BATUS: Army's use of largest battleground has 'diminished'

The huge training site in Canada remains useful for the military, says a former commander, with the base set for change.

A former commander believes the Army’s use of its largest training site has "diminished", but that it could still have military value.

Retired Lieutenant General James Bashall, former Commander, Home Command, said British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS) in Alberta, Canada, could still be used for live fire exercise, but "doesn't look like many of the places that we've operated in".

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace says BATUS will see "change" but will not be closing, dismissing reports of a complete departure to train in the Middle East.

British soldiers have been training at BATUS since 1972, with Mr Bashall praising the facility for its use to troops ahead of Iraq and Afghanistan deployment.

However, he added that training "in the region where you may have to fight" is "much more realistic".