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Support Company by Maj R St J Barnbrook (OC Support Company)


principles. In addition, in order to swell the strength of the Company rapidly, recruits from ITC Catterick were taken directly into Support Company (in all specialisations less the Reconnaissance Platoon). This policy has worked well thus far as we have received some very keen, albeit inexperienced, individuals.


The past twelve months have been a turbulent time for Support Company. Following the return of 1 MERCIAN from Op TELIC 11 in May 2008, we effectively faced the prospect of re-forming Support Company from scratch. Support Company has not really existed since the Battalion moved from Bulford to Ballykinler in the summer of 2005, making the re-formation quite a challenge.


Soldiers were drawn from across the Battalion in order to commence training for their new and highly specialised roles. Whilst there was a degree of residual specialist weapons experience, there was a significant requirement to train soldiers from first


The first milestone for the Company was the Numbers’ Cadre in October 2008. Unlike previous cadres designed to top- up manpower, there was a requirement to train significant numbers in one go. The dedication of the soldiers has well and truly paid off and Support Company found itself in a strong position to support the three company group deployments to the Falkland Islands in early 2009 as the Roulement Infantry Company (RIC). RIC has given the opportunity to consolidate the training thus far and confirm the skill sets required for both Exercise GRAND PRIX in September 2009 and ultimately for Op HