The Royal Tank Regiment returns from tour and the Mercians train Ukrainian recruits

The Royal Tank Regiment Battle Group returns to Tidworth after a demanding and fulfilling nine-month tour of duty as part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence in Estonia.

The core of the battle group was made up of the regiment’s two saber squadrons supported by C Company 1 Royal Welsh, artillery from 3, 12, 19 and 26 Regiments Royal Artillery and 33 Armored Engineer Squadron, all under the command of Lieutenant -Colonel Simon Worth of the 1RTR.

During their tour, Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Estonia’s Independence Day, which gave the tour added prominence.

“The invasion gave us a very clear context of our presence,” Colonel Simon said. “. I couldn’t have been more proud of what the Battle Group did, they were inspiring and these young soldiers were more than worthy successors to the older generation of soldiers.

The battle group was in Poland for a preparation exercise for seven weeks before the tour, so the soldiers were away for almost a year. “The burden on the families was the most difficult of all,” he added. “I want to do something to show our gratitude to the families, so we are planning a welcome home parade in September which I plan to include a screened walkway, something that hasn’t been done for many years.”

Mercians train Ukrainian recruits

At the military ranges of Kent, CGS General Saunders saw Ukrainian troops being trained by 1 MERCIAN instructors on how to fight through buildings.

CGS praised the instructors saying “The commitment and hard work of the instructors, and the speed with which they put the training together, is extremely impressive.”

Other skills taught to Ukrainians include weapons handling, battlefield first aid, field crafts, patrol tactics and the law of armed conflict.

The new Apache is coming to Middle Wallop

A NEW Apache AH-64 Attack Helicopter has arrived at the Army Aviation Center, Middle Wallop, where they will hold conversion courses for pilots and aircrew.

This newly operational Model E has a top speed of 186 mph, a new software redesign to allow for greater target acquisition and is expecting new Hellfire ‘Romeo’ variant missiles.

“It all depends on the software and the changes inside,” said Major Olly Snell, 653 Squadron commander.

“We can choose things like license plates because we have this picture-in-picture, which means we can still look at the big picture, but also have a small, progressive field of view on a certain element if we have to.”


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Steven L. Nielsen