Exercise Templar's Triumph: How Humanitarian Workers Prepare Sandhurst Cadets For Conflict

The International Committee of the Red Cross was at the Royal Military Academy to provide insight into their operations.

Officer Cadets at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst have been training with humanitarian workers to help prepare them for situations they may encounter in conflict.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been showing cadets how they operate during Exercise Templar's Triumph.

The cadets taking part in the exercise have seven weeks left of training before they commission at Sandhurst.

During Templar's Triumph at Hampshire's Longmoor Camp they are required to put weeks of theory into practice.

Retired Brigadier Ian McLeod has worked for the ICRC for 20 years and says it is important that the military understands how the organisation works.

"We're trying to get across what we are - we are a neutral, independent, impartial humanitarian organisation whose role is to protect and assist the victims of conflict and other situations of violence.

"If they have some knowledge of our organisation they understand us and how we operate, then that might make our job easier and safer in the field if we come across UK forces.

"Sometime in the future you may, on some disputed barricade, or some scarred slope of battered hill, meet ICRC and you'll say 'Well, we know roughly what these guys are up to'."

During the exercise, the officer cadets take turns as members of security forces and the local population.

Brigadier McLeod's task is to talk to everyone and inform them about humanitarian operations.

Officer Cadet James Donovan said: "We are going on to hopefully commission as officers, and we will be interacting with these organisations.

 "To have a chance to interact with them now, before we get into the big wider Army, is invaluable to us."

Officer Cadet Hannah Bishop commented: "They've come up to us as civilian population, and asked how we're doing, what resources we have, what our interactions have been with NATO.

 "It just adds to that level of realism into an already real exercise."

The ICRC works round the world, in locations such as Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Syria.

The organisation relies on co-operation and communication with armed groups.

Brigadier McLeod says: "Neutrality is very important for us, so we have to be seen to be helping the victims, not siding with anybody."

Last year the ICRC took part in 24 exercises, briefings and training exercises with British Armed Forces personnel.

The aim of Templar's Triumph is to work with personnel at the start of their careers in order to raise awareness.

Sandhurst instructor, Major Rebecca Macklin, told Forces News: "We look at the legal implications and all the different aspects of a stabilisation scenario.

"Bringing the International Committee of the Red Cross in helps build on the training they've already had.

"We found that you can teach it, but actually if you do it in an exercise scenario like this, it cements that understanding."