Exercise TEAM SPIRIT is the name of the final exercise for the Armoured Infantry Crew Commanders Course (AICCC) which is run from the Land Warfare Centre in Warminster. The exercise is the culmination of a 4 week tactical course and tests the students on what they’ve learnt over their careers and more importantly the most up to date doctrine that is taught on the course.
The students go through a number of different tactical actions working alongside the heavy armour units using the Challenger 2 main battle tank, this is the norm for armoured infantry units and you’ll very rarely see armoured infantry being deployed without the support of heavy armour.
1 R WELSH facilitated the exercise with C Coy providing a full armoured infantry company as well as providing the enemy contingent that deployed in Bulldogs and Landrovers. The guys for some unknown reason much prefer playing enemy than being exercising troops, probably because it means they can give their own mates a bit of a tougher time on exercise! They deployed with 14 Warriors and a full complement of REME attachments for the inevitable breakdowns!
For the C Coy boys, it was a strange exercise to deploy on, their usual commanders and gunners were squeezed in the backs of the trucks and random commanders and gunners from across all the armoured infantry battalions were given the vehicles to command. It’s always difficult handing over your platoon to another commander to take control of. You tend to want to stay involved as it’s your ‘train set’ but I always seem to get reminded it’s not me on the course being assessed.
During the exercise it felt like they coy were back in Estonia, sub-zero temperatures brought back a few horrid memories of winter camp for the majority who deployed on Op CABRIT 2! The warriors were white and the ground solid from the frost, but this wasn’t the end of the World as the majority were tucked up keeping nice and warm in the back, only having to dismount on a few occasions.
It was a good week for the C Coy boys who got a chance to shake out on a mounted exercise, supporting the other Armoured Infantry battalions within the Army. It was a reasonably slowed paced exercise for our guys so they made it count when they needed to and got plenty of rest and stayed warm in the backs of the Warriors when they weren’t needed!