Ex GOTHIC DRAGON Urban Training Week
In February the Battalion deployed to Germany on a 4-week exercise which covered live firing, tactical simulators and urban operations. As a section commander, I was part of the team delivering the urban operations package.
Day 1 we deployed on the ground settled into our accommodation and prepared for the next few days training. All the NCOs agreed that we would use Marker Round Training System (MRTS) simunition (paintball) ammo as this provided the most realistic training. Cpl Nadakeke gave a power point on FIBUA tactics before the company moved down into the village to be taught the drills of the demo team by myself and LCpl Hilmer-Hills. We taught 1 drill at a time and each time the company would go off to practice with their section commander and 2IC. Each team had a designated area for training, I had taken my section to a long alley way that was perfect for practicing corridor drills, this had taken most of the day to get through all the different drills you conduct in FIBUA. The night was taken up by learning how to use LLM and night sights, we made it fun by having a game of football with night sights which proved to be a challenge.
Day 2 we woke up to conduct bayonet training. Many of us had not done this in a long time. First, we charged at targets and stabbed them and I remember lots of running around before you go down a bayonet lane with multiple dummies and lots of crawling, a good all round battle fitness session. Afterwards we carried on with the FIBUA training doing a round robin consisting of a stoppage lane, building clearance, house colour system and judgmental shoot with simunition. After lunch each section practiced as fire teams and pairs clearing buildings and working on their SOPs. This was our last night in the village so we set up a night serial which would be an attack lane moving from one building to another then another with each getting progressively harder with obstacles and music to make communication harder and give a sense of realism, each section went through and was watched by NCOs to give a back brief to let them know what went well and what to improve on. Platoon Commanders and the Commanding Officer also watched this.
Day 3 was the last day of this phase, and was force on force with 4 platoon vs 5 platoon simunition match. They attempted to save their platoon commanders, who had been ‘captured’, from ransom or execution by the other platoon. Fortunately, both were rescued and are alive and well.