Exercise GOTHIC DRAGON Sennelager, Germany
The training and range package we conducted in Sennelager Camp in Germany consisted of a very flexible and effective programme, starting with training in CATT, progressing from platoon level, through company level, and finishing at a battle group attack. Also, we took part in Urban Ops training practicing skills and drills ranging from breaching doorways as well as clearing rooms and buildings while gradually progressing to more complex scenarios and training methods to experience fresh and rather unfamiliar situations. The enjoyment of the soldiers on this constructive training package was the use of rounds (it’s like paint-balling) that demonstrated the realism in this type of combat.
Also, two weeks were initially planned to conduct the live firing on Sennelager ranges on the Warrior AFV as part of the build-up and progression to pass the Annual Crew Test, a mandatory live firing requirement for dedicated crews. While the first two days for B (Rorke’s Drift) Company resulted in crews reaching ACT standard, unfortunately on day three, it was at this point that the ranges, as well as the remaining training package, was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nevertheless, the training package provided an excellent opportunity to also take part in historic visits to places like the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and Exercise BERLIN DRAGON which was a history tour led by a military historian around Berlin and the outskirts and learned about the Soviet Army’s campaign to flank and defeat the Germans in World War 2. The tour also led to the majority of the well-known sights in Berlin like the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Reichstag (or Bundestag as it is referred to today as the legislative chamber of the German government).
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In summary, Sennelager provided both an excellent training opportunity and some needed morale for the Battalion. Although the package was sadly cut short by Covid-19, some excellent training had been conducted and a highly informative battlefield study had been completed. Our hard work before deployment had been validated, and we look forward to pushing out on the next overseas training exercise.