Urban defence training for local reservists

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PIC BY STEWART TURKINGTON'www.stphotos.co.uk'07778 334771 SUS-141217-121753001

Eastbourne’s Army Reservist from the 3rd Battallion The Princess of Wales Regiment recently spent the weekend taking part in a training exercise designed to teach them skills in urban operations.

With the emphasis on contingency operations following the drawdown of troops from Afghanistan, Army chiefs say it is imperative reservists get the opportunity to hone skills such as defence and attack in a built up area, entry drills, clearing buildings, patrolling, conducting diversionary attacks and using surveillance devices.

The integrated exercise, which included four levels of training, took place at the Army’s top quality training village, Copehill Down on Salisbury Plain. The soldiers were also paid a visit by the Minister for Reserves Julian Brazier, MP for Canterbury.

Private Dan Campbell, 35 and a tree surgeon, is a member of the newly established Eastbourne platoon based at Seaside.

Dan said he always had a desire to join the Army but the timing was never quite right.

His circumstances have now changed allowing him to commit to fulfilling his ambition. He was attested into the Army Reserve in March and, with an interest in joining an infantry unit he came to Eastbourne.

“It’s been a brilliant weekend,” he said. “You get such a rush from the fast, noisy and adrenalin-fuelled exercise – it’s quite scary actually. “

The Battalion’s recruiting team also took advantage of the training weekend and invited 45 potential recruits who are all at different stages in the recruitment process to take part in a taster training session based around urban operations.

Lt Col John Baynham, 3 PWRR’s Commanding Officer, said, “This training weekend is an excellent example of how this battalion does its business.

“On the final training weekend of the year, 3 PWRR had more than 200 personnel conducting FIBUA training, from a wide range of units and trades, including just under 50 new recruits taking a ‘look at life’ in the Army Reserve.

“In addition, there is a long-standing tradition within the Armed Forces that the junior ranks’ Christmas dinner is served by the officers. This is also a good excuse for the higher ranks to get dressed up and enjoy the Christmas spirit in the field. The chefs were outstanding and delivered an excellent meal with very rudimentary facilities.

“ The weekend was a perfect blend of professional training and the continuation of a marvellous tradition.”