared for LSA&I, ensuring they are compliant with law and policy, as well as demonstrating value for money where appropriate. Ajax Troop, currently the operate troop, has also conducted CT1 training in both Sennybridge and on Salisbury Plain, as well as completing live firing on both pistol and GPMG, crucial to being able to provide their own force protection whilst deployed. Most recently the Troop has deployed lead elements to Norway in preparation for 3 Cdo Bde’s annual winter deployment in early 2021. Dieppe Troop, who provide petroleum operators to the Bde, has split teams and attached them to Seaton and Ajax Tps throughout, in order to test the Future

8 OC LS Sqn briefing Comd 3 Cdo Bde RM on the CSS capabilities the Malloy Drone offers the FCF Commando Force early planning assumptions. In this construct, 12-man teams integrate with others from across CLR to directly support 40 and 45 Commandos. In this role, they are at the cutting edge of new capability, experimenting with the Malloy drones to deliver supplies to units at reach, new fuel systems that make the Bde more versatile and ways to reduce the burden and amount of Log IS they need to carry to conduct their role in the field. If that wasn’t enough change for one term, the Sqn has also said farewell to its OC, Maj Clive Allford; 2IC, Capt Laura Brookes and WO1 Tech, WO1 Chris Brett. The Sqn wishes them all the best for the future and welcomes its new OC, Maj Martin Murphy and WO1 Tech, WO1 Billy Mallinson back to the Sqn. Pre-Commando Package (PCP) LS Sqn, on behalf of Commando Logistic Regiment Royal Marines, is a main donor unit for the All Arms Commando Course (AACC). The PCP is a four-week course that develops both military knowledge

and physical fitness in order to give students the best opportunity to pass the AACC. The PCP is a progressive yet demanding course starting on day one with an eightmile loaded march carrying 25kg and the Royal Marine Basic Fitness Test that includes five pull ups, 50 sit ups and a three-mile booted, best effort run. Candidates should arrive being able to easily pass both within the allotted time frames. If you feel you have what it takes to earn the coveted green beret and serve in 3 Cdo Bde, contact the Chief Instructor, SSgt Birley at: craig.birley175@mod.gov.uk

8 Outgoing OC LS Sqn, Maj Clive Allford (right) hands over to Maj Martin Murphy

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British Army Training Unit KENYA SO2 CSS: Major RJ Crane MBE • BOWO: WO1 K Patterson The onset of the global pandemic resulted uncertain times for the families moving to Larkhill from Kenya to set up home until given the all clear to return. The Kenyan Government stated that schools would not reopen until Jan 21, so returning families had to apply for schooling in Larkhill. Thankfully, enough space was available to facilitate, giving the children some much needed interaction with their peer group and giving their parents a deserved break from homeschooling. BATUK has been working throughout the pandemic ensuring preparations continue to host the exercising Battlegroups in Jan 21, albeit with reduced manpower and new safety procedures in place. The manpower will gradually increase with TDS deploying just in time to see the Maint-Sail arrive in November, with a resupply of equipment followed by the reverse supply chain with backloading to go back to the UK. The RLC team at BATUK said farewell to the WO2 Dresa and welcomed the new Log WO, WO2 Chapman. Second line ES stores account is working in three locations. Larkhill has managed to secure office space and is working remotely with a Field Service Pack (FSP) to monitor activity on the account with Cpl Little carrying out provisioning for BATUK as well as providing G4 assistance with the move of ISO containers from the UK to BATUK. In Nyati Barracks, a small team of military is keeping BATUK on track with SSgt Hudson managing all the LEC’s and issuing spares to regenerate the BATUK fleet, as well as receiving resupplies of material daily. LCpl Limbu is maintaining the Direct Repair Scheme (DRS) contract within BATUK, liaising with Van Kapple. At Kifaru Barracks, a small team is in place to VITAL all items in and out to ensure that they are tracked correctly as well as maintaining the POL stock levels for the whole of 72

