Page 181 - MBS 2022/23
P. 181

  Getting posted to PCRF Dhekelia was not part of my grand-plan last year, as I decided to embark
upon the All-Arms Commando Course to get assigned closer to my Taunton home. However, as I approach 6 months in post, I can just about say my family and I have settled into life in Cyprus, and I can already reflect on some memorable experiences so far. Not least of these would be my thorough HOTO of the job delivered by SSgt Dave Best. This included a guided Quad Bike tour of the Eastern Sovereign Base Area (ESBA), stopping off at beaches in Ayia Napa, cliff-jumping in Cape Greco and even swimming with turtles in Green Bay. If Carlsberg did HOTOs...
The job itself as the Garrison ERI reminds me of being in the deployed role. We’re a small team consisting of myself and two Physios, Dave Ryan and Capt Harry Knapman, both of which have a background in professional sport. As such, they embrace an S&C approach to Rehab and their experiences add tremendous value to the Personnel at Risk (PAR); the majority of which consists of the Resident Infantry Battalion (RIB) - currently 1 Royal Anglian. The relatively small size of the PAR enables us to deliver Class Therapy Sessions daily, allowing close monitoring of each patient’s Rehab. We’ve also benefitted from a recent uplift in equipment for our Rehab Gym, which was ordered around a year ago by my predecessor...’this is Cyprus my friend.’
This article is for Mind, Body and Spirit, but it’s only in the last few years I’ve considered the importance of the latter, SPIRIT. Since my arrival in Dhekelia, I’ve been involved in setting up a new Christian fellowship group in the Garrison.
SSgt (SSI) J Cooper RAPTC
 SSgt (SSI) Cooper and SSgt Vavaitamana baptising Cpl Devlin
Well, despite the incredible experiences this island has to offer, it will be hard for my personal highlight to be topped. This was the baptism of our Station PTI, Cpl Stu Devlin, who recently placed his faith in Jesus Christ. I was honoured and blessed to be involved with Stu’s baptism, as our Padre, Gary Birch was unable to enter the sea due to a recent Achilles injury, (I look forward to helping him with the middle part of MBS).
2-Year assignments in Cyprus mean there’s a lot to cram in if you wish to make the most of your time here. As I look ahead to my remaining 18 months,
I’m excited by the challenges which lie ahead. 1 RIFLES are due to take over from The Vikings in the summer and my main priority will be to work closely with Unit PT Staff in keeping their Battalion fully deployable. I’ll also continue to represent the Dhekelia and Ay Nik Station (DANS) Team in the British Army Warrior Fitness and the Army Indoor Rowing League, whilst endeavouring to support as many other BFC-wide sporting events as I can. Just as importantly though, I intend to invest maximal time ensuring my wife and 3 children look back at our time in Cyprus with fond memories.
  DANS BAWF Team 2023
Men of God

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