Army

'Gun Bubbles' Created To Keep Royal Horse Artillery COVID-Safe On Exercise

The unit is on Exercise Cypher Spear in Otterburn in preparation for its deployment to Estonia next year.

After a busy summer helping build NHS Nightingale hospitals and running COVID-19 testing centres, 3 Regiment Royal Horse Artillery is finally getting back to gunning.

The unit has invented 'gun bubbles' to enable its training to continue despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Gunner Taylor Claxton explained to Forces News how the soldiers have had to adapt to keep COVID-safe: "There’s six guns and roughly there’s about six to seven gun buddies on it.

"We’ve lived together for the past two weeks. We see other people but we stay together in our bubble, we don’t go to different guns, just our one."

The unit is currently on Exercise Cypher Spear in Otterburn, Northumberland, in preparation for its deployment to Estonia next year.

For some of the soldiers, it is their first time live-firing.

Gunner Georgie Jones said: "When you pull that trigger down you're bouncing off the seat. Your first time gets a bit scary but after a while, you're all right."

Exercise Cypher Spear Otterburn 3 Regiment Royal Horse Artillery Gun Bubbles NOV 2020 CREDIT Trevor Sheehan/Defence Photography
The soldiers are preparing for their deployment to Estonia early next year (Picture: Trevor Sheehan/Defence Photography).

The exercise has been testing every part of the regiment, from the gunners to the medics and cooks.

Lance Bombardier Natalia Hudson-Carrier said: "Everyone has to know their job, so if you don't do your job, it could sacrifice the entire fire team.

"You can’t be afraid to get dirty, it’s not very warm.

"You don’t get many girls here, but it’s good. It’s hard, it gets really heavy, but if the lads do it, we do it as well."

3 RHA will deploy alongside 1 Mercian on Operation CABRIT in Estonia in early 2021.

The soldiers will also be involved with the Army's Strike Brigade concept as the year continues.