Army

Military Car Wash: How The Army Checks Vehicles After Exercise

172 military vehicles arrived in Dishforth from Exercise Wessex Storm on Salisbury Plain and Exercise Trident Juncture in Norway.

Personnel from 6 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps have been washing, de-kitting and safety checking their entire military fleet after returning from exercises.

172 military vehicles arrived in Dishforth from Exercise Wessex Storm on Salisbury Plain and Exercise Trident Juncture in Norway - NATO's biggest exercise in decades.

The vehicles on the NATO exercise completed a 3,000-mile road trip to and from Norway.

Every vehicle had their tyres refitted and a deep clean upon arrival at Dishforth. 

All vehicles returning from Norway had new tyres fitted.
All vehicles returning from Norway had new tyres fitted.

"On arrival they're (the vehicles) are held in a holding area at the other side of camp and they go through a five-phase process," Warrant Officer 2 Simon Hilton said.

"The first phase is through the MTFI to get fuel, the second phase is then to be washed down, make sure they're clean, ready to go back to the squadrons.

"Then they come through into the REME where they get through safety inspections, from there then they go back to the squadron and then we'll conduct hand-over takeovers."

Prior to arriving in Norway, there was a focus on vehicle cleanliness. 

Norway has stringent biosecurity standards and the Army has been told to make sure no soil from Britain enters the Norwegian ecosystem.

Video: Troops and vehicles head to Norway for Exercise Trident Juncture.

At the time, Major Cath Carter said: "All of these vehicles have to be incredibly clean before they’re allowed to travel on.

"These vehicles are probably the cleanest they’ve ever been!”  

Exercise Trident Juncture saw the troops and vehicles go through a range of training including skid pan practice, casevac skills, live firing, resupplying infantry and cold weather training. 

The process required a lot of meticulous checking, with seatbelts being "trapped in the door" one of the most common issues, according to Craftsman James Dewhurst.

Soldiers carefully checked the vehicles.

It is also a huge unpacking operation - around 260 beds are scrubbed down and tents are hung out to dry.

The huge checking and cleaning process is vital.

"It's difficult because we've returned from exercise and we just want to go on leave and get home to our families but there is still stuff to be done, we've still got to maintain everything, make sure it's tucked away, ready for future missions," said Staff Sergeant Patrick Chambers.

In 2019, the vast majority of the fleet will be on high readiness alert as part of the multi-national force, Joint Expeditionary Force Light Brigade.