1 R WELSH Training During COVID-19
As the world has ground to a halt following the COVID-19 outbreak, training within 1 R WELSH initially followed suit. Many planned individual and collective training events from April to July had to be either postponed or cancelled. With BATUS in 2021 looming on the horizon, the Battalion has had to find new ways to continue training to maintain important skills.
Companies run lessons and study online using a wide variety of training resources offered by the MOD. Lessons include dismounted and mounted doctrine, Support Company specific capabilities, Company and Battalion standard operating procedures (SOPs), and numerous other topics. Video conferences have become a common tool that allows face-to-face training and meetings. While the value of in-person training is undisputed, the many online resources have enabled a lot of training to continue throughout isolation.
When restrictions allowed it, some individual and collective training resumed within Lucknow Barracks. Some vehicle, medical and communications courses recommenced, all essential requirements to maintain the Battalion at Operational Readiness, managed through the careful use of PPE and Social Distancing measures. Companies have also had the opportunity to conduct virtual training focusing on Platoon mounted manoeuvre. Warrior Commanders, Gunners and Drivers have been using computer based simulators that allow the training and development of Platoon SOPs.
Looking forward, the Battalion has a significant commitment to COVID-19 testing in the coming months. Companies will seek to balance leave and perhaps some individual training when not on COVID-19 tasks. Once the Battalion knows it can fully return to routine work, the focus will be on Support Company cadres, armoured vehicle and communications training as we seek to set the foundations for our ‘road to BATUS.’