TA heads south for winter training

A NORTH EAST regiment, which includes TA soldiers from Alnwick, recently deployed to Cyprus for winter training.

The Fifth Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, made up of reserve soldiers from as far north as Alnwick and as far south as Doncaster who serve in their spare time, conducted realistic and arduous training in a number of scenarios.

During the two weeks the Fusiliers and Riflemen found themselves shooting on ranges, carrying out beach assaults from landing craft, attacking and liberating entire villages, ‘tabbing’ great distances (what the army call marching with full kit into battle) and even managed to shoe horn in a little adventure training.

The British Sovereign base areas measure roughly the size of Northumberland and are fantastic training areas for British troops.

The training was arduous and generally involved 12 to 14-hour days for the troops and, when under attack, no rest at all

In order to prepare themselves for the way the Army currently fights wars, the 5th Fusiliers lived, worked and defended a forward operating base –a small fort much the same as is used in Afghanistan.

They repelled many attacks, sometimes up to six in a day, and practised setting up roadblocks, patrolling, dealing with improvised explosive devices and casualty evacuation.

Major John Hunter said: “TA soldiers give up their own time to serve their country and over these two weeks they have really shown their commitment, conducting difficult and realistic training.

“It has been immense fun though and very rewarding, the troops have been great and really thrown themselves into it.”