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British Troops Show Off Amphibious Skills In River Crossing

Senior British and German Army officers gathered to observe Exercise Iron Dice - a capability demonstration in which soldiers crossed a 76...

Nearly 100 senior British and German Army officers gathered to observe Exercise Iron Dice - a capability demonstration in which soldiers crossed 76 metres of flowing river using amphibious bridge-building rigs and assault boats.

In the event of an attack on a military ally, the ability to rapidly transport large numbers of troops across a wide variety of terrain is an essential skill and rivers can present a problem.

With that in mind, a capability demonstration saw the most senior officers from across 3 Division brought in by coach and helicopter, all with the same goal - to observe different ways to cross the River Weser in Minden, northern Germany without getting a single boot wet.

Corporal Michael Sprague told Forces News: "We were set an example of a covert assault river crossing.

"Say you were crossing a river at night, you’d have to have minimal noise, minimal light. So, you would use oars and get across the river as quietly as you can."

Iron Dice

River Weser in Minden is by no means the largest body of water the army has had to cross.

“Depending on the configuration and the number of troops that we actually deploy, we have bridged up to 370 metres," recalled Lieutenant Colonel Andy Windram, Commanding Officer, 75 Engineer Regiment.

Coordinating the covert assault river crossing by rowing across the Weser, is recent Sandhurst graduate, 2nd Lieutenant Madeline Hudson of 26 Engineer Regiment:

“It’s been an amazing opportunity. I thought it would be a bit more nerve-wracking but fortunately, we have a really supportive Squadron HQ.”

Exercise Iron Dice is due to finish on Friday.