3rd Battalion - Flood Defence Confirmatory Exercise

Local Army Reserve Soldiers conduct night time deployment exercise confirming ability to provide immediate support to Local Authority MAC A request. The exercise took place at Lowestoft Town Inner Harbour, a known area susceptible to flooding.

Soldiers from No.1 Company, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment, The Steelbacks took part in the exercise.

Previous training with East Suffolk Council and the Water Management Alliance required a confirmatory run-out to ensure previous skills hadn’t been lost due to lack of opportunity to practice due to COVID-19 restrictions.  All personnel proved their ability to react in the timely manner required to prevent catastrophic coastal flooding within a large inhabited area.

An early finish of civilian employment was deemed critical to test the effect on availability of deployable troops.  Moving under existing fleet vehicles the Reservist Soldiers, suitably equipped with PPE provided a small but efficient force of manpower to erect the required lengths of coastal flood barriers.  The exercise also tested the sustainability of such manpower with a relief crew being stood to as the end of the civilian working day approached.

The Steelbacks deployed to the Quayside where the equipment is held and after quick safety brief and a revisionary practical demonstration the soldiers were put to task.  Due to the quality of the instruction the two team leaders were quick to establish a routine to ensure the tasks where carried out in the required sequence to erect the barriers in a timely and efficient manner.

The Chief Instructor from Water Management Alliance commented on the speed the soldiers grasped their task and the momentum of which they completed it.

Overall the confirmatory test exercise went well, under the watchful eye of the Suffolk MLO Maj Robinson, who was able to use this as a demonstration to other AR staff from different Units to showcase the members of No.1 Company working alongside civilian agencies.