BATUK. The Ammunition Technicians are working hard to ensure that the SLED ammunition is prepared for demolition or sent back to the UK on the Maint-Sail to allow more room in the Ammunition Depot for fresh in date stocks to be replenished for the Battlegroup arriving in January. The catering department has been busy throughout, with Op PINEAPPLE being called to ensure that BATUK personnel are being feed three quality meals a day. This has been done with reduced manning and by implementing new measures in the cookhouse, such

8 LCpl Limbu has maintained the DRS contract

8 Some AT provides a welcome respite as one-way systems, socially distanced seating and more hand-wash facilities, to reduce the risk of COVID. Although they have been busy, they have had time to carry out some well-deserved Adventurous Training. ATLO staff are welcoming families without children back to Kenya in the staged process to get BATUK back to the new normal. New safety precautions and measures have been put in place for personnel arriving in Kenya, such as temperature checks, ensuring that the bus seating is spaced out and social distanced. MT is split between Larkhill and BATUK, providing support to families in the UK such as admin runs to the shops and helping those families whose other halves are still in BATUK carrying out critical roles. BATUK MT staff are delivering vehicle training to new personnel arriving in Kenya, to ensure training and competencies are up to date, in addition to servicing the fleet. It has been business as usual for the Postal and Courier trade. All locations are receiving mail and they have provided a chip and pin service to allow soldiers to draw money. Cpl Mwandira has been putting in the hours to ensure that mail makes the milk run to Nanyuki and BATUK is receiving mail at the earliest opportunity.

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Joint Helicopter Support Squadron (JHSS) BENSON, OXFORDSHIRE OC: Maj J Wells • SSM: WO2 P Devine

Op NEWCOMBE is the UK task force in Mali assisting French and EU forces. The Joint Helicopter Support Squadron is deployed as part of 1310 Flight, consisting of 90 personnel in a Tri-Service environment supporting the CH-47 Chinooks of 27 Sqn RAF. Pte Matthew Peterson RLC talks about his experiences serving in sub-Saharan Africa. “I have been in the Army for five years and Op NEWCOMBE is my first operational tour. JHSS deploy as a five-man Helicopter Handling Team (HHT) with a mix of cap badges and services, including RLC, REME, AAC and RAF. Despite different backgrounds and training, having a wide variety of experience within the team has had a positive impact throughout our tour. Our job is to organise and enable the transport of essential supplies for the French troops to their Forward Operating Bases (FOBs). This is done by either loading the kit inside the Chinook, or through underslung loads. The loads vary from complex loads such as vehicles, to routine supplies such as food and water. The vehicles usually require to be underslung, which involves meticulous planning and ‘rigging’, to ensure it is safe in flight. When we have a task, we normally split down into two teams, with two doing the actual hooking of the load on to the hook underneath the helicopter and two to go and retrieve the net after

movement. We also have to handle passengers, to ensure they are given the safety brief, and they are moving on and off the aircraft safely and quickly. Day to day life in Mali is different to our work at home. Sandy conditions when rigging the load make it more difficult in terms of visibility (the downwash of the Chinook blows a lot of dust into the air). Despite this, it is mainly the heat that affects our operations. 40 degrees in full kit working in the direct sun can mean you do get a sweat on! This is why it was so important for us to prepare physically before deployment. On a quiet day for tasking, the team usually go to the gym or the local bar for a soft drink (it is rumoured the French have over 100 bars here with only three of them being ‘official’, so I think when it comes to morale they have it covered!), or just chill out and watch a movie on BFBS. A couple of the team usually go and play touch rugby on Wednesdays and Saturdays, which is good fun, and a great way to keep morale high. The flight also organises sports tournaments, which only serves to bolster the JHSS competitive spirit; that Beach Volleyball championship is ours for the taking! In my down time, I have taken it upon myself to integrate and socialise with the other nationalities through sports such as rugby. Because JHSS deploy all over the

8 1310 Flight on Op NEWCOMBE world, I feel it’s important to take the time to understand the local culture. I am trying to learn conversational French, to improve my skills, so that next time I go away, I can hold my own even more so on the rugby pitch. This tour has been a huge learning experience for me and has improved my knowledge and trade skills ready for my return to JHSS in the UK. I have seen first-hand how our contribution alongside the CH-47 has supported our French allies, by providing a heavy lift capability. JHSS is a unique sqn with so many opportunities to deploy and I am looking forward to sharing my experience with the newest incumbents on the sqn when I return.”

