Page 34 - MBS 2022/23
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British Forces Cyprus is a Tri-Service headquarters tasked with protecting the Sovereign Base Areas (SBAs)
and associated sites. The bases, which cover 98 square miles, enable the UK to maintain a permanent military presence at a strategic point in the Eastern Mediterranean. RAF Akrotiri is also an important staging post for military aircraft and the communication facilities around the island are an important element of the UK’s worldwide links. The bases can be used for a variety of both military and humanitarian operations which we have all seen recently supporting the evacuation of British nationals from Sudan.
The SO2 Physical Development (PD) role in HQ BFC comes with many challenges and navigating through the Tri-Service landscape to achieve positive PD outputs has been educational and, in some cases, rewarding. In this complex environment, I decided to get back to basics and worked my way around the island ensuring everyone was conducting some form of Physical Training, had the opportunity and resources to do Sport and were maximising the opportunities to participate in some type of Adventurous Training. I concluded that some services place PD higher on their priorities and are doing it far better than others.
It was apparent early on in my tour that UK Strategic Command (UKSTRATCOM) does not have a clear funding line for Physical Training Equipment (PTE) and units’ current holdings were over 10 years old and could be backdated to the HERRICK era. After overcoming many
BFC Study Period
Maj (MAA) R Pierce RAPTC
 obstacles and producing robust business cases, we managed to find funding for a complete replacement of PTE across the main stations. This was hugely welcomed by the many family members that rely on access to Physical and Recreational facilities.
We held our Regional Study Period (RSP) at Joint Services Adventurous Training Wing (Cyprus) (JSATW(C)) in Sep 22, which was attended by all PT/PEd Staff across the island, sharing good practices and setting the tone for the next 12 months. We maximised the opportunity of having HQ RAPTC on island to deliver critical updates. This was extremely beneficial for the RAF PEd Staff from RAF
Akrotiri who found it hugely educational and were complimentary on how we conduct ourselves. This was followed by an association dinner held in the Dhekalia WOs’ & Sgts’ Mess attended by all and included several AAPTIs from across the island.
In closing, life in Cyprus is fast-paced with an ever-increasing volume of work, complicated by the different cultures of all 3 services. However, living in the Mediterranean is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I would highly recommend to anyone. The PT/PEd team are sharp, forward-thinking and remain the measuring eye that guide the chain of command on all areas of PD.
 BFC Dinner Night

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