News, 2nd Battalion | 27 October 2023

Machine Gun Platoon Cadre and Live Firing – 2nd Battalion

Machine Gun 2nd Battalion, Royal Anglian Regiment

The Machine Gun (MG) Platoon, part of the vanguard is responsible for providing direct and indirect fire support for the 2nd Battalion, Royal Anglian Regiment, and wider Battlegroup. The Gunner and Gun Controller pair are the foundation element of the Platoon, firing the Rifle Company manoeuvre elements in on H-Hr. Qualifying these individuals involves a high level understanding of the General-Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) in the sustained fire (SF) role, using the tripod to provide accurate fire out to 1800m. The MG Platoon maintains a mandate to keep individuals current and competent through a distributed training cadre.

A new Platoon HQ, with my arrival from Infantry Training Centre and of Colour Sergeant Presland for Mission Ready Training Centre. Our first training event had us rolling straight into the Poachers Machine Gun Platoon Gunner and Gun Controller cadre. The cadre ran July to September 2023 split between locations in; the new home of The Royal Anglian Regiment, at Kendrew Barracks in Cottesmore, and the unusually dry and warm Otterburn Training Area. The cadre covered the tactics and doctrine required for varying operations involving Machine Guns and progressed onto a live fire package culminating in all pairs passing the challenging ACMT as Gunners / Gun Controllers. A highlight throughout the live fire for myself was the accurate night firing onto pre-recorded targets fro

Being Light Mechanised Infantry, Machine Gun Platoon is mounted in the HMVT, commonly the Jackal platform. The Platoon’s Jackals are armed with the 12.7mm Heavy Machine Guns (HMG) and 40mm Grenade Machine Gun (GMG), greatly expanding the Platoons firepower and range. The cadre provided an excellent opportunity for the Gunners of these vehicles to become experienced with the increased accuracy of the HMG. This was evident after watching targets drop ranges up to 2Km, from single shot firing.

For over half of the Platoon this was the first-time handling either the GPMG (SF) or HMG and a huge amount of credit to the Section Commanders; Corporals Broome, Callis and Lea for excellent instruction on the correct handling and implication of the weapons.

The new arrivals included five soldiers from the 1st Battalion, now transferred to the 2nd Battalion/ I am happy to see an instant and seamless integration with all members of the Platoon from individuals across the two Battalions. With the tracer settled from the final close of the cadre, twelve soldiers received the Machine Gun flash to be worn proudly on their uniform and a further four reconfirmed their place in the Platoon.

MG Platoon will now deploy concurrently on D (Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire) Company’s mounted live fire exercise and Exercise WESSEX STORM, developing our capability and preparations for January 2024 where Machine Gun Platoon expects to play a vital and leading role in the Battlegroup’s position at high readiness.

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