8 JHSS hooking a load in the dust and heat

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2 Operational Support Group RLC (2OSG) GRANTHAM CO: Lt Col A Chambers • RSM: WO1 M Hobson As a highly unusual year draws to a close, 2 Operational Support Group RLC shows no signs of slowing down and is at the forefront in delivering logistic support to operations and exercises. Since April, we have had 16 officers and soldiers deployed the length and breadth of the country on Op RESCRIPT. They have undertaken a multitude of MACA tasks including deployment within several Military Liaison Teams supporting various departments within the NHS and providing Real Life Support (RLS) to Headquarters Standing Joint Command (UK) (HQSJC(UK)). In all instances, they have been able to utilise their military and civilian skills, adaptability and expertise to support local government and NHS Trusts in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Outstanding contributions from four members of 500 Comms Tp currently mobilised as part of the HQSJC(UK) RLS were recognised by the award of ‘The Commander’s Coin’ presented by Lt Gen Tyrone Urch CBE. The Group is also pleased that WO2 (SQMS) Booton was awarded the Brigade Commander’s Commendation for his outstanding work in support of Op RESCRIPT. In August, it was decided to follow the FOE and run two MATTS events at Beckingham training camp. Although limited in numbers and with strict FHP measures in place, the training weekends were a great success and more than 50 members of the Unit were able to achieve MATTS qualifications for the current training year. Buoyed by this success and subsequent BEAVER WORKS weekend in early September, the Group was able to plan and hold an Annual Continuous Training (ACT) period in late September. Sport & AT Although drastically curtailed due to COVID-19, the Group got mobilised reservists, Ptes Shaw 74

and Ward from 500 Communication Troop, away on a basic parachuting course. Farewells and welcomes The Group bid farewell to the CO Lt Col Aidan Hoey RLC who leaves the Group after three years to take up a new position within 77 Bde. WO1 (RSM) Andy Clayton has moved on to command a troop in 156 Regt RLC and SSgt (Reg) Maskell has surprised us all by joining the MPGS. WO2 John (Griff) Griffin and Sgt Christopher Woods both from 498 LSU have retired from the Army Reserve and WO2 (Debs) Penny is leaving to become the SNCO Army Diversity Engagement at the Army Engagement Group. The Group welcomes Lt Col Andrew Chambers RLC, who assumed command of the Group on 10 Oct 20. Lt Col John Gaudoin

8 Lt Col Turkington presenting the Group’s plaque to NHS Forth Valley staff

8 WO2 Booton receiving the Bde Comd’s Commendation from the CO

RLC has taken over as the Senior Officer 499 Contract Management Unit and Major Andy Cox has taken over as the Group’s Executive Officer (XO). And finally, Congratulations must go to WO1 (SSM) Mark Hobson RLC on his appointment as the Group RSM. Recruitment Despite the lockdown, the RRMT has seen an increase in requests for information about joining the Reserves. The RSUSO and his team have been manning the virtual recruiting stand on the internet and have seen over 3,500 expressions of interest from service leavers and civilians wanting to know more about 2 OSG RLC. 8 2 OSG RLC is a nationally recruited unit based in Grantham with a minimum training requirement of 19 days per annum, although most complete far more. We offer real-time roles supporting HQ ARRC, labour support and contract management across the Field Army and communications support to the Army Medical Services (Reserve) Field Hospitals. For further information or to arrange a visit, call the RRMT on 0115 957 3137.

