The Infantry Battle School has returned to Belize for the first time in five years.
 
The training centre, which is based in Brecon, has spent the last three weeks in the jungle on 'Exercise Grim Warrior', the final part of its Platoon Commanders Battle Course.
 
The exercise used to be a regular fixture in Belize but in 2011 the British Army Training and Support Unit Belize (BATSUB) was mothballed and it had to be moved elsewhere.
 
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The course switched to Cyprus, spent a short while in Kenya and then moved to Scotland but commanders have always hankered after its former home.
 
In their eyes, Belize offers the ultimate test which takes soldiers out of their comfort zone.
 
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Lt Col Alex Rennie, the Commanding Officer of the Infantry Battle School says "not being able to see more than 20 or 30 metres for a large part of the time, the canopy, the terrain, the heat, humidity - all of these add complexity to operating here and so it's just taking platoon commanders to another level."
 
BATSUB has started seeing a steady increase in the number of company exercises in recent years. It admits the camp is unlikely to ever reach the capacity it once had but hosting the Infantry Battle School three times a year would be a big boost.
 
Major Gen Chris Tickell, GOC Army Recruiting and Training, joined the exercise and said:
"I've been involved in the ups and downs of BATSUB for almost three years now and I'm delighted to see that money is now being pumped into it...  I would hope we would continue to be able to get the Platoon Commanders Division out here for each of their courses. We haven't quite closed the deal yet but this exercise is absolutely proving its worth."
The future remains unconfirmed – but with the team already pencilled in for a return later this year, they're hopeful. For those on the course it's a welcome experience they're unlikely to forget.
 
 

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