Exercises

Exercise Wessex Storm: New Recruits Get First Taste Of Life In The Field

"We get a great product out of the Training Centre at Catterick and they're just hungry, they just want to do their job."

Around 680 soldiers from 11 different British Army units, many of whom are experiencing an exercise for the first time, have joined forces on the Salisbury Plain Training Area to learn to fight together as one big team.

They have made the training area in Wiltshire their home for more than four weeks for Exercise Wessex Storm, digging-in and being exposed to all the elements including rain, sleet and snow showers.

The troops had to be prepared to take part in an offensive at any time of the day or night. For some of the soldiers involved in the exercise, it's the first time they have experienced raw military life like this. One of the new recruits Bradley is finding it hard but rewarding. He said:

"There's a lot of digging ... and you have to stay up all night in case you get attacked."

Forces Radio BFBS Salisbury Plain reporter Chris Sturgess was invited along to the exercise and spoke to some of those taking part including Lieutenant Colonel Ben Westcott, Commanding Officer, 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment.

LISTEN: In the clip below Chris speaks to Lt Col Ben Westcott, CO 2 YORKS

Soldiers from 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (2 YORKS) have been traversing across the training area to various grid references undertaking a number of different command initiatives.

These range from live fire packages to night-time exercises undertaken in total darkness. This is where different cap badges get to appreciate the way other units operate in conditions like these. Lt Col Ben Westcott, CO 2 YORKS said:

"We get a great product out of the Training Centre at Catterick and they're just hungry, they just want to do their job."

The troops have been sleeping alongside their vehicles, being kept warm in sub-zero conditions by their vehicle's engines, eating from ration packs, with inter-unit camaraderie, lifting spirits.

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