Page 15 - Chiron Spring/Summer 2023
P. 15

by Pte Daniel Lambert
On the 3rd Sept 22, Pte Cornes, LCpl Miller and I left 1 MWD Regt to board RFA Mounts
Bay in Plymouth where we would be living for the next 3 weeks.
On board the ship we worked closely with 42 Commando, taking part in two types of training whilst on board: Aviation and Amphibious. These took place at both day and night and there were a series of safety drills for the crew and the rest of us on board to practice. Due to
the passing of HM Queen Elizabeth
II during our initial training, RFA Mounts Bay and HMS Albion conducted a 96 gun salute whilst
all members of the ships where on parade. Once the initial training
had been done we began getting
into scenarios, this involved being picked up via helicopter or boat, and being taken to another location to conduct scenarios before returning to RFA Mounts Bay. The final phase of training before leaving deploying was a scenario involving all units
on board to conduct a combined assault on a fort; Myself and MWD Alma were utilised heavily in this assault, which lead to a significantly reduced attrition rate compared to average and allowed the fort to be taken swiftly. The 42 Commando CoC were really pleased with how the MWDs and Handlers worked with the Commando Troops, this meant MWD Alma and I got used a lot more now
that they had seen how beneficial an appropriately employed MWD could be. After the final assault we gathered our things and headed back to North Luffenham to reorganise our kit before flying out to Cyprus.
Upon Landing In Cyprus Pte Cornes and I were greeted by LCpl Miller who had deployed ahead of us to ensure arrangements for the MWDs were ready for our arrival. We then travelled to Camp Radio Sonde. After getting our heads down we began a 14 day acclimatisation period for both ourselves and the dogs. For the dogs, this involved light walks and as the days went
on these got longer and we as Handlers began carrying kit. The dogs loved the acclimatisation phase as our walking route was next to
the sea, so the dogs could jump in and go swimming. Once we were acclimatised, we started the exercise phase which consisted; a series of
raids, practicing skills and drills learnt in the training phase, and implementing the dogs - which the Commandos thoroughly enjoyed, as did Alma and I! I took part in a QRF Scenario which included myself and a team of the marines being picked up via helicopter from Radio Sonde, and being flown to HMS Albion to receive briefs on a situation. From there we deployed quickly to the area specified, and dealt with the scenario. Again, Alma and I were highly utilised, detaining suspects and once again lowering the attrition rate for the Commandos. After the Exercise phase came the live firing range package which I loved taking part in. I was able to test myself
and MWD Alma under pressure; firing G17 ,SA80, and sharpshooter with Alma sat next to me. It was a brilliant experience and I got to do a variety of shoots including section attacks and a sharpshooter range with Alma in the prone position
by my side - this was my personal highlight of the trip.
We had a beach day after all phases had finished, allowing us to relax for the first time in 6 weeks. The down time was nice and we were able to have a enjoy some of the local culture and sites, such as Pissouri Bay, where we swam in the sea and tried some of the local food.
I thoroughly enjoyed working with 42 Commando Zulu Coy, they were top tier troops and it was a privilege to have been given the opportunity to go on Op ACHILLIAN.
   Chiron Calling / 13

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