1 LANCS Soldiers Prepare For Kenya Exercise

The soldiers spent three weeks training on Otterburn ranges ahead of a multinational exercise in Kenya.

Soldiers from 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment have been training in Northumberland ahead of a multinational exercise in January.

Over three weeks on ranges in Otterburn, the troops have conducted heavy carries, gunner skills tests, javelin tactics and learned about their secondary weapons system - the NLAW (next generation light anti-tank weapon).

Soldiers are not often given the chance to fire an NLAW, as they are expensive weapons.

Sergeant Dale Stonehewer, 1 LANCS Anti-Tank Platoon, told Forces News the soldiers fired the weapon 200 metres, although it can fire "at 600 metres on a static target, 400 metres on a moving target".

"The weapon system itself is soft launch so we have no recoil," he said.

"It has two modes; it has direct attack and over-top attack.

"What happens is, on the direct, the round will project from the tube itself and it will fire directly at the target, the OTA that we have on it, the other method of firing, the round fires slightly above the target itself then the round projects into the target."

The soldiers spent the summer conducting COVID-19 tests, with thousands still involved in the mass coronavirus testing pilot in Liverpool.

For the platoon, it has been crucial for ordinary training to continue.

The NLAW fires at 600 metres on a static target and 400 metres on a moving target.

Colour Sergeant James Burke, 1 LANCS Anti-Tank Platoon, said: "While COVID and everything was on and the mobile testing, we were sort of dispersed training, so lads were doing a lot of online stuff on the Army Knowledge Exchange and the Defence Connect and all that sort of stuff.

"It's good to actually shake out as a platoon and get some proper training done and get to fire some NLAWs."

Lance Corporal Andrew Jamieson, 1 LANCS Anti-Tank Platoon, added: "A lot of the lads themselves have missed being around one another.

"Obviously we've broken down into small units and pushed out of the battalion itself, but now we're all back together a lot of people are enjoying it, and especially courses like this help."

In January, 1 LANCS will take part in Exercise Askari Storm in Kenya where they will play the enemy for the Mercian Regiment.