the new Commanding Officer; almost immediately we began working to the High Readiness year with the Squadron mercifully free of any commitments until we deployed disregarding some of the newer ones from the previous few years as we began to further refine SOIs on a Battlegroup CSTTX. Memories flooded back of a similar exercise from June 2015 and, as the Squadron always does, it performed well under pressure with various fastballs thrown in for good measure. The natural ability of our commanders and their willingness to take the initiative saw us triumph against a determined digital enemy! A week post return and trying to tie down the best practices from CSTTX saw the Squadron deploy on Exercise TRACTABLE, a readiness test exercise which the Brigade set up centred around old Carter Barracks on the outskirts of Bulford. C Squadron parked up its vehicles, did a spot of maintenance and then sat around in the snow watching everyone watching everyone else. The Troop Leaders amused much of the Brigade late into the night by their never ending enthusiasm for dinner party games in the cookhouse marquee. A quick 20km lap of the plain as a road move and the Squadron eventually collapsed back to Windsor, smug in the knowledge that it didn’t have to go on to South Cerney to drive CVR(T)s through mock up cut outs of C130s with 16 Brigade as D Squadron did. Easter leave came and went before we deployed on gun camp to Castlemartin where, blessed by good weather as we had been the previous year, the Squadron was able to show it had lost none of last year’s ability with another 100% first time ACT pass rate. The Freedom of the City of London was exercised in a dual parade with the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment which added to the ever growing sense of variety seen by us so far this year.
code; all designed to invest in our people and aiming to turn them into individuals ‘good enough to leave but happy enough to stay.’ As ever the Squadron’s Notice to Terminate (NTT) rates remained the lowest across the Regiment. The Squadron visited Bosnia on a battlefield study (covered by the author elsewhere) which proved to be a huge success; for some in the Squadron (mostMaj Rupert Gorman and C Squadron on the ly our attached LEs Freedom of the City of London parade who were very keen to come back and see how the country had relentlessly began an ambitious training changed some 20 years after last serving week of Tp and Squadron level tactics there) it was quite surreal seeing how almost immediately on radio silence roads and villages had changed; for the where we aimed to instil confidence more junior it was a quiet education in in all the Squadron members. Achievthe delicate nature of peace where the ing all tasks set with aplomb, planning interests of ethnicity are not always was thus set in stone for our Collective aligned. Training 1 exercise on SPTA. After summer leave the Squadron began ramping up its training to meet the Commanding Officer’s intent that “all Troop and Squadron level mounted drills be carried out by both day and night with full voice and radio silence”. The Commanding Officer was keen that old lessons from the past were not forgotten though for the majority that meant learning these from scratch. ‘BChat’ cards (a slimmer version of Secure Orders Cards) were produced for all commanders; these aimed to reduce complexity in the turret and provide a concise format for the delivery of orders for tactical actions. The Squadron adjusted its head to last year’s Training Year and began the rounds of ROC drills and Tp level training in earnest. We visited CATT Germany where we
CT1 and 2 rushed up to meet C Squadron quite quickly. As the last sabre squadron to go through the rotation there was little doubt that the pressure was on from RHQ! A demanding exercise with little chance for rest in the first week led us onto a day of much needed maintenance while I wondered what was in store for us on CT2. By the end of CT2 we had achieved a great deal and I was delighted with the Squadron. We had achieved the establishing of a Guard at night on radio silence with our attached LEWT team unable to locate us despite being 2kms from the Squadron, a 30km delay, a series of raids and advances and a counter descent operation to name but a few. In the margins the Squadron has sent
A period of back in camp for the next couple of months saw us really tuning into management of our people in camp with revitalised career structures, unit healthcare and the Army leadership
C Squadron personnel are briefed on the Bosnia conflict in Sarajevo
12 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
Using the weather as well as the ground