Page 15 - The Chapka 2016
P. 15

 ‘... RL We The Baddies?’
In 2016, The Royal Lancers were 3rd (UK) Division’s and 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade’s Opposing Force (OPFOR). The Battle Group (BG) provided the OPFOR for Exercises PRAI- RIE STORM 1 (5 RIFLES BG) and 2 (PWRR BG); the OPFOR Tank Company during Exercise PRAIRIE STORM 3 (QRH BG), and Exercise IRON RESOLVE (RDG BG) in Canada at the British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS) from April to October; and as the OPFOR Company Group on Exercise WES- SEX STORM 16-5 (4 SCOTS BG) in Stanford and Salisbury Plain training areas in October and November. 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade during 2016 – their training year – were pre- paring for readiness as the UK’s Vanguard Brigade and as the spine of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (Land) (VJTF(L)). Elements have since deployed to Eastern Europe as part of an enduring presence to reassure allies and deter Russian aggression. It was essential, then, that 20 Brigade’s training was the most demanding. And, for this, only a ‘challenging, uncoop- erative sparring partner capable of stressing all the war-fighting functions of a force’ (US Army’s Training and Doctrine Com- mand (TRADOC) sponsored Training Circular (TC) 7-100.2)) would do, cue the Royal Lancers OPFOR who, like the pirates with whom we feel a certain symbolic affinity proved ourselves to be fun, albeit still very much the baddies.
As the OPFOR, we immersed ourselves in the General and Spe- cial Ideas for 2016’s exercises, using an American scenario called DATE (the Decisive Action Training Environment). In the shadow of the snow-capped Caucasus, ethnic grievances, tenu- ous territorial claims and hydro-carbon access disputes between countries whose names have been altered slightly, have boiled over into war.
From hell’s heart, the mighty Limaria (that’s us!) and our brothers in arms, the honest and trustworthy Ariana, stabbed at villainous Atropia (a puppet of opulent and corrupt western democracies.)
After some bitter-fighting, final victory was near, but on the steppes of Baku a fool-hardy deliberate intervention by NATO, forced us back to the international border. All hope was not lost, the elite 389 Mechanized Infantry Brigade, was launched against the anaemic 20th Armoured Brigade in a final roll of the dice and so our stage was set, Comrade-Colonel Marcus Mudd would accept nothing less than ‘catastrophic success’.
Yes we Canada
With our minds in the Caucuses, our bodies at least found them- selves in the reassuringly familiar climes of the Alberta Prairie supporting the Exercise PRAIRIE STORM series of exercises.

   13   14   15   16   17