Vikings in Cyprus

This month saw A (Norfolk) Company take to the training area working on section-level skills. Soldiers from the Fighting Ninth spent 8 days in the harsh training areas of the Western Sovereign Base Area and under took section actions, navigation exercises and basic fieldcraft. The exercise culminated in a section-level patrol lane testing all aspects of the exercise and concluded in a demanding bayonet lane. A demanding but rewarding exercise for the company who now look to take over as the Lead Company Group at readiness over the Christmas period.

The Sniper Platoon has run a cadre to grow their numbers and increase the current size of the platoon. The selection process lasted four weeks, identifying soldiers with the suitable traits to be trained as Snipers. Week one consisted of establishing a base standard and introducing the candidates to the role of the Sniper. The week consisted of lessons and various assessments looking at the candidate’s fitness and navigational ability by both day and night. The following week provided an interesting live-fire package for the students. It gave them the opportunity to practice the skills they have learned using the various sights and optics available. The final two weeks of the course consisted of an exercise phase run on the WSBA Training Area near Episkopi. This provided a testing environment in which the students could further hone their skills at the individual and pair level. It was a physically demanding two weeks of Stalks, Reconnaissance and navigation exercises, culminating in a final attack with a coordinated shoot.  The students were introduced to new weapon systems and equipment. The use of attached arms in the form of Helicopter capability provided by 84 Sqn and Military Working Dogs provided a stimulating training environment.

B (Suffolk) Company took the opportunity of a slightly quieter month to have a Mediterranean cruise! Ex VIKING SAIL saw 4 members of the Company sail from RAF Akrotiri to Pafos, under the watchful eye of Maj Harry Swales, himself a former LCpl in the battalion! The aim of the expedition was to develop key military skills such as planning, communication, and teamwork in a challenging and hostile environment as well as to gain experience to enable future expeditions. All those participating thoroughly enjoyed the experience – just one of the many opportunities in Cyprus.