Page 20 - MBS 2022/23
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   I was afforded the opportunity to deliver a talk at the FVEYs (The Five Eyes is an intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States) pre- conference meeting on the British Army’s physical training regime and its link with PES. In addition, current PD issues and initiatives were discussed. It was apparent that challenges with infrastructure and a shortfall of qualified PT instructors were a common theme amongst most of the other nations. However, unlike the other nations, it was highlighted that the British Army was the only organisation that had a specific training regime that complements its testing. This highlighted that most organisations (civilian and military) have a culture of training specifically for a test and not as a holistic way of life.
On the second day of the conference, Col Anne Fieldhouse OBE (Assistant Director Med) from ARITC, delivered a keynote talk considering her reflections on the PES development process. One of the key messages was that the RFT(S) represents a ‘battlefield scenario with cumulative burden’ and that the communication of this is important for implementation. The take-home message was that to guarantee success, intense stakeholder engagement is required and to educate the why, not just the what.
Lt Col Julie Draper (SO1 Occ Med) from AHQ delivered two talks. The first was on the modular approach to PES that supported the Challenger 3 work, and the second on the UK PES Next Steps work. The requirement to review PES implementation after c. 5 years was highlighted; no nations have formally reviewed their PES yet. The challenge for the UK is the collection of discrete data (pass/fail) rather than continuous
Lt Col Julie Draper presenting to the IPES conference
(times/weights etc) which allows for statistical analysis of the standard setting. Additionally, Lt Col Draper took part in the closing panel discussion on the future implications of PES with a changing workforce/recruitment population. Spectrum of engagement (and deployability) was discussed (particularly in relation to cyber/firmbase specialties) vs the requirement for ‘soldier first.’ Consideration of how human augmentation/enhancement will fit into this space, and pre-engagement of recruiting populations so that the physical requirements are clear from the outset. A modular approach to PES allows for flexible and agile reviews of changing job-tasks, with a question around what constitutes ‘good enough’ evidence for decision making.
Overall, the conference provided an opportunity for the British Army to showcase its PES work on the international stage. It was clear from our engagements that we are leading the way on implementation, and acceptance by our population. Key for us is the review of the RAC PES standards, which are likely to impact on infantry PES standards, with the preferred outcome being a move to a single battery of tests across Ground Close Combat (GCC) and non-GCC employments. The academic content of the conference was interesting and thought-provoking, and opportunities for engagement and information-sharing particularly across FVEY nations, will hopefully bear fruit (the US have already shared their reviews of the SPARTA force plate technology, currently being trialled at 2ITB).
 Bond University – the location for the 4th IPES Conference

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