News, 3rd Battalion | 22 May 2024

3rd Battalion Shines on Exercise Steelback Strike

A Weekend of Tactical Excellence and Comradeship

From May 17th to 19th, the soldiers of the 3rd Battalion, Royal Anglian Regiment converged on the Stanford Training Area (STANTA) near Thetford for Exercise Steelback Strike. This intense and multifaceted exercise was designed to enhance their combat readiness and showcase the battalion’s dedication to maintaining a tactical edge.

On Friday night, troops from all five companies arrived at Lynford Home Farm, their temporary base. The evening was spent settling in and preparing for the rigorous training sessions ahead.

Saturday morning began with the issuance of Tactical Engagement Simulation (TES) equipment, which transformed the training into a realistic force-on-force experience. The TES system allowed laser beams to be emitted from the soldiers’ weapons and detected by sensors attached to their webbing and helmets. This advanced technology ensured that troops could accurately determine when they had been “hit,” adding a vital layer of authenticity to the exercise.

In a moment of pride and camaraderie, the CO promoted several private soldiers to lance corporal in front of the entire battalion. These individuals had recently completed and passed a JNCO cadre, demonstrating exceptional leadership potential, and the battalion celebrated their achievements with enthusiasm. Additionally, the CO publicly congratulated the Battalion Shooting Team for their outstanding performance, having won the 1 Div Operational Shooting Competition for the third consecutive year. The battalion also bade a heartfelt farewell to the RSM, who was retiring from the army after 25 years of distinguished service.

Exercise Steelback Strike 3rd Battalion Royal Anglian
Exercise Steelback Strike 3rd Battalion Royal Anglian

Post kit issuance, the troops divided into three platoons and commenced a series of training drills. The morning’s focus was on “remind-and-revise” sessions, where soldiers practiced advance-to-contact manoeuvres and Rehearsal of Concept (ROC) drills, covering various formations. This was followed by force-on-force Fighting in Woods and Forests (FIWAF) training serials, allowing sections to engage in mock combat scenarios using the TES equipment. The day concluded with section attack lanes, where troops refined their section-level SOPs before regrouping at Lynford Home Farm.

While the soldiers honed their combat skills, platoon commanders received detailed orders from the in-role company commander for the next morning’s company attack. They engaged in thorough planning, using the combat estimate process, and subsequently delivered their platoon orders to their troops.
After receiving their orders, the platoons conducted independent rehearsals to prepare for their roles in the upcoming company attack. They then entered battle routine, ensuring that both they and their equipment were ready for action.

Exercise Steelback Strike 3rd Battalion Royal Anglian

Sunday began early with a 0100hrs reveille. By 0200hrs the platoons were on the move, transported to the drop-off point in Troop Carrying Vehicles (TCVs). They then patrolled to their forming-up points, poised to launch their attack at 0500. The subsequent five-hour operation saw the company successfully clear a large area, including wood blocks, farm buildings, and a quarry, of enemy forces. Fire support was provided by a Jackal from 2 R ANGLIAN, enhancing the attack’s effectiveness.

Upon returning to Lynford Home Farm, the troops received a debrief on the attack’s successes and areas for improvement. The exercise concluded with a collective farewell to both the CO and the RSM, who were soon to depart the battalion.

Exercise Steelback Strike was a testament to the 3rd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment unwavering commitment to maintaining combat excellence. The soldiers demonstrated their mettle through challenging exercises, reaffirming that reservists are indeed “twice the citizen”. This weekend of intense training not only honed their tactical skills but also reinforced the bonds of camaraderie that are the bedrock of the regiment’s strength.

Exercise Steelback Strike 3rd Battalion Royal Anglian
Exercise Steelback Strike 3rd Battalion Royal Anglian
Exercise Steelback Strike 3rd Battalion Royal Anglian

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