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20 Transport Squadron The Royal Logistic Corps LONDON OC: Maj M Pasalk • SSM: WO2 B Griffiths This has been an interesting time for 20 Transport Squadron RLC, as it adapts to the ‘new normal’ while continuing to support Op RESCRIPT, State Ceremonial and Public Duties. Op RESCRIPT The Sqn continued its support to UK Resilience tasks, not only loaning vehicles to the COVID-19 Support Force, but also by directly supporting the Chelsea Pensioners and the Royal Hospital Chelsea, by establishing a transport network to provide safe and reliable movement for their doctors, carers and nurses. The efforts of many of the Sqn's drivers were rightly recognised; with Cpl ‘Blue’ McKay, LCpls Aled Harvey and Kawaljeet Singh and Ptes Josh Wood, Kevin Didcote, Sagar Gurung and Karl Burton, being singled out for praise by the Governor of the hospital. The Sqn’s support to London was not limited to the Royal Hospital Chelsea, as it also provided the same service for other NHS establishments and hospitals in the London area. Other tasks also included distributing PPE to London units and the Sqn remains prepared and ready to start supporting mass testing as required in the future. State Ceremonial and Public Duties Enabling State Ceremonial and Public Duties remained at the core of the Sqn's business, as well as supporting the Public Duties Incremental Companies; all vital outputs for London District and the nation. As the country knuckled down and went into lockdown, the Sqn continued to support the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, St James’ Palace and the Tower of London. As we started to emerge between the lockdowns, the nation stepped up its ’ceremonial ask’ on Defence and the Sqn switched its attention to supporting the Festival of Remembrance, the National Act of Remembrance at the Cenotaph and various Guards of Honour for

Iraqi, Lebanese and Ukrainian delegations. A well done to Ben Stratful and his team of coach drivers in B Troop, for their efforts. Ultra-low emissions vehicles At pace, the Sqn has been replacing its vehicle fleet with Ultralow emissions vehicles (ULEV) and the Sqn is now the proud owner of 10 pure electric cars, with a further roll-out of hybrid and electric vehicles on its way. The Sqn is developing the working process for the vehicles and understanding lessons on how to use and operate a ULEV fleet. As the first Army subunit with a massed ULEV fleet, the Sqn is proud to be pioneering the way for London District and the wider Army. This has been an eye opener, as the drivers begin to understand and utilise the new vehicle platforms, which by the feel are very different to drive compared to a conventional vehicle! Royal taskings The Queen’s Baggage Train remains an active part of the Sqn's core tasks and despite the challenges of

8 The OC briefs the Sqn on working through the 'new normal'

operating in a COVID-19 environment, it was able to safely execute support to Her Majesty the Queen’s Balmoral Summer Court. This remains a fantastic and exciting opportunity to closely support the Royal Family through the summer period. Well done to Cpl ‘Blue’ McKay, Ptes Barry RiggsHolland, Sheldon Robertson and Allie Jaward for delivering outstandingly on the task this year. Farewells and welcomes The Sqn bids farewell to SSgt Mark Singleton, Sgt Gavin Halliday, LCpls Kawaljeet Singh and Aled Harvey, Ptes Sagar Gurung and Karl Burton as they embark on their next assignments and extendz a warm welcome to B Troop Commander, WO2 Ratu Volavola, SSgt John Tully, Cpl Abdoulie Jobe, LCpls Jack Asquith and Krishna Gurung as well as Pte Natalie Quinn; who also deserves a huge congratulations for being selected for promotion to LCpl, alongside Pte Ollie Coles.

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THE SUSTAINER | EX TIGER THREE PEAKS

