Page 16 - The Chapka 2016
P. 16

   The OPFOR Festival 2016, Alberta
HQ BATUS bade us a warm welcome into their ‘Team of Teams’. The OPFOR Battle Group comprised some 208 Lancers and was reinforced with Major ‘Paul’ Murray’s Men of Harlech (A Com- pany 1 R WELSH) and B Squadron KRH headed up by Major Alan Pond and Captain Harry ‘Leroy Jenkins’ Bartles. Close support came from a band of brothers from 19 Regiment Royal Artillery (wee frew, wee happy frew); Engineer Recce and a Bat- tle Group Engineer (Lieutenant James Cuwwy) from 26 Engi- neer Regiment and Intelligence Militaire, courtesy of Monsieur Dom Morizet and Lance Corporal ‘Big’ Bird from 4 (Military Intelligence) Battalion.
For the very first time ever, the vehicles the battle group took- over from winter repair were felt to be below the standard hoped- for. Still reeling from this surprise, the BG toiled night and day to breath life into the ailed and aged CVR(T) and AFV 432 fleet. Spanners turned, and as days turned to weeks, and with the help of giant nose cones, some drain pipes and steel cut-out DshKs, our vehicles were transformed into fearsome BMP2s and deadly T80Us. As per usual, a considerable suspension of disbelief was still required! Vehicles and men were equipped with the Tacti- cal Engagement System (TES): a suite of lasers and sensors that replicate direct and indirect fires to a much more sophisticated degree than Battlezone Laser Quest at Skegness Pier.
With the lucky ones adorned in ill-fitting, but very comfy blue combats, and the others wearing cadet-issue green Combat 95s, further preparations for battle included orders, ROC drills, re- hearsals, laser ranges and exercises, whilst the exercising BGs undertook their live fire training. The moral(e) component was also prepared with beers and wings in Medicine Hat; skiing (in
A Model Enemy
May!) in Banff, and plenty of Adventurous Training. Trail’s End Camp played host to many of the activities that ranged from ice- climbing to canoeing. Horseback riding in the Rockies proved popular with romantic mountain-based western film enthusiast Lieutenant Jason Jibb. Life was also imitating art elsewhere with the director’s cut of the obligatory OPFOR video now in post-production: its call to arms of ethnic Limarians in the Lower Janga and its brazen warning to British Forces, paraded the massed hordes of 389 Brigade in column-after-spookily-fa- miliar-column past a dais manned by none-other than the inimi- table Captain Arthur Purbrick, who’s vitriolic homage to Bane (The Dark Night Rises), is now believed to have provided the inspiration for President Trump’s inauguration speech.
Prairie Storm Won
The eve of battle was marked with a field service led by the Regi- mental Padre Albert Jackson (think a less-cuddly Ian Paisley) and the content of his speech was ‘funny shocking’ (his words). Quietly we consoled ourselves that perhaps the padre was just getting into character (the Limarians being firebrand Christians who despise their Muslim neighbours, the Atropians). When quizzed later, it transpired the Padre had not read the scenario... ’Shocking’. Strains of oh-so-badly-sung ‘Onward Christian Sol- dier’ drifted into the still early evening air.
Both worthy opponents, the Riflemen and Tigers were no match for the dastardly tricks of Major Will Richmond’s Recce Com- pany, whose false fronts and dummy positions caused the kinds of delays to the exercising BG’s advance of which Southern Rail would be proud. Welshmen went to their TES deaths in droves: pro limaria mori. ‘Life is cheap in Limaria’ was the OPFOR

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