Page 119 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
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On 28 Dec 19, six personnel from 6 RIFLES assembled at Wyvern Barracks, before beginning the long drive to the French Alps. We crossed under the channel and began the slog down the autoroute finally reaching our destination, the winter sports paradise that is Val d’Isere. Kit sorted, we managed to get an hour on the snow before winding down for some New Year’s celebrations. The next day was our first day on snow with the reserve component and we got two days of skiing to condition our legs before the competition. We were split into our respective hill teams, 2Lt Vincent, 2Lt Partridge and Sjt Kent making up the A team, and Capt. Stirling, 2Lt Clarke and WO2 Parker making up the B Hill Team. The B Hill seeded and competed over in Tignes, whilst the A Hill got 3 more days of gate-training which went someway to bridging the obvious skill gap between our Regular counterparts, who’d been in resort for nearly 6 weeks.
On the B Hill, the team put in a lot of hard work, and if it wasn’t for a few spectacular crashes, the team would’ve been well placed to podium the overall team standings. As it stood, Capt. Stirling put in a strong effort despite a 10-year absence from the sport.
On the A Hill, the team had a harder time of climbing up the ladder. The seeding race placed all of the team in and around the midway mark. 2Lt Vincent skied relatively well in both the Giant Slalom and the Team Slalom. Later in the week, 2Lt Partridge succeeded in scaring the life out of 2Lt Vincent during the closing seconds of his Downhill Run with a spectacular crash coming over the last roller, where he performed a backflip and then passing spine first through a control gate. Luckily, 2Lt Partridge came away with little more than friction-burn and a slightly-bruised ego.
On completion of the speed events, the closing race was the individual Slalom. 2Lt Vincent climbed the rankings and ended up inside the top 20. Due to DQs in some
of the team events, the team standing
dropped accordingly. However, I have every faith that by learning from the lessons, the Battalion team will place highly this year.
Overall, the Alpine team delivered what we set out to achieve, which was to improve depth in the alpine team but also to develop all of the individuals exposing them to a challenging environment. Most importantly, a great time was had by all and we look forward to taking the team out for the next iteration in the 2019/20 season.
2Lt Clarke
OC 5 Platoon
  Ex FROSTED BLADE enjoy a day off in between the downhill championships
 (eFP)” task which sees member nations contrib- uting force elements to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland to “enhance military presence”. The challenges in each country vary, involving the huge variety of equipment and languages, ideas of how to go about the task, rotational time tables, expectations and requirements. In Estonia this is where the BIT comes in. We are a small team who sit between the Bde HQ and the eFPC BG comprising of an OC, a BG Liaison Officer (LO), a Joint Fires LO, an Air Defence LO and a Danish LO. We try to understand and help solve any issues between the two and help deliver the required integration training for the next incoming BG whilst providing the Bde extra Staff power during Exercises. We also provide the Situational Awareness for the enhanced Forward Presence Command (eFPC) who sit in Tallinn (the Capital) alongside the Estonian Defence Force (EDF), who oversee the eFP in Estonia and the UK element in Poland. The KRH BG do a great job identifying the best way to integrate the Belgian Coy which will shortly rotate to the French Marines. They are also the force behind what needs to be passed onto the next BG, the Queens Royal Hussars (QRH) although they will face a winter tour which will throw up a different set of challenges. The HOTO is a key aspect of our rôle as we look to prepare the QRH before they deploy including extensive in-theatre integration training.
Op CABRIT certainly isn’t all hard work, with time and space to see the country, its towns, wildlife, beaches, spas, festivals and culture. The recent calendar has seen “Has Tapa Got Talent?”, a boxing tournament, cross-fit competition, rugby matches, mud runs, battle field tours and adventure training. In many ways it is very similar to a deployment in Germany as opposed to an Operation as we would consider it. As long as the Readiness state is upheld, life can continue fairly normally, and it is certainly a far cry from the days of 5 RIFLES on the first rotation of Op CABRIT. Maj Jonny Webber Battalion 2IC

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