Watch: Royal Tank Regiment's snow patrol plough through blizzards in Germany

Watch: Challenger 2 tanks battle the elements as they prepare to become 12th Armoured Brigade Combat Team’s lead battlegroup

Challenger 2 tanks have been ploughing through blizzard conditions as they take a snow patrol across the British Army's Nato Forward Holding Base in Sennelager.

The Arctic conditions in Germany pose no problem for warfighting units like the Royal Tank Regiment.

They are getting ready to become 12th Armoured Brigade Combat Team's lead battlegroup and, if required, need to be ready to deploy rapidly for sudden military operations. 

Lieutenant Colonel Simon Worth, Commanding Officer Royal Tank Regiment Battlegroup, told Forces News the significance of the exercise, which "is designed to certify us as combat ready, as a warfighting organisation".

"It means that every part of what we do in the capability that we offer is finely tuned and sharpened so it can deploy in a few hours for some, and in a few days for the majority, anywhere in the world.

"From later this year, we'll be at the tip of the spear ready to go wherever the Army asks us to go and to fight if need be," he added.

The 1,400-strong battlegroup does not only consist of tanks, there are also accompanying forces, like Warrior infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) to carry troops.

Snow patrol Challenger 2 Royal Tank Regiment Sennelager Germany 2 130323 CREDIT BFBS
The Royal Tank Regiment previously deployed on Operation Cabrit to lead a multinational battlegroup in Estonia in 2021.

Rapidly deployable battlegroups need to be self-sufficient, so they require an array of support, including armoured engineers able to clear obstacles like minefields and combat medics.

On this Sennelager exercise, the real battle has been against the elements, as Trooper Carwyn Jones, Challenger 2 Tank Driver, explains: "With the snow, I've found that I have to try and look a bit more carefully because it can cover up some of the quite big potholes.

"Even some potholes are quite big for tanks.

"You've just got to be careful not to go too fast or everyone in the turret will hate you."

The Royal Tank Regiment deployed on Operation Cabrit to lead a multinational battlegroup in Estonia in 2021, a mission that was extended from six to nine months after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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