Page 80 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
P. 80

The Spring saw a busy period of several smaller, but none the less, interesting exercises for Salamanca Company. In February, Salamanca Company deployed to Salisbury Plain to trial new equipment aimed at giving dismounted soldiers better situa- tional awareness. This consisted of a new radio network which works by ‘bouncing’ the signal from one set to another to achieve range, as opposed to increasing power outage for greater range, as current systems do. This was very well received, particularly because of the reduced weight of batteries that need to be carried.
For commanders, the real leap in situational awareness came in the form of a phone sized screen which would display the location of all Riflemen on the battlefield. Having this ability greatly reduced voice traffic on the radio because all commanders knew
where everyone was at every stage. Additionally, the system allowed us quickly to send sketches drawn on the screen and drop markers, such as enemy locations. This enabled us to vastly reduce the time we required to distribute enemy location information and reduced confusion, as boundaries and axes could be easily seen on the map or satellite image on the screen.
The system allowed us to make decisions faster with less confusion, an invaluable advantage on any battlefield. All those involved agreed that they would use the system now and very much look forward to it coming into service.
The next challenge for the Company was Exercise URBAN STRIKE 2, a simulation exercise using laptops and X Box controllers. The aim of this exercise was to test and develop the Strike concept in the urban environment prior to testing the doctrine in the real world. The key advantage of simulation, particularly for this type of exercise, was the ability to quickly reset the scenario and run it again in a different way. Several tactics would be tested in each scenario, with subsequent assessment of the best option, thus developing the doctrine for Strike.
Whilst many Riflemen were very used to using the XBOX controllers and play similar computer games for fun, it was a challenge to operate in a team and use tactical formations on the system. Ironi- cally, this was largely due to the reduced situational awareness that you get looking at a screen. Despite this challenge, the exercise was a success and many of the lessons learned will be taken forward into Ex GRIFFIN STORM later in the year to confirm them in the real world.
Both exercises were interesting and rewarding, particularly because they were at the leading edge of development for the British Army.
2Lt Newman
Officer Commanding 1 Platoon
Dismounted Situational Awareness Trial and Exercise Urban Strike 2
      Ably modelled by LCpl Millar
Commanders’ tablets – greater situational awareness
  Adventurous Training
    Kayaking in the Highlands
Adventure Training remains at the forefront of Battalion life. The high demand for both Type 2 and 3 training packages, coupled with Type 4 Adventure Training Courses has provided tremendous opportunity for members of the Battalion to participate in challenging outdoor pursuits. These activities prove undoubtably integral to the development of our core values and expanding our leadership, team work and other qualities that our essential to operational effec- tiveness.
In a little over 12 months, in the region of 250 personnel have conducted one of numerous five-day, Type 2 multiple activity training packages. This has been coordinated from both Aviemore and Kinlochleven, some of Scotland’s most idyllic and scenic regions. With a healthy balance of in-house instructors, the ability to facilitate a wide

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