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Capt (MAA) S Pollock RAPTC - SO3 PD North WO2 (QMSI) A Halliday MBE RAPTC – QMSI North West WO2 (QMSI) T Hetherington RAPTC – QMSI North East
 As I complete a fourth year in a Regional Point of Command (RPOC), it’s clear that no two jobs are the same no matter the title. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at HQ West Midlands and was sad to leave but was immediately thrown straight into the fire, which I’ll be honest I didn’t think was possible coming from another RPOC job. Day 4 in HQ saw me deploy to Oman as part of Ex DESERT KHANJAR and remains a theme throughout. Once in theatre, I conducted my HOTO with Capt (MAA) Matt Arthur RAPTC and worked alongside SSgt (SSI) James Hodskinson RAPTC, the RAPTCI for 2 SCOTS Battle Group.
I remained in Oman for circa 3-months understanding the complexities of a forward RAPTCI and the safe systems of work. This set the tone for the additional work strands that followed on top of all RPOC duties. The requirement is now tentatively balanced with overseas assurance visits which support acclimatisation of the force, assuring AT activity and providers, managing the firm base assurance and most importantly looking after the personal and professional development of the Northern RAPTC contingent.
Following some Christmas leave it was back to Oman and this time I had the pleasure of working with SSgt (SSI) Jimmy Hull RAPTC and SSgt (SSI) Ben Sargent RAPTC as forward RAPTCIs with 2 R ANGLIAN Battle Group and future 1 SG Battle Group. Whilst in theatre, Army HQ planned an Op TEAMWORK Day and as we were conducting AT assurance it felt only right that we should conduct our own RAPTC Forward Teamwork Day at Wadi Shab. A beautiful location, although it was clear that not all the team enjoy heights.....
Following Oman, it was straight out to Brunei to review some heat illness prevention measures while providing guidance on the safe delivery of the Role Fitness Test (Soldier) (RFT(S)). During my stay, I was hosted remarkably well by SSgt (SSI) Bikash Gurung RAPTC and his team. Through setting the right conditions for success, SSgt Bikash delivered a RFT(S) in theatre amongst the constant threat of heat to the work force for the resident 1st Bn Royal Gurkha Rifles (1 RGR), something that hadn’t been done in nearly 6 years. During a recovery phase I was exposed to a canopy walk with the AAPTIs on 1 RGR
Capt (MAA) S Pollock RAPTC
before for some fantastic messing with the team.
The final trip of my first 7-months in role was to British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK) ahead of Ex ASKARI STORM where I again had the privilege of meeting more of the fantastic RAPTCIs across our Corps. The RAPTC footprint on this exercise and through BATUK was strong. Working with the RAPTCI from 1 Coldstream Guards Battle Group, SSgt (SSI) Chris Grose RAPTC, and the supporting force elements with Task Force Hannibal, SSgt (SSI) Ben Sargent RAPTC, we were able to steal an afternoon with the BATUK RAPTC contingent and get out on some activity. An extremely good afternoon with quality individuals.
Of course, all this isn’t possible without the truly amazing support I receive daily from QMSIs in the North, WO2 (QMSI) Tracey Hetherington RAPTC and WO2 (QMSI) Andy Halliday MBE RAPTC. What they don’t know about firm base activity isn’t worth knowing, but equally their knowledge, experience and guidance is something that I feel blessed to receive. They are both equally engaged in other tasks constantly that support the Corps direction and ‘esprit de corps,’ I think I would be lost without them. Thank you both.
To wrap up the year, it’s great being back in the North, busy (but aren’t we all). I thoroughly enjoy the engagement I have access to daily with our talented
SO3 PD HOTO in Oman
Corps cohort. I love seeing their passion and output to improve the operational effectiveness of their respective units. Their reach and ability to perform across the many pillars of physical development while managing their holistic health is remarkable. To produce the many sporting and AT opportunities they do for our serving personnel is equally incredible. They are all a huge credit to the Corps.

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