Page 65 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
P. 65

 I Company Support Weapons Cadres
Following a strong performance in Kenya on   cadre in camp, with a heavy focus on the fitness
   Exercise ASKARI STORM, I Company recovered from the exercise and prepared to run Support Weapons cadres in June -July 2019. It also provided time for Major Rhys Jones to hand over command of the Company to Major Paul (Fran) Francis, conduct some adventure training and complete the finishing touches to the cadres. Senior Riflemen throughout 2 RIFLES applied to join platoons in I Company for a taste of something different; to provide niche capabilities for the Battalion, learn new skills and achieve bragging rights in the block and NAAFI.
All I Company Platoons (Recce, Javelin, Snipers, Mortars, Machine Guns, and Assault Pioneers) began with some form of conceptual training and revision of basic skills. In Recce Platoon, this included the fundamentals and principles of recce, and lectures on formation and ground reconnais- sance doctrine. Meanwhile, Javelin conducted a conceptual study of Battle Group Level Operations (the strategic corporal is dead, long live the strategic Rifleman!), and conducted Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV) recognition and practised basic skills on the In-Door Trainer until their eyes ached.
Moving outdoors, Recce platoon conducted a week of individual navigation exercises (NAVEXs) back-to-back with outdoor lessons, and comms lessons ranging from PRC 354 revision to HF. Using these skills, the Platoon spring-boarded onto a short Observation Post (OP) exercise to put into practice their logging and reporting theory. The cadre finished with the Recce Platoon completing a Close Target Reconnaissance (CTR) week with new Riflemen completing CTRs by night, patrol reports, receipt of orders and moving onto new targets.
Javelin Platoon then moved onto the practical phase of their cadre; with all Riflemen passing their mandatory Gunner’s Skills Test, Military Knowledge (MK) assessment and AFV recognition. They moved onto NAVEXs and practical application of classroom lessons through Tactical Exercises without Troops (TEWTs) and practical lessons, before the platoon moved onto the final exercise phase.
Snipers had a successful practical cadre which has allowed them to get their new Riflemen up to standard ahead of the ‘badging test week’. After 4 weeks of build-up phase 1 shoots, navigation exercises, and observation skills incorporating camouflage and concealment, they were ready for their ACMT. The Platoon moved onto stalking by day and by night and continued their dry exercise throughout the week. This was an opportunity to showcase the high standards in the Platoon, with outside students from the Queens Dragoon Guards (QDG) and 5 RIFLES in attendance.
The Assault Pioneer Platoon taught their new Riflemen demolitions, creation of obstacles and minefield clearance. This was linked to the urban environment as well, with the Platoon conducting Urban Ops studies relevant to their role as obstacle and counter-obstacle Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). In the run up to the Rifles Gathering they were also honing their bugle notes, ready to augment the Band and Bugles of The Rifles. Clearing minefields by day, blowing bugles by night...
The Mortar Platoon conducted most of their THE RIFLES
and robustness required for load carriage of mortar equipment. Crucial to the development of the young Riflemen was their understanding of how the mortar sections work and developing interchangeable skills. The drills on the mortar barrels developed well, with the new recruits able to set up and “bubble on” in less than one minute. The Mortar cadre culmi- nated with a week of live mortar firing on Otterburn Training Area.
Machine Guns have also worked on building the robustness of the Platoon and conducted training and weapon handling on the General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG), Grenade Machine Gun (GMG) and Heavy Machine Gun (HMG). This saw the new Riflemen drilled in the set up and instructed on the siting and application of these key weapon systems. Slick drills and timings became second nature as new entrants to the platoon quickly picked up their new role. The Platoon finished the cadre with two weeks of live firing to build up to their Annual Combat Marksmanship Tests and develop their ability to adjust fire and switch targets in a realistic environment only live training can offer.
In the time available, all platoons made an excellent effort with the cadres to get the new Riflemen engaged and qualified. All cadres, with the exception of Snipers, culminated with a final exercise to test all skills learned, before a non-tac- tical March to London for the Rifleman’s Gathering in time for some tea/boxing/rugby.
Major Paul Francis
Officer Commanding I Company
 Send it! Mortar Platoon conducting live fire drills
    Machine Gun Platoon conducting a testing march to the firing point

   63   64   65   66   67