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Exercise TIGER THREE PEAKS Ex TIGER THREE PEAKS was a Level Three AT expedition which saw six RLC and six REME and RLC from 13 Fd Coy, 6 Armd CS Bn REME, travel to Nepal to conduct a 15-day trek with the aim of reaching Everest Base Camp. The expedition was organised by two RLC NCOs. Cpl Pun-Magar was expedition OIC assisted by expedition 2IC, Sgt Thapa. The location coupled with remoteness meant it was classed as High Risk and Remote (HR&R). 12 months in the planning, Ex TIGER THREE PEAKS fulfilled all its aims. Due to the expedition’s classification, (HR&R) Distribution Training (DT) was granted by ATG(A) (Adventurous Training Group (Army)) for a Summer Mountain Foundation (SMF) course and this was a first for the Battalion. Day 1 – 3. By Capt Holmes On the evening of the 12 Mar 20, the team left Tidworth and headed to London Heathrow, where we flew to Kathmandu via Dubai. We arrived in Kathmandu late the next day, with hours to spare before the country’s borders was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team was met by our mountain guides, who took us to the British Gurkha’s Camp on the other side of the city, where we stayed for the next two nights. We had an early night getting ready for a day of exploring the next day. Day three saw the team conduct some acclimatisation, as the city is at an altitude of 1,400m. With the help of a tour guide, in the morning we visited Patan Durbar Square and the ancient Royal Palace. Afterwards, we were treated to a Tibetan singing bowl experience. Our day finished by visiting the Swayambhunath Stupa (Monkey Temple) consisting of some incredible Buddhist architecture, shrines, temples and stunning panoramic views of the city. Day 4 – 6. By LCpl Sugden, Cfn Linsell and Pte Rai The trek began on the 15 Mar 20 with a flight from Kathmandu to 76

Lukla, one of the world’s most dangerous airports. The planes were so small that the group had to be divided into two and fly separately. Once airborne, we got to see some magnificent sights surrounding Kathamandu and as we approached the Everest trekking region. With the team reunited at Lukla, we began the first leg of our journey taking us to Phakding, five hours away. The first leg saw us descend from 2,860m down to 2,600m, enabling us to begin to acclimatise before we started the sustained ascent into the mountains. Once at our destination, we ate some local Dal Bhat (Nepalese lentil curry) and got an early night knowing the next day was going to be one of the hardest. Bright and early the next morning the team assembled, planned the route over breakfast and nominated who was going to take the lead for each leg. From Phakding we ascended to Namche Bazaar climbing to an altitude of 3,440m, which you could start to feel on the lungs. Over the seven hours it took us to reach it, many members of the team had to overcome any fears of height, as we crossed several swing bridges on the way up. Morale remained high as the team began to really bond. The third day of the trek saw us remain in Namche Bazaar as we

8 The glacier found near Everest Base Camp were still getting used to functioning at that altitude. The morning was spent conducting a few lessons on mountain safety followed by a visit to the Sherpa Museum. In the afternoon, we briefly ascended to 3,850m before returning to Namche Bazaar. Day 7 – 11. By SSgt Riley and LCpl Harrison On the fourth day of trekking, we left Namche Bazaar and headed towards Tengboche, seven hours away at an altitude of 3,876m. This proved to be one of the more challenging days, as the ascent was not only very steep in parts, but it was also one of the hottest days of the trek. Our exertions were fuelled by some amazing food. The views became increasingly breath-taking the higher we got, everyone pinching themselves to making sure we were really there. After a huge portion of egg fried rice for lunch, we tackled the steep final three kilometres and made it to Tengboche. The next day we headed to Dingboche, which again was seven hours away at an altitude of 4,410m. The morning started off very icy as the temperature had dropped sharply over night, so watching every slip and slide proved amusing. As the day went on, the trek began to get

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#BritishArmyLogistics easier on the feet with just a slight incline, however the altitude had a greater impact the higher we climbed. Once we arrived in Dingboche, it was obvious to see that the closer we got to our goal the more basic the amenities and accommodation got; however, we fully embraced the situation, especially the frozen showers. The next day, the altitude finally took its toll on one of the group and the decision was made to take them down to a lower altitude to rest, whilst the remainder of the group stayed at Dingboche until they had fully recovered. For the next three days we had more lessons working towards our Summer Mountain Foundation (SMF) course, played board games and cards and enjoyed hot chocolate at the local café, whilst at all time admiring the spectacular views. We were also very surprised to see that the mountain guides had managed to find a birthday cake to celebrate SSgt Riley and Pte Williams’ birthdays. Day 12 -13. By LCpl Gurung and Pte Williams Day 12 was the coldest day of the trek. Waking up to frozen water bottles, was a good indication that the temperature outside had dropped significantly! Once outside, it was obvious there had been a heavy snow storm during the night and a white blanket had covered the entire region. Luckily the day’s trek was one of the shortest and only took us three hours to reach Thukla gaining 200m in altitude. However, navigating in snowy conditions made it quite challenging. The next leg took us from Thukla to Lobuche, which was again a three-hour trek, however

