My experience on Exercise ARES STORM - Private Joseph Clifford

My name is Private Joseph Clifford, I’m a member of No.2 Company 3 Royal Anglian (Reserves). For the past month, however I’ve been a member of 10 Platoon C Company 1 Royal Anglian for Exercise ARES STORM. I say a member because that’s exactly how they made me feel, from the moment I got off the bus I was out into the block with the rest of the company and shown the ropes on how to fit in and this carried on for the duration of my stay.

As a Reservist in the Infantry, you join with the idea of doing all the cool stuff the recruiters sell to you and for the first year during training it’s easy to get sidetracked and forget about all that stuff but for me Exercise Ares Storm is the exact reason I joined the Infantry.

In the weeks leading up to me going to Cyprus, I took part in Exercise BLADE 1-2 here in the UK, where we visited both familiar and unfamiliar territory from bare routes soldering to FIBURA. Doing all this in the months before was definitely a big help as when on Exercise ARES STORM these were all the skills, I was able to call on.

It was amazing for me to be able to fall into a regular Platoon and be confident that the skills and drills all went hand in hand and that when needed we can fall in and help do the job with our Regular counterparts.

Exercise ARES STORM was several lanes designed to push us as a Platoon to see what we could do and re-affirm everything we’d previously been taught. It ranged from Attack lanes over some of Cyprus’s most deadly terrain to a 48-hour Defense and a Raid in a village all at Company level. For the final stage a Battlegroup assault on the same village. A large amount of planning had gone into the battlegroup phase, and it was amazing to see it all come together from on the ground.

All of this was amazing to do, and I learnt things I’ll take through my career such as TEZ training and GPMG WHT and getting hands-on with both a TEZ NLAW and AZUM. I’ve also made a lot of new friends across the Regiment now in another Battalion. I loved having the opportunity to go overseas as a newly trained soldier and get stuck in. It is just what we sign up for and I’d recommend it to anyone. I hope in future that more opportunities arise within the Regiment as I know me, and a lot of other Reservists would love to take part.

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