OFFICERS and non-commissioned officers from seven regiments have been taking part in a Brigade Reconnaissance and Light Cavalry Tactics course, which teaches them the basics of being a reconnaissance vehicle or troop commander.
The 22 students from Household Cavalry Regiment, 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, Royal Dragoon Guards, 9th/12th Royal Lancers, Queen’s Royal Lancers and Light Dragoons faced their final test on Salisbury Plain during the last exercise of a challenging sixweek course, and on completion of the exercise the NCOs qualified as vehicle commanders, allowing them to return to their units to run their own crew and command a CVR(T) (Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked)) or Jackal.
The officers will qualify as troop leaders and return to regimental duty to run a reconnaissance troop of 12 soldiers using either of these vehicles.
Exercise Badgers Stress was the last of four exercises in the course and is designed to test the students in all that they have learned throughout the course.
This includes mounted and dismounted observation posts (OP), tactical vehicle manoeuvre, close target reconnaissance (CTR) and urban operations.
During the final seven-day test exercise the students carried out several challenging tasks. During days one to three they dug in sub-surface OPs. They then extracted from the OP on foot to join their vehicles and carry out mounted advances.
The exercise culminated in a complex withdrawal that tested the students’ ability to tactically manoeuvre while remaining in visual contact with enemy forces.
This included conducting a bridge crossing, sending accurate reports and calling in simulated artillery fire, all while avoiding being decisively engaged by the enemy.
Major Joe Bigg, SO2 Mounted Reconnaissance, Queen’s Royal Lancers, said: “Salisbury Plain provides a good variety of terrains for the students to exercise on; whether that is vehicle manoeuvre, foot patrols or sub-surface OPs.
“Following recent wet weather the surface conditions were very testing for the tracked vehicles. Although it was tough, the challenging environment added an extra dimension to the exercise.”