Army Combat Power Demonstration 2019
October 2019 BC (before Coronavirus) Alpha Company deployed to Copehill Down village on Salisbury Plain to take centre stage for the annual Army Combat Power Demonstration (ACPD). The ACPD showcases the British Army and its equipment to people who work in the civil sector and visiting foreign dignitaries. As B (Rorke’s Drift) Company performed so well last year, the bar was set very high. So, for Alpha Company to outdo last year's performance a lot of planning and preparation was undertaken.
The first part of this mammoth task was to turn half of Copehill Down into a Hollywood ‘warzone’. Three buildings were selected, and 1 & 2 Platoon got to work making these defendable. Sandbags were filled for two days straight and were then used inside and outside the houses for hasty defences. Stairs were barricaded with household furniture that the CQ kindly acquired from recycling centres across Wiltshire. Then we concentrated on the outside of the buildings erecting low wire entanglements. It was decided that 1 Platoon would enter the village from the South and 2 Platoon from the East. We had 5 days of rehearsals alongside the Danish, KRH and Royal Engineers who joined later in the week.
When the first day of the event arrived, Alpha Company and attached personnel were ready to demonstrate why we nominated as the British Army’s Lead Armoured Battlegroup. With crowds of hundreds of people watching, 1 Platoon moved into position and waited for H hour, which was initiated with two apache helicopters flying in low. We then proceeded to move South of Copehill Down and as we approached Hollywood fireballs and explosions were set off, and our chain guns began firing. As we got within 20 meters of the buildings the sections dismounted their vehicles and headed to the first building.
When the first building was clear, the crowd moved to a second stand while 2 Platoon headed into the village led by the Trojan which was needed to clear the road, blocked by cars. Following a low pass by the Apaches, the Trojan smashed through the road block the street erupted with explosions, fireballs and ammunition. The lead warrior headed down the main street at full speed and the section dismounted the vehicle within meters of the second house. The second man out of the warrior jumped on the barbed wire to allow the rest of the section easy access to the break-in point and the dog handler was first, throwing the dog through the open window, followed by the rest of the section. Once the house was cleared it was time for a surprise. The spectators were allowed into the house and became part of the scenario that was playing out whilst casualties were evacuated, and ammunition resupplied in preparation for the imminent counter-attack.
Once the demonstration was over the spectators were free to walk around and talk to the members of Alpha Company and the lucky ones even got a free ride in a Warrior.
In all, The Royal Welsh completed a most impressive demonstration of firepower.