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of between 18 and 23kms over Mustard Mount and Mount Pleasant back to MPC. We faced every weather condition known to man in the space of 4 hours! Ptes Baz Shaw and Tommo Thomas were on hand to provide the necessary morale with their versions of popular songs.


The patrols phase provided a unique opportunity for Section Commanders to take their Sections away and see a bit of the islands. These were not simply to get troops away from camp but actually had a tactical purpose. As well as showing any potential aggressors that British Forces were active across the islands, another aim of patrolling was to liaise and develop relations with Falkland Islanders. The men got stuck into whatever work there was on the various farms. 1 Platoon can now list sheep castration amongst their skills [Keep them away from Pte Derby – Ed].


There were opportunities to utilise other assets to make the patrols more interesting. The crew of HMS Clyde were very gracious in setting up coastal patrols in Rigid Raider crafts – anything beats tabbing! Further coastal patrols were conducted utilising the Sea King rescue helicopter, affectionately known as the “Yellow Bird of Shame”. Despite its nickname, the pilots often had the last laugh, taking the opportunity to make the passengers genuinely believe that they would plunge into the sea at


any moment. During these forays, the Sections were supported by Tornado fighters and they were able to practise close air support attacks, a skill which may come in handy on future deployments.


Once the initial rotations were complete, A Company began to prepare for Ex Cape Bayonet. The Company 2ic, Capt Ben Smyth, was particularly excited as he had spent the previous three weeks planning the exercise and was keen to see the fruits of his labour. Ex Cape Bayonet gave the Company a unique chance to work with assets normally seen only at Battlegroup or Brigade level. Support Company provided detachments from Fire Support and Javelin Platoons. The Mortar Platoon deployed and we were fortunate to work with a Royal Artillery Rapier air defence detachment giving local air defence. A Company moved to West Falkland in RFA


Largs Bay. This provided a platform from which to launch landing craft and a mexi- float onto the island. When word spread amongst the soldiers that an aquatic exercise loomed, sales of gaiters went through the roof in the PRI.


High winds out at sea meant that we struggled to deploy onto the ship; the remarkable Brintel helicopter pilots could not land on the rocking ship but a small window of opportunity appeared and A Company were quickly shuttled aboard before the storms picked up again. The ship spent the next 24 hours sailing (bobbing) to West Falkland and the Second Creek Range. The winds did not abate at all and the two packs of sea sickness tablets which the CQMS, CSgt Joey Herbert, managed to acquire were simply not sufficient. Pte Pinky Floyd spent those 24 hours in a heap under a table, groaning occasionally.


Once I had given my orders for the subsequent battle ahead, Lt “Baby Orang- utan” Dyson and the men of 3 (Amphibious) Platoon prepared for the impending “Saving Private Ryan” style beach assault. H-hour arrived the following morning with 4 Platoon in a fire support position and 1 Platoon in reserve. I commanded that attack from the comfort of RFA Largs’ Lynx helicopter and we all watched as 3 Platoon fought through the surf from their landing craft into the attack. Just prior to the assault, Pte Dave Hodson was heard to shout: “Look at the size of that penguin!” as he pointed to a dolphin swimming alongside the landing craft… This location provided the Forward Operating Base, FOB Rob, from where A Company could push themselves hard on taxing terrain against a complex enemy headed up by the ruthless Lt Mark Berridge (he thought nothing of placing his enemy forces on the highest features he could find). WO2 (CSM) Rob Bartley was heard bellowing on a particularly windy night.


12 October 2009 The Mercian Eagle


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