8 The many swing bridges en-route helped some team members overcome their fear of heights

EX TIGER THREE PEAKS | THE SUSTAINER

the rise of 200m in the first hour and very rocky terrain made it rather demanding on the legs. We then came across a memorial site for all those that had tragically lost their lives to the mountains which reminded us how unforgiving the environment can be. Once we arrived at Lobuche we enjoyed some tasty momos and had some well-earned rest knowing the hardest but most rewarding leg of the trek awaited us the next day. Day 14 and beyond. By WO1 James and Cpl Thapa The team woke bright and early on 25 March, with a sense of anticipation as this day was the day we would finally reach Everest Base Camp. We first headed to Gorakshep at 5,164m, where we would also be returning to later that day to sleep. Our final leg took us across some extremely rocky terrain, where we were fully at the mercy of the mountains surrounding us. On the final approach to Base Camp, the views were some of the best we had seen, with a huge glacier to our right and towering mountains in every other direction; the aftermath of the recent earthquake was obvious to see. At 1430, the team finally made it to Base Camp at 5,380m and were lucky enough to have the place to ourselves compared to the usual thousands of mountaineers usually there

8 The team visiting an interesting Sherpa Museum in Namche Bazaar, Presents Sherpa history and culture including mountaineering preparing to summit. We spent a good hour here embracing it all, with morale at the absolute highest knowing we had all made it there together. The blue skies ensured the peak of Everest was visible; providing a once in a lifetime view. A few photos later we returned back down to Gorakshep for some well needed rest. During the descent, the team was smiling all the way down as a result of achieving the expedition goal. From there it took us just three days to return to Lukla to await a flight back to Kathamandu; where we would then have to wait a further week before returning to the UK. Cpl Pun-Magar says: “This expedition has been a once in a life time opportunity for us all and easily rates amongst our greatest personal achievements. We are very grateful for the support provided to allow it to happen, including funding from 3 UK Div, ATG (A) South, the REME and RLC Corps funds. The team all gained their SMF qualification, grew in confidence, experienced an amazing culture, both on the mountain and in Kathmandu. Most importantly all were challenged, and everyone proved themselves to be capable of operating well outside their comfort zones.”

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77


THE SUSTAINER | ARTICLE

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The Great Grevy Zebra Rally RLC personnel posted to the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK) are afforded many of the unique opportunities that serving in Africa presents. Getting up close to the country’s amazing wildlife is just one. The Great Grevy Rally (GGR) is a two-day photographic census, to monitor the status and health of the endangered and iconic Grevy’s zebra in northern and central Kenya. Over 90% of the zebra population are found in just this region. The rally is part of a national initiative conducted by the Grevy’s Zebra Technical Committee. The GGR is held every two years, this year marking the third time the event has taken place since 2016. On the last weekend of January 2019, RLC staff and their families from the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK), joined community members, locals, international scientists and conservationists to count and photograph the Grevy zebras in Laikipia, Isiolo, Samburu, Meru and Marsabit. The purpose of the rally is to collect valuable information to help save the endangered species and engage Kenyans and tourists alike in a conservation activity. This has tangible value for Kenyan wildlife and raises awareness of endangered species conservation. It also promotes adventure tourism in critical wildlife areas, including the Community Conservancies of northern Kenya. Just as humans have unique fingerprints or items have barcodes, each Grevy’s zebra has a unique stripe pattern making it possible to identify individual zebras. Images taken during the rally are run through specialist software to record the identity of individual zebra and their location. Further analysis is then carried out to collect data such as population size, age, sex, and relative health of the animal. Friday 24 January 2020: On your marks! The day before the rally began, BATUK RLC staff and their families 78

were organised into small teams and given a camera, a map and a vehicle. The teams were then familiarised with their cameras and taught some basics of photography in order to be able to capture usable images of the zebra. Once the cooler boxes had been filled, sun protection applied, selfies taken, the adventures immediately begun as the teams embarked on their 100+km journey from Nyati Barracks to a bespoke bush camp in FOB SWARA. The teams then met with the event organisers for a brief on caring for the area and animals, whilst searching for the elusive zebra. In the evening, support staff organised a game of volleyball and a BBQ which was greatly received by all. 25-26 January 2020: Let the rally begin! The first day of the event started with an address from the BATUK Commander and teams were introduced to their guides and rangers. Once all the cameras had been synced, they departed to their respective survey locations. As the vehicles rallied around the wilderness, everyone was on the lookout with cameras at the ready. Photographing the Grevy’s zebra requires a lot of patience as photos

8 RLC BATUK staff assisted with the 2-day Zebra census

must be taken of the right hand side of the animal. While some areas are densely populated with Grevy’s zebra, some areas have little to none. However, those teams took full advantage of the two days safari - which costs the equivalent of £14 - and were still able to spot elephants, hippos, giraffes, big cats and many other animals. GGR was fantastic experience enjoyed by The RLC personnel attached to BATUK RLC and something to look forward to for those fortunate to be serving in Kenya in 2022, when the next GGR takes place.

Grevy’s zebra – Did you know? • A herd of zebras are known as a “dazzle”. • Grevy’s zebra can dig to 1m below ground level to access water under dry river beds. • The name came after one was sent as a gift to the president of France, Jules Grevy in 1882. • Grevy’s zebras can go up to five days without water. The plain zebra has to drink daily, making the Grevy more resilient.

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OBITUARIES | THE SUSTAINER

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8 Major Stephen John ‘Clouds’ Foster RAOC/RLC

Major Stephen John ‘Clouds’ Foster passed away peacefully at home on 20 July 2020 aged 63, after a two-year battle with cancer, with his wife Karen and their two children Barry-John and Kim at his side. Steve enlisted as an Apprentice on 22 August 1972, passing out of the RAOC Apprentices College as a Technical Clerk (Supply) in March 1974, before changing trade to Supply Controller. He was a very loyal and dedicated soldier and officer serving 38 years and rising through the ranks from Private to Major, having been commissioned in March 1990. During his service, Steve carried out many tours of duty in the United Kingdom and Germany, in addition to operational tours in Cyprus (with the UN), Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, Iraq and the former Yugoslavia (IFOR). In 1983, Steve was selected to serve as an Aviation Supply Specialist and spent ten years attached to the Army Air Corps. In 1993, he was appointed as the logistic advisor to the project team responsible for planning the move of 3 AAC from Germany to the UK, including the design of purpose-built workshops and warehousing for the maintenance and repair of attack helicopters. In 1996, as the Commercial Supply Manager for the Lynx helicopter fleet (Navy and Army) at the Defence Helicopter Support Authority; Steve

oversaw conversions of the Lynx fleet including the Navy Lynx conversion from Mk3 to Mk 8. Returning to DSDA in 1999 (which became JSCS) and accountable for all operational activity including the effective performance of the ‘Purple Gate’, Steve provided specialist logistical advice on operational supply matters to all three Services and industry, for which he received the Director Joint Supply Chain Commendation. He trained and mentored Civil Service logistics teams prior to and during their deployment to Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. This initiative (Op ANVIL) resulted in troops leaving theatre earlier than planned with multi-million pound cost savings to the MoD and was recognised by civilian institutes resulting in two national awards; the ‘Best People Development Initiative’ from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply and the ‘Development of People’ from the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport. When he retired from the Army in July 2011, Steve was invited to become a Company Commander for the Oxfordshire Cadet Force. His association with them spanned more than 20 years, beginning in 1993 when he was assigned as their Liaison Officer. Ultimately, Steve became Quartermaster for Oxfordshire with (SERFCA) until he retired in January 2020.

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THE SUSTAINER | LAST POST

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