Reservists Test Urban Skills With Special Effects In Denmark

Drills at the state-of-the-art facility marked the end of 11 days of training for the British reservists as part of Exercise Viking Star.

British Army reservists have had their urban warfare skills put to the test by special effects in Denmark. 

A state-of-the-art facility, known as the 'skillshouse', consists of 40 rooms, a viewing gallery, as well as sound, light and smoke machines which can all be controlled at the push of a button.

"We can play with sound, we can play with light and what we do, we turn the lights down... and add strobe light or similar artillery detonation in an around the building," said Warrant Officer 2 Martin Gregersen, an urban operations expert from the Danish Army.

"What we do then is put on some regular combat noise.

"It puts a lot of stress on the soldiers, it makes it harder for them to communicate... so what they have to do is get really physical, get up to one another, explain, point in order to make things moving."

Tablet controlling special effects at Oksbol in Denmark 101019 CREDIT BFBS
The special effects were controlled by WO2 Martin Gregersen on a tablet device.

The facility is based in Oksbol military training area, the largest of its kind in Denmark.

Four members of 4 YORKS worked alongside German reservists in the skillshouse.

The facility is designed to be intentionally confusing.

Every room is different - walls can be adjusted, doors can be blocked and windows can be built as well as removed.

"It's willing soldiers to think, not just to run in," said WO2 Martin Gregersen.

The drills at the skillshouse mark the end of 11 days of training for the British reservists as part of Exercise Viking Star.

Oksbol military training area 101019 CREDIT BFBS
The skillshouse is based at the imaginary village 'Brekbu' at Oksbol training area.

Captain Lance Morrison, the 4 YORKS adjutant, said the exercise has been a positive experience.

"Our soldiers have certainly enjoyed it," he told Forces News.

"Any time available, they have wished to exploit that opportunity to then go back in there and go through their skills and drills.

"They realise the importance of developing that for any future conflicts in an urban environment."

One hundred and eighty-one reservists from 4 Yorks took place in Exercise Viking Star on Denmark's west coast.

Twenty-five regular soldiers from 1 YORKS, as well as 18 specialists from 37th Signal Regiment,  joined them as part of wider, two-week NATO exercise.