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personnel on a myriad of training opportunities; highlights of which were a group that was taken to the Royal Navy’s Damage Repair Instructional Unit in Plymouth and soldiers learnt more teamwork in the simulated sinking ship repair drills; the achievement

of a highly commendable silver medal for the Squadron team entered into the Cambrian patrol competition and winners of the Brigade scrapheap challenge where the Squadron constructed a fake CVR(T) Scimitar which fooled overflying Wildcat.

As I write from Tallinn where I am currently based, I look back on my time as C Squadron Leader with huge pride and awe in what our people have achieved. I wish you all the very best but I can’t resist reminding you all just one more time - “Recce must survive!”

D Squadron - A Force Multiplier


t is 1930hrs and I am sitting on Baltic Airlines flight headed to Riga the capital of Latvia, I am joined by a nineman team which has been selected to mentor elements of the Latvian Army on their recently purchased CVRT fleet. I am an hour away from landing and so I have decided to make a list of the different events and exercises D Squadron has completed in the last year; to quote a well-used phrase by the lads, the list is “as long as a baby’s arm” from: the Brigade (Bde) Reconnaissance (Recce) Concentration to Troop (Tp) Tests, we have been inundated with challenging and enjoyable opportunities that have displayed the talent from across the Squadron (Sqn). On returning from a well-deserved Christmas leave we rolled into Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (CATT) and Combined Arms Staff Trainer (CAST) under the watchful eye of the new Commanding Officer (Comd Offr). Despite only recently being in CATT the summer before the Sqn had new faces in all ranks and positions, so achieving the tick for readiness was not going to be easy. The CATT team had clearly done there home work as we were given a selection of mentally challenging missions, taking us out of our comfort zone with a level of complexity not previously seen. This meant the Sqn had to be flexible at all levels to ensure we understood our tasks, knowing the fine detail and executing with precision and speed. I am glad to report that we were successful in all missions but only because of the determination and commitment displayed by Crew Commanders and Troopers in the Sqn, who rose to the challenge on assuming command. Particular credit should go to CoH Collinson who delivered an excellent lesson on the use of the Scimitar targeting system; the ability to synchronize enemy targets and grids. CATT is an exceptional aid to training in a combined arms environment that allowed us to prepare gradually for the final mission with the expert feedback during After Action Reviews by the Directing Staff. It was not long before we were heading back west along the M3 heading to Salisbury Plain Training Area (SPTA), this time on Ex TRACTABLE, this Bde level exercise saw us working with the

other Battle Groups from 1 Bde demonstrating that we had achieved Readiness: the culmination of several weeks of preparation conducted by the whole regiment, ensuring that both men and machinery were trained and assembled, in the right area at the right time. These statistics also had to be reflected accurately in Bde Manning Returns and also on the JAMES database. Particular credit needs to be given to CsoH Doran and Morgan who worked tirelessly around the clock to ensure that our preparation was to the highest of standards. Following the first phase of TRACTABLE the Sqn then moved to the Joint Air Mounting Centre (JAMC) to prepare for the pre-flight mobilisation process which would ensure we would be able to deploy by air is the orders came. Our surroundings here were more to our taste as we settled into barrack blocks which replaced the freezing SPTA. The process was much more meticulous than expected and highlighted the need for all the preparation and rehearsals we had conducted to ensure a smooth departure. The Sqn’s hard work was also noted by Brig Wright, Bde Comd, when he visited us at JAMC. Speaking to the various elements of the Sqn he was able to gauge opinion and understand how hard we had worked. After spending a delightful Easter with our friends and family the treadmill of training continued as we prepared for

the Annual Crew Firing Tests (ACFT), though this year our preparations would be different. Our Gunnery experts in the shape of the Sqn 2ic (in his capacity as Regimental Gunnery Officer), with CsoH Fetigan and Collinson constructed one of the most comprehensive packages to date. Using a combination of synthetic and practical training, which built up individual and then crew training, followed by B3 Gunnery and then Gun Camp itself. Therefore it came as no surprise when our students on the B3 Gunnery Course did so well. On completion of the course the Sqn deployed for their iteration on the gunnery package to the rolling receptionless Castlemartin Ranges (CMR). The variety of 30mm and Panther shoots both static and advance brought out the best in our crews: with sharp eyed responsive Drivers who were often first to see the target, active Commanders giving direct and clear orders as well as reporting, and cool and precise Gunners acquiring the targets and executing the shoots. All crews from across the Sqn competed favourably for top shots but the honour of that position went to CS 20. As the clash of ‘The Titans’ unfolded on the ranges, background activity took the form of lessons provided by JNCOs and the CsoH. No Gun Camp would be complete without a mention of the SQMC packet and the Burger Stand. SCpl Cox nailed it this year by featuring some of the most talented Burger Chefs

D Sqn SHQ on CT2 on SPTA

Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 13

Household Cavalry Journal 2016  
Household Cavalry Journal 2016