Page 33 - The Chapka 2016
P. 33

 In June and July, the squadron deployed as a guard force to Exercise JOINT VENTURE, a Joint Task Force Headquarters Collective Training 6 exercise based in RAF St Mawgan in Corn- wall. The Squadron were able to take advantage of their proxim- ity to Newquay to go surfing and to relax in the evenings and indeed, Trooper Imber relaxed so much, he couldn’t be woken. Conversations with Sergeant Gidley, recently of A Squadron and now based at the Survival, Escape and Evasion school in RAF St Mawgan, convinced most of the JNCOs that their future careers lay down south, until the realisation that Cornwall was a rather long commute back home to the Midlands.
Large numbers of the Squadron deployed on Exercise BOCAGE LANCER, a battlefield study to Normandy during the last week of September. Organised and delivered by A Squadron, with the support of academics, Major (retd) Phil Watson and Dr Bill Mitchinson, the study was an intellectually and culturally stim- ulating trip. Some of the learning blew Sergeant Brown’s mind.
In early October, the Squadron had a day out paintballing and a social in the evening in Richmond. Unfortunately, Equipment Care assurance and a scale A parade for the Warrent Officer & Sergeants’ Mess meant that not all members of the squadron could attend: this meant all the more paintballs to shoot at Cap- tain Anani-Isaac. The evening meal at Figaro was better attend- ed and featured an all-you-can-eat pizza eating competition and the appearance of Trooper Cavanagh’s alter-ego, ‘Denis’. After a round of introductions from some of the newer members of the squadron and some farewells to those who would shortly be leaving us, the Squadron Second-in-Command lead the charge to Catterick’s finest after-hours establishment, Club Louis.
A Squadron deployed on Exercise WESSEX STORM for much of October and November, along with large numbers of B, C, D and HQ Squadron personnel. The Royal Lancers were OPFOR for the 4 SCOTS Battlegroup as they completed their validation
Scimitar on the scrapheap. Sergeant Freeman's Scimitar and urban camoflage
exercise for ‘readiness’. Highlights included a visit to Grimes Graves, a Neolithic flint settlement in Norfolk, a (presumably ironic) visit from the 3 (UK) Division HQ to ensure that we had enough Wi-Fi capability to complete the Army White Space survey, and some tit-for-tat scatological warfare.
In sport, despite the heroics of the basketball and volleyball playing members of the squadron, we were denied a win in the overall Babington Shield Inter-squadron sports competition. A Squadron footballers and rugby players represented the Regi- ment in the California and Texas tours respectively. Trooper Im- ber took part in the arduous Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race, finishing in a commendable 24hr 30mins. In boxing, Trooper Sands built on his previous Peto Cup and RAC success to try out for the Army and Inter-Services teams, winning six bouts along the way. A Squadron also participated in various Exercise HOD- SON’S HORSE teams, forming the backbone of the victorious Hockey team. Captain Anani-Isaac learnt the hard way of the danger of neglecting squadron PT sessions when he was called up to the Regiment’s valiant, but un-triumphant Military Event team at the last minute [ed. ‘last minute’ in Army parlance equates to 12 weeks out!]. Unfortunately, the Regiment was unable to emu- late the overall success of the previous year, coming second to a dominant team from the RTR.
In all, it has been an eventful but fragmented year for A Squadron, with our manpower constantly split between Catterick, Norfolk, Cornwall, Salisbury Plain, Canada and Bovington. Next year we can expect a more coherent time, albeit still out of camp as we look forward to ranges, Exercise PRIAIRE STORM (3 and 4) and then on Exercise WESSEX STORM 17 as we prepare for our Readiness Year.

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