On the morning of 30th October 2019, B (Rorke’s Drift) Company deployed onto Salisbury Plain Training Area (SPTA) to start the Company annual Battle Craft Syllabus. The Company has recently had a number of personality changes in command therefore this was an excellent opportunity to “shake out” and practice our MCC and DCC skills. The first few days on the Plain where vital to success and particularly rewarding. It allowed the Company to learn as a collective and focused on MCC at Platoon Level; this included occupation of hides, AFV camouflage and concealment along with basic open area attacks. This was closely observed and mentored by the watchful eye and experience of WSM WO2 Moss.
As the week progressed the Company moved on to more complex operations. The Platoons attacked multiple objectives with deliberate orders and conducted FIWAF and OBUA operations with Warriors in close support. Again, a great opportunity for newly qualified Vehicle Commanders and recruits to become familiar with the Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle. One objective even had the WALES vs NEW ZEALAND game playing and welsh cakes on call once we called “POSITION CLEAR!” – a great time for the blokes to relax build cohesion and enjoy watching a game of rugby in the field!
We then conducted joint training with A Company and practised Defence. 5 Platoon worked hard whilst attached to A Coy – assisting the NLAW defensive matrix by occupying a sub-surface OP whilst 4 Platoon were the OPFOR acting as RED forces commanded by Lt Colley. After Defence, 5 Platoon conducted a raid to finish off a good leg stretch before both Company Validations. Again, a great opportunity to conduct Company Ops with three Platoons.
We then went into Validation Phase which consisted of a Live free thinking and peer enemy to face for a period of three days. 5 Platoon were again attached to A coy and conducted Advance to Contacts, Raids and Defensive training objectives. A lot was learnt and it was also an opportunity for All Ranks to use, familiarise themselves and fight with TES Kit. The After Actions Reviews were deemed very helpful and provided a different perspective to help analyse performance, although I can confirm that TES Batteries absolutely do not last as long in the cold as SAAB think!
Once the Validation was complete with A Coy, B (Rorke’s Drift) Company reformed for our own Validation. Our 3rd platoon was provided by 1 Platoon and enemy provided by 2 Platoon. The exercise this time started with Defence, nights in CBRN kit within a dug in sub-surface OP – alongside a great deception plan thought up by the OC, with the CSM inspecting the Company effectively to get the MDA ready for an advancing enemy. They absolutely fell for the deception enabling long range engagements to destroy the enemy at the earliest opportunity.
After the defensive phase the Company conducted raids onto Greenland’s Camp and then conducted an Advance to Contact with plenty of FIWAF incorporated. Again, After Action Reviews worked to identify the Company’s strong points and areas for improvement. This has allowed us as a Company to come up with an Action Plan on how to improve prior to the deployment on Ex GOTHIC DRAGON and further ahead to Ex PRAIRIE STORM.
Overall, a successful BCS for B (Rorke’s Drift) Company where we learnt a lot as a collective in some testing and miserable weather conditions. The exercise provided an opportunity to learn and build on both mounted and dismounted skills. The OC commented how as a sub-unit we have the ability to learn fast. This has put us in a great place to continue building in the New Year and show what arguably the most famous sub-unit in the British Army is capable of.