TROOPS from 1st Battalion Irish Guards successfully completed a two week exercise – Exercise Wessex Storm – which was designed to get them away from the Afghanistan-specific training that has occupied our troops for so long.

The training was varied and focused on fighting in built-up areas and training for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear warfare, as well as fighting in woods and forests. It also included elements of practising casualty evacuation without helicopter support.

More than 500 soldiers took part in the exercise, with 1st Battalion Irish Guards joined by 2 platoons from Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards and some individual officers from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.

They were also exercising with a company of the Royal Army of Oman and attached arms from 21 Engineer Regiment (Regt), 4 Regt Royal Artillery, 14 Signal Regt Royal Signals, 1, 2 and 4, Military Intelligence Regiments Int Corps and members of the London Regiment (TA).

Students from the Royal School of Artillery’s three main courses completed their final tactical dry training and live firing during exercise Crossed Cannons, which included 105mm light gun and 155mm AS90 firing.

The exercise involved 400 soldiers from the Royal School of Artillery and included personnel from: P Battery, 5 Regiment Royal Artillery; 28/143 Battery, 19 Regiment Royal Artillery; 32 Regiment Royal Artillery; 12 Regiment Royal Artillery; 14 Regiment Royal Artillery; and 16 Regiment Royal Artillery.

For some it was their first step into collective training.

Captain John Dobson, from the Royal School of Artillery at Larkhill, said: “Exercise Crossed Cannons provides the opportunity for many of our troops to put what they have learned in the classroom into practice.”