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Diary of Events

by Captain H J B Jordan, The Life Guards, Adjutant


hroughout 2016, the Regiment has concentrated on maintaining preparedness in all respects to deploy overseas at short-notice. In January, we took over the operational vehicle fleet - the largest we have held since the Army decided to fleet manage its vehicles some years ago. In February, the Commanding Officer put the Regiment through two weeks of simulated and staff training at the Combined Arms Tactical Trainer at Warminster - closely monitored by the directing staff and the 1 Armoured Infantry Brigade Headquarters. Without respite, the Regiment hopped from Tidworth on the west side of the Plain to Bulford in the east to conduct a two-week activation exercise, rehearsing the procedures for going to war. Following a rather muddy few weeks, the Regiment took rather greater pleasure in exercising our Freedom of the City of London, marching behind divisions of the Mounted Regiment to the Guildhall. The parade was commanded by the Lieutenant Colonel Commanding Household Cavalry and was an unusual opportunity for both regiments to parade together. After Easter, the Regiment returned to its old stomping ground in Castlemartin to complete Annual Live Firing. The results were excellent, with a 100% firsttime pass rate on the test ranges - testament to the pedigree of the Squadron Gunnery Instructors, but also perhaps to our prototype gunnery simulator on loan from Thales UK. Field Marshal the Lord Guthrie visited and kindly promoted 2Lt Piers Flay RHG/D during a memorable evening at The Stackpole Inn. Elsewhere, B (C&S) Squadron deployed to Warcop, conducting a very arduous programme of dismounted field firing in preparation for their deployment to Kenya as the OPFOR company. In May, A Squadron deployed to Salisbury Plain to complete their collective training, working up from Section Level to the final four days of Squadron level drills. Of note, they were the first squad-

ron to train with the Army Air Corps’ new Wildcat helicopters and have hence formulated the first procedures for working with the aircraft. At Windsor, C Squadron worked hard to prepare for the annual Derby Day events which were a great success. Following an intensive period of training, B Squadron (reinforced) deployed at the beginning of June to act as the opposing forces for the Grenadier Guards battlegroup in Kenya. The exercise was pretty arduous and the Squadron acquitted themselves admirably, supporting the Grenadiers with a realistic and free-thinking opposition. The experience of patrolling past elephants and buffaloes is unlikely to be forgotten in a hurry! Later in June, C and D Squadrons played the leading role in a Brigade Reconnaissance and Deception concentrations. Winning the ‘Scrapheap Challenge’ was a particular highlight - C Squadron’s dummy CVR(T), made largely from cardboard boxes, successfully deceived a Wildcat helicopter’s cutting-edge thermal camera. The newly invigorated Regimental Engagement Team, under Capt Peter Ireland RHG/D, toured the South throughout June, drumming up recruits to fill the Phase 1 courses at Pirbright. Given the contractor’s lack of success in finding recruits, we have taken responsibility again for finding our own recruits. In July, Capt Rory Horgan RHG/D laid on an excellent Officer Development week, notably including a day at Chatham House and the Ministry of Defence in London. By kind permission of the Colonel-in-Chief, the Regiment paraded in fine weather on the Short Walk for a regimental photograph with the magnificent south aspect of the Round Tower in the background. Shortly before Summer Leave, C Squadron and a cohort of the Late Entry officers flew to Bosnia to learn about the regiment’s experiences there during the 1990s. Of note, General Sir Michael Rose KCB CBE DSO QGM, who had commanded

UNPROFOR in 1994, briefed the Squadron before their departure. After a glorious and rather extended Summer Leave in August, the Regiment returned in early September, preparing for C, D and HQ Squadrons’ annual mounted training. A small number flew to Brunei to complete Jungle Warfare Instructor training in anticipation of A Squadron’s deployment to Brunei in Jan 17. C and A Squadron both travelled separately to Sennelager - now a shadow of its former self - to undertake simulated training safely away from distractions at home. The simulated environment proved to be the perfect mechanism for experimenting with different procedures and, perhaps more crucially, allowed junior ranks to try their hand in a senior role as gunner or Crew Commander. In early October, a slimmed-down Battle Group Headquarters escaped the deteriorating weather to join the Brigade Headquarters for a month of high-intensity staff training under a US Divisional Headquarters at Fort Worth in Texas. Unfortunately, social opportunities in the local area were rather limited but the exercise proved a useful chance to think again about how we plan to fight. In November, A Squadron, reinforced with troops from C and D Squadrons, undertook three weeks of build-up training in Norfolk in preparation for Brunei. Many new skills were learned and practiced - not least setting up an effective and reasonably watertight jungle hammock. The Squadron is now ready for an exciting and demanding exercise in Brunei. Also in November, under the ominous bill of ‘Civil War’, soldiers from both Windsor and London fighting for their own Regiments, LG v RHG/D, hammered it out at a regimental boxing evening in the gymnasium. There was strong attendance from both the mounted and armoured regiments. The result was 5-4 to The Blues and Royals. As the year ends we look forward to festivities of Christmas Week and some hard-earned leave.

A Squadron


ebuilding and re-focusing have dominated A Squadron’s year, with the ultimate goal of Exercise ULU RAJAH, a jungle exercise that will take place in Brunei in January 2017. The year began with the Squadron being used as a resource to enable the

others, with Maj J A Mawson RHG/D and WO2 A G Slowey LG battling to maintain a sense of collective identity as personnel bounced from exercise to tasking in ad hoc groups. Their hard work came to fruition in the Squadron’s Collective Training Exercises in May 2016, when the newly arrived Maj R J

Spiller RHG/D was able to field a cohesive group by the time the Commanding Officer arrived on Salisbury Plain. In order to facilitate this, the early part of the exercise focused heavily on teambuilding and junior leadership, with the main effort being that troops felt

Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 5

Household Cavalry Journal 2016  
Household Cavalry Journal 2016