Page 19 - MBS 2022/23
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  Programme THOR
Whilst Prof Dev and HQ RAPTC endeavour to get traction for the various project recommendations of Prog THOR, the going is tough. From a Pj 3 perspective, the opportunity to have more ERIs forward within units has stalled until Fd Army finds more liabilities. However, there are opportunities to improve unit Musculo- Skeletal Injuries (MSkI) prevention education and training by optimising delivery with the current ERI cohort. Many of Pj 4 recommendations are for the CoC to change culture and behaviour to improve policy adherence at the tactical level. The Strength and Conditioning Centre Infrastructure requirement; under Pj 5, to support the APTS needs PPO Direction & Guidance (D&G), to establish a pragmatic planning strategy with appropriate resourcing on the Army infrastructure plan. Other Pj 5 recommendations are
achievable and again require culture change and better planning in the delivery space, some units have had excellent results when recommendations have been implemented, but sadly these have not been holistically embraced across the Army. A frustrating work thread but Pj PHIT & EDGE may influence change to get after THOR effect.
In the PT policy lane, Maj Will has just started a review of the Fitness Information Software System (FISS) requirement, which could identify a wider need for a more intuitive dashboard to support CoC business around holistic Role Fitness Test (Soldier) (RFT(S)) and Soldier Conditioning Review (SCR) compliance and also, to provide a better snapshot and overview of Army physical fitness stats for improved reporting and to support PES
development work. He is also refining Army Water Safety policy to improve end- user application.
From an AT and Sport policy perspective, Maj Mark continues to diplomatically manage the complexities of AT & Sport policy, he is currently dealing with a number of issues/risks including: Duty Status within Sport, Sport sponsorship and the Army’s contribution to a SofS requirement to have a Defence AT and Sport seminar to profile Service women’s successes in these domains, and more importantly promote grass roots access.
In summary, and like other areas of the Army, Prof Dev continues to be very busy.
 An unforeseen change in assignments meant that I was posted to the Army Headquarters (AHQ) as the SO2 PT on 5 September 2022. Initially I was apprehensive about working at AHQ due to the myth associated with the negative work culture within the headquarters. However, I quickly realised that this was a complete fallacy, and I can say that it is a great place to work with a diverse team and supportive CoC.
Under the direction and mentorship of Lt Col Nick O’Shea, I established my main lines of effort (there are numerous; however, I would assess these as having the greatest impact across the Army), which are: Managing and developing a wide portfolio of Army policy by ensuring it is kept up-to-date with new and relevant defence and single service regulation; Coordinating the Deployable Physical Training Equipment (DPTE) Working Group, and establishing the requirement for an enduring and sustainable solution across the Field Army; Being the lead for Exertional Collapse Associated Sickle Cell Trait (ECAST) across the Army, by ensuring that policy is cohered and updated in line with other defence and army policy.
Whilst ECAST does not necessarily fit neatly within the realms of PD, it does have relevance and is a contentious issue that has attracted attention at ministerial level – specifically since the death of two candidates whilst undertaking their fitness test at the Army Assessment Centre, Lichfield in 2019. Critically, this has meant ensuring that AGAI Vol 1 Ch 7 has the most relevant and up-to-date Universal Training Precautions. Furthermore, to
The UK delegation attending the conference. From L-R (Maj Nick Mathieson, Lt Col Julie Draper, Col Anne Fieldhouse OBE, Maj Will Pacter, Prof Sam Blacker (UoC))
Maj (MAA) W Pacter RAPTC
 ensure that PD and medical policy is aligned to mitigate the risk of any further SCT attributed incidents.
Whilst some of the work is a bit ‘dry’ (managing policy is not always inspiring) it is obvious that any contribution within this appointment is likely to have a strategic impact across the Army. However, a welcomed respite from this was being given the opportunity to attend the International Physical Employment Standards conference in Australia.
The 4th International Physical Employment Standards Conference The 4th International PES conference took place from 23-26 Feb 23 at Bond University
located on the Gold Coast, Australia. The conference was attended by a vast array of organisations from both private and public sectors. The research presented on physical employment standards ranged from first responders and military personnel, to astronauts and netball officials. The UK was well-represented with attendees from Army HQ, ARITC, the Institute of Naval Medicine, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, and the University of Chichester (UoC). Prof Sam Blacker (UoC) delivered a talk on the development of the British Army swimming PES work, the outcomes of which will be delivered at the International Congress of Soldier Physical Performance conference at DSEI in September 2023.

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