Page 23

for the section and for the whole exercise. Thankfully we had a fuel line expert within the section and it is a credit to LCpl Rarawa that he managed to rectify these issues and keep the affected vehicles on the road until the end of the exercise. The final serial of CT 1 was an obstacle crossing which culminated in the Squadron forming up at crossing 3 for some well earned rest in preparation for the following day’s maintenance day. Ironically this fell on the Corps birthday so the fitter section was able to celebrate in style with a Pot Noodle and a can of Monster from the SQMC’s tuck shop; prior to catching a well deserved ‘straight eight’ nights sleep. The maintenance day commenced on the morning of the middle Sunday; we were met by the SQMC packet and a forward echelon of the QM’s department. After all the level 1 servicing and maintenance was completed (under the watchful eye of our Squadron Tech Reps, CoH Doran, and LCoH Curtis); the fitter section had a small list of faults to rectify. The majority of the faults were turret related, however 14B decided to blow its generator and this took up the majority of our resources to ensure it was ready to go by 0001hrs. CT 2 started with a Squadron night move and it wasn’t long before shouts for 24A were heard across the net. A 4

Troop Spartan had managed to throw its track in the worst location imaginable, which resulted in a rather emotional 4 hour recovery/repair task. Crisis averted, all 24 call signs managed to make it into the SHQ hide under the escort of 4 Troop just prior to sunrise. The remainder of the week saw 24C move forward from SHQ with the SCM’s TAC, where Cpl Still and LCpl Foulds provided the first line of repair/recovery cover to the forward troops advising me what 24 assets would be required for each job. A thankless and busy task, they were both a credit to the fitter section and Squadron for their tireless efforts. As the pace of the serials on CT 2 started to ramp up, so did the volume of vehicle faults. Despite his best efforts to remain in Westdown Camp, CoH Ridge’s Spartan C/S 40 was swiftly returned to the exercise every time it had a fault (4 times). In fact the theme of 4 Troop’s vehicles breaking down continued with a variety of faults occurring including Bowman, fuel and rear idler arm issues. All faults were repaired and returned to the user in good time with the exception of C/S 43’s rear idler, which unfortunately was ‘Dues Out’ in the supply chain. The final two days of CT 2 proved to be the most demanding for the fitter section with an abundance of faults being reported, culminating in two Scimitars requiring recovery to the ECCP in order for 6 Bn REME to conduct level 3 repairs on a gearbox

and final drive respectively. As ENDEX was called at 2230hrs and the Squadron moved to their final leaguer position, 24C roamed the area collecting the last few casualties and recovered them to the ECCP where the fitter section worked through the night to ensure all vehicles were repaired prior to the next days wash down and move to Windsor. By dawn vehicles started to move out of the ECCP under their own steam to Tidworth, with 24B finally bringing up the rear with the SV(R) recovering the final Scimitar into the wash down. In summary, it can be seen that the fitter section had a demanding but rewarding two weeks on Salisbury Plain. It was an excellent opportunity to embed in the Squadron and build on our professional and personal relationships with them; as well as refining our tactics to align with their SOP’s. The average equipment availability for the two weeks was an impressive 89% and this is a testament to the hard work and diligence of not just the fitter section but of all the vehicle crews. A special thanks must be given to the QM’s, Tech Reps and LAD ES Ops who managed to facilitate the demands and delivery of all level 1 and 2 spares from Windsor to SPTA in order for us to turnaround non-taskworthy vehicles in good time. All of the lessons learnt on this exercise will put the fitter section and the Squadron in good stead for our BATUS OPFOR deployment next summer. Arte et Marte

Changing of the (Life) Guard

by Lance Corporal of Horse R A Darty, The Life Guards

I

would like to describe a tumultuous period in my life, making the decision to transfer from the Corps of Royal Engineers to The Life Guards. It all started when I gained an assignment order to D Squadron HCR in October 2014. As the only Engineer in D Squadron at the time, and there being no support troop then, I found myself in 5 (Guided Weapons) Troop, and hit the ground running to learn as fast as I could. What on earth did I as an engineer know about javelin ? Nothing, absolutely nothing. My time in 5 Troop didn’t last long as Sgt Tyrie was soon posted in so we could wear our day sacks around camp and constantly say we were on Engineer business, which I can tell you is very important business. All engineer business is conducted in the NAAFI with brews. With the formation of Support Troop we started training for CT2 CATT and BATUS; we also took the Troop to Gibraltar Barracks the home of the Fella, and to Tidworth to learn how to build bridges and conduct basic engineering tasks for our future deployment on Exercise PRAIRIE STORM 4. It was during these

dark days of bridging and combat engineering, and also acting as the lead call sign in support troop that I had a conversation with my wife about actually staying in Windsor as I was actually enjoying it; and for the first time in a long time we were both happy. I jokingly broached the subject with a few people at work to see what the reaction would be and if it we possible, most responses consisted of either being laughed at or “are you mad”. So I eventually just went and asked the Careers Management Officer what the score would be if I wanted to transfer. The conversation went something like: Me: Sir I actually like it here in Windsor CMO: Well that’s good then Me: Yeah I like it here, I like that you guys don’t move around so much CMO: Oh yeah ME: Yeah I really like that CMO: Yeah Me: Yeah I’d like to stay CMO: Oh well we can try and put in for an extension ME: Well that’s not what I meant I’d

like to stay properly, you know transfer over CMO: ................................... This was all before leave just before we deployed to BATUS. I wrote a letter stating why I wanted to make the jump and how much I would be a valuable member to the HCR and completed all the relevant paper work and handed it in before flying to Canada; that is when I started telling people and the other engineers too of my decision. There is something I need to say about BATUS that tickled me. We had an RE Sgt as our safety staff; his C/S was 6E and he followed us and mentored us in Support Troop. For the first week or so he was very chatty and brought us treats now and then: by us I mean engineers. Someone decided to tell him that I am in the process of transferring. 6E never spoke to me again! Upon return from BATUS I found out that come 11th January 2016 I would be an engineer no more, from that day on I shall be a Life Guard. Brick hanging 2015 was the de-Engi-

Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 21

Household Cavalry Journal 2016  
Household Cavalry Journal 2016  
Advertisement