Cyprus

Exercise Lion Star: Historic Reservist Unit Tests Soldiering In Cyprus

This year marks the 50th birthday of the 71st City of London Yeomanry Signal Regiment.

One of the British Army's most historic reservist units has been honing its skills in Cyprus during Exercise Lion Star.

This year marks the 50th birthday of the 71st City of London Yeomanry Signal Regiment.

Its main role nowadays is to support emergency services in a crisis.

It recruits reservists from all walks of life, from London and the surrounding regions.

Lynsey Smith, from Essex, joined four years ago.

"I originally was going to be a signaller, came in and obviously started doing the training, and then when I went on my basic, I really liked the first aid side of it - the battlefield casualty drills and first aid at work," she said.

On the lookout.

"I decided to actually train as a medic rather than signals but they've kept me so I'm now attached to them as their medic."

This month, the regiment has been sharpening its soldiering skills in Cyprus. 

Some of the tests have involved hostage scenarios, approaching a makeshift village and clearing mock enemy positions.

Exercise Director, Major Lok Gurung, highlighted the collaboration that had taken place during the planning and delivery of Exercise Lion Star 7.

He said: "We were very lucky to benefit from the experience brought by instructors and mentors from both the Reserves and the Regular Army - I believe that's the most effective way to share best-practices."

Lieutenant Ranny Wei, Operations and Training Officer, 265 Support Squadron, said: "It's a completely different skill set for our soldiers, so they really engage with learning and development, as well as huge retention."

For the reservists, it is a chance to live up to the ethos of their corps: 'Technical First, Soldiers Always'.