Soldiers Undergo Urban Ops Training

A purpose-built village was the scene of a building-clearance training task that tested skills developed by troops on Exercise Island Warrior 24.

In the scenario, members of the Royal Bermuda Regiment and three other British Overseas Territories took on armed enemy forces played by US marines, and a battle unfolded as each side fought to dominate the area.

The urban operations instruction was led by the RBR’s Lieutenant LeeAnn Tucker and Corporal Melissa Brangman as the battalion boosts its broad range of capabilities on a two-week deployment at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, in North Carolina.

Lt Tucker said: “Because Bermuda doesn’t have the training facilities for us to utilise, we go overseas to different bases to train and get the experience that we wouldn’t necessarily get back on the island.

“We get the fundamentals and theory back at home and we can do so much with what we have, then when we get overseas we enhance it and practise more.”

She added that many of the troops were excited to learn new skills.

Lt Tucker added: “When you’re in the heat of the moment it can get stressful and people don’t always know what to do but overall it was a good effort and I was happy to see progression over two days of training.”

Activities in the first week of the exercise also included a group-effort endurance run with obstacles, bayonet training and rappelling down a 50ft wall.

Private Keshun Arorash-Butterfield, 24, said: “I enjoyed the run and the team-bonding aspect of it - you can’t just leave your team behind.

“The rappelling was new to me. It was very nerve-racking but also very exciting and after I did it, I wanted to go again.”

The electrician and Bermuda College student, from Pembroke, has been in the Regiment since 2021 and described it as “exciting”.

He added: “It gives you good practice in leadership and gets you out of your shell if you’re a nervous person.

“I appreciate that the Regiment pushes us to get out of our comfort zones.” 

Marine Kendria Cox, a 34-year-old member of the Turks and Caicos Islands Regiment, thoroughly enjoyed the urban operations training.

“We have done something similar before,” she explained. “But we didn’t have all the action, it was really good.”

The mother of three highlighted how troops from the TCI Regiment, which was formed only in 2020, were picking up ideas to further develop training in their own country.

Private Roniesha Trott, of the RBR, found the bayonet training “fun”.

Soldiers were urged to switch on aggression as a means of intimidation before calming themselves down again.

Pte Trott, 21, from Pembroke and a barista in civilian life, said: “It was intense, there was a thrill and it gave us a feel of what we should present to our enemies when we attack.”

For more information or to join the Royal Bermuda Regiment, visit or call 238-1045