Exercise Suffolk Soldier 2 - Cyprus

Fresh off of a rotation of leave and security duties, B (Suffolk) Company, 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment deployed on a CT1 and 2 Level exercise, Exercise Suffolk Soldier 2.  This consisted of two weeks of section and platoon-level training.  The exercise proved to be an excellent opportunity to brush off the cobwebs and begin to practice, and perfect, low-level skills and drills; Essential to every infantry soldier.

The initial stages of the exercise saw B Company’s Urban Ops Instructors taking the lead on basic urban warfare training.  HMP Dhekelia Prison, provided great real estate to refresh on methods of movement in the urban setting.  Soldiers practiced using ladders to gain access to multiple storied buildings and the use of formations and clearance drills employed whilst fighting in an urban environment.  Training progressed to the use of Simulation rounds for clearing buildings both against targets and live enemy.  Also pushing the soldiers to the full by introducing judgemental shoots in some rooms.  This training would prove to be useful in the latter stages of the exercise.

B Company then deployed to the Western Sovereign Base Area to conduct further platoon training. 5 and 6 Platoon Platoon Commanders and Sergeants delivered lessons in basic navigation, CASEVACs and communication lessons and section commanders ran through contact drills and section-level SOPs. This training was tested with a day and night navigation and patrol skills exercise based out of Akrotiri training area.  Section commanders drilled each section on hand signals, patrolling formations and actions on.

Following this was a force-on-force recce patrol. The platoons split down into multiples, which allowed one force to start in the north of the WSBA and one in the south.  The mission was to find and understand each other’s movements, patrol formations, tactics and procedures then relaying this information higher. This gave sections further time to practice basic navigation and patrolling at night using NVGs.  The ground was sharp sudden drops and unforgiving slopes which proved very testing for each side, pushing all soldiers out of their comfort zones.

All the section-level training led us into the final phase of the exercise which saw platoons carry out an advance to contact across sheer ridge lines and steep valleys and finally a deliberate attack on Paramali village. This combined the urban and conventional skills refreshed over the week. The culmination of the week’s training showed great development in the company’s fighting ability, which will stand the Suffolks in good stead by perfecting the basics for the upcoming Exercise Mayan Warrior in Belize in the summer of 2023.

British Army in Cyprus


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