Page 36 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
P. 36

  Mors integrated with the big guns on Ex SUNDERLAND SABRE
Mortar Pl Cadre
The Mortar platoon had a moderate number of new arrivals to train with seven potential mortar-men newly posted into the platoon. In September 2018, we started the training of the annual Mortar Numbers cadre to bring the platoon status and requirements for the unit up to maintain Mortar capability to ensure the unit can sustain its readiness in NATO. The cadre replenished and trained every un-trained and trained Rifleman as a current and competent
Mortar number on the 81mm Mortar to a standard that each member can carry out all drills effectively in a mortar detachment (individual Mortar).
In total there were twenty-four students including two Lance Corporals and twenty two Riflemen who conducted the demanding four week cadre. The first two weeks were weapon handling combined with physical training for preparation of a very demanding heavy carry (Loaded March) of Mortar equipment. There was a five day, dry exercise to continue to teach, TEWT and test the students on all lessons that had been taught. It added a tactical element to the training including vehicle mounted training, man pack training with day and night occupations and extractions in and out of contact. The final phase of the training was live firing which also integrated the 105mm Light Guns of 4 Regiment Royal Artillery on Ex SUNDERLAND SABRE. This gave newly trained and experienced MFC Alphas and Bravos the chance to work with Fire Support Teams and develop their skills with some realistic timelines and fire plans, all under the watchful eye of Sjt Park.
Overall the cadre was deemed a complete success which passed every member to a high standard, least to mention Rfn Loader who was awarded Best Student, and was all expertly tutored by Cpl Stone, Cpl Neilson, Cpl Whiffin and Cpl Pye. It gave the platoon the opportunity to observe the true effectiveness and speed that fire support can be brought to bear, by what can only be described as the Battle-group commander’s only guaranteed option for accurate indirect fire. Each and every member of the cadre should be proud of their achievements.
Sjt Bailey
Acting OC Mortars Pl, S Coy
      Anti-Tank Pl
The cadre consisted of three weeks in camp and a further week on exercise in Dartmoor consolidating previous skills. The weeks in camp brought lessons on weapon handling and AFV recognition, alongside a steady diet of Javelin specific PT. The increased weight of kit that is required to be carried by the platoon’s gunners means that the men have to slowly build up to the potential 50 or 60 kilos they might be consistently carrying on operations and exercise.
Once released from the constraints of camp, the platoon were able to stretch their legs on Dartmoor and conduct increasingly kinetic training serials. From pairing our training with the Mortar Platoon to 15-20km navigation exercises, the platoon was tested and stretched in a way that all members could feel confident by the end in the ability of those to their left and right.
Our scoresheet by the end of the cadre was five new gunners, two of whom were from the reserves. This was on top of confirming another five gunners already in the platoon. Rfn Taylor was awarded top student and was presented his trophy at the platoon BBQ at the conclusion of the cadre.
As Op TORAL 8 approaches, a new skillset will be required from the platoon. Conventional anti-tanking will have to be placed on pause during this operation cycle but the underlying ability of the platoon is strong and we will be well placed to attack another Kenya in 2021.
Capt Josh Lee OC ATk Pl, S Coy

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