Page 24 - The Chapka 2016
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 22 REGIMENTAL JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL LANCERS (QUEEN ELIZABETHS’ OWN) Strike experimentation: the enemy’s perspective
 As the Canadian weather became increasingly miserable, hopeful rumours of Exercise Prairie Storm 4 (PS4) being cancelled and B Squadron flying home early were unfortunately proved to be false. Instead, PS4 was to take the form of Exercise IRON STRIKE. The new Strike Brigade concept (soon-to-be AJAX and MIV mounted, rapidly deployable formation). An OC B Squadron – only just moved on – with his fingers in all sorts of pies, designed the exercise for 20th Armoured Infantry in his new role as the 12th Armoured Infantry Brigade Chief of Staff. Annis, his soon to be wife, would have to wait for the new patio he was also building!
The subjects of the Strike experimentation, responsible for feed- ing CFA and the Executive Board of the Army, were no other than our northern neighbours, The Royal Dragoon Guards. Joined by a Company of Canadian Light Armoured Vehicles (LAV). Although I am no ‘Mr Strike’, unlike Major Richmond who clearly stated that he was on first day of the exercise, the concept was to test the battlegroup in deploying and dispers- ing on to the BATUS training area at speed, independently, at ‘reach’ from a ‘C2’ node and with distributed command. Lots of new Strike buzzwords that the 60km BATUS training area would, no doubt, be optimised for. The Canadian LAVs provid- ed the additional part of the experiment and stood in for the UK battalions who will soon be mounted in MIV – a wheeled mecha- nised infantry fighting vehicle that will effectively be bought off- the-shelf. This might be heresy for all those recent graduates of ICSC, but hopefully the Army will at least get a vehicle on
The Famous T-80 Scimitar variant
Canadian Infantry take pause after an Urban Assault
time. That said, I’m sure the debate on the mixture of tracks and wheels will continue to bubble on for some time...
‘Mr Strike’ recruited the crack squadron of the Brigade - B Squadron RL – to test concept. The Royal Lancers showed their characteristic flexibility; insurgents one day and friendly host nation forces the next. Personal administration and acting skills were the order of the day and less-so FIND, DELAY and GUARD. The experience was ‘varied’ depending on where one was on the training area. Despite the snow, PS4 proved to be a civilised exercise with insurgents and host nation forces never far away from a fire pit.
Having seen it through an enemy’s perspective, the experimen- tation offered many ‘lessons’ that will no doubt be shoe-horned into the new concept: operating in small teams presented op- portunities for the enemy to overrun friendly locations out of range of offensive support; vulnerable command and signal nodes were dispersed across the training area, with little to no force protection; and, logistical lines were also exposed whilst operating independently. No easy challenge to overcome, but I expect, going forward, ‘Mr Strike’ may now well be involved in unpicking them. Good luck to the soon to be Lieutenant Colonel Richmond!
   Only the finest hotels will do!

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