Soldiers upped the pace yesterday (WEDS) as they prepared for a major riot control situation in a US Marines Combat Town.
The troops practiced public order techniques in the Marines’ military operations in urban terrain (MOUT) training ground at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
On-loan instructor Colour Sergeant Ashley Ward, a combat veteran from the Royal Anglian Regiment, said that A Company had worked well over two days – despite temperatures that hit close to 80 deg F.
ClSgt Ward said: “We have got 1 Platoon going through their public order escalation drills as the training progresses throughout the day to a full public order battle exercise.”
He added: “The training has been quite arduous because of the weather but the Bermuda Regiment soldiers have responded quite well to it. It’s a marked improvement for the day’s training.”
Regiment Staff Officer Major Andrew Clarke said other soldiers from the Operational Support Unit (OSU) and the Junior NCO cadre had spent the day on the firing ranges. He added: “It’s a lot to take in – this is all new to the guys and they’re learning how to operate in urban environments – methods of entry, and how to deal with vehicle check points and the local population. It’s all about learning the difference in postures between hostile and peaceful conditions – it’s all about situations and judgment calls.” Maj. Clarke said: “They’ve got to be vigilant – every single man is a walking intelligence resource and they should never underestimate the power of that. That’s the key to understanding people – you have to understand the difference between someone who really needs reassurance and someone who has information on what’s going on in the community and those who need to be won over. It’s not just about warfare – it’s about people. These guys, when they go back to Bermuda or possibly get deployed to other Caribbean countries, they will operate at a much higher level than they’ve hitherto been trained.”Maj. Clarke added: “They are also learning a lot about themselves. It’s the longest exercise many of them have done. They’re working long days in the sun and learning to work as a team and how to understand and assimilate information and new skills.”
Please see link to Royal Gazette article.
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina Monday, May, 4 2015
Bermuda Regiment soldiers today (MON) started the first day of training of a tough two weeks at a US Marine Corps base in North Carolina.
While some troops practiced their rifle skills on the range, others used the wide open spaces of Camp Lejeune for patrol and section attack techniques.
The Operational Support Unit (OSU), the Regiment’s public order specialists, spent their first morning on the firing ranges.
OSU member Lance Corporal Philip Woolridge,known as "LCpl Colgate" because he’s always smiling no matter how tough the task, said “I’m really looking forward to living in the field and I like the long ranges because it takes real skill. It takes discipline, effort and patience. It’s about dedication and these are all things you can apply to anything, your job, your marriage, whatever.”
The 2013 conscript, a 23-year-old appliance and refrigeration technician from Paget, added: “I plan to stay in the Regiment once my time is up. I enjoy going to Warwick Camp.”
OSU commander Lieutenant Paolo Odoli said: “Achieving a level of mastery at shooting gives the individual a sense of satisfaction and increases their pride in themselves.”
Lt Odoli, 30, manager of Tempest restaurant in St George’s, added: “Everybody in this unit wants to be here and they respond accordingly.”
Private Lee Ann Tucker, a member of the Junior Non-Commissioned Officer (JNCO) Cadre, also spent her first day honing her rifle skills.
The 23-year-old waitress/bartender at Hamilton’s Taste restaurant, from St George’s said “I’m stoked. I can always apply what I learn here somewhere else, I enjoy the range work and just keep trying to get better.”
Pte Tucker, who won the best recruit award at this year’s Recruit Camp added “I’m open to the entire experience and to learn.”
Pte Tremayne Bean, a 20-year-old outboard motor technician from Paget, said: “I’m loving it, it’s a different environment. I want to get my first stripe so this is making me push myself harder. I’m really looking forward to the two weeks,the range work is great and not something we could do at home.”
Around 180 soldiers arrived at Camp Lejeune on Sunday evening and got straight into training at dawn on Monday.
Camp Lejeune covers 226 square miles compared to Bermuda’s 26 square miles and, including families and civilians, has a population of around 132,000 people.
The Bermuda Regiment has been training at Camp Lejeune since the 1980s, the scale of the area and the 46,000 Marine and US Navy personnel plus their equipment, which includes tanks, fighter jets and massive transport aircraft still surprise Bermuda soldiers.
The training areas are home to a number of protected species and poisonous snakes, including water moccasins, a venomous member of the viper family one of which paid an unscheduled visit to Bermuda soldiers on the ranges today which caused some excitement, although it posed no threat to the troops on the firing line.
Local Sergeant Patricia Alexander, from Crawl, said: “It’s all about working in formation, movement, speed and communication. Doing this and section attacks means the soldiers learn how to communicate with each other better and communication in one field helps in every field.”
L/Sgt Alexander, 27, an analyst with the Bermuda Monetary Authority, added: “It also teaches them to be alert and aware of their surroundings – that all makes them better soldiers and it’s another check on their belt for training.”
A Coy Private Michael Astwood-Smith, a 23-year-old warehouseman from Pembroke, added “I’m enjoying it. It gives me a more positive outlook. I’d say, for me, it’s the collaboration and teamwork. You have to deal with different personalities. We’re a diverse group of individuals and it’s all good experiences you can take into civilian life.”
In the event of emergency, families are asked to call Warwick Camp on 238-1045, or the Duty Phone on 335-8212.
The Wor. Garth Rothwell, JP.
Mayor of St George’s,
invites you to a
on the Centenary of ANZAC Day
George McKenzie Samson
7 January 1889 – 28 February 1923
on the 100th Anniversary of the Gallipoli Landings.
For his bravery and service to the wounded that day,
Petty Officer Samson was awarded the Victoria Cross.
Also remembering ANZAC Private Arthur Harold Legrice,
of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force,
who died in Bermuda 16 September 1917,
and members of the Bermuda Militia Artillery
who died in the First World War.
Saturday, April 25th, 2015
At the Military Cemetery
Secretary Road, St George’s, Bermuda
Minister: Major the Rev’d W. David Raths CD
Incumbent of the Anglican Parish of St George
and Chaplain to The Bermuda Regiment
With the TS Admiral Somers Sea Cadets
Lt Michael Frith RNVR
Pipe Major A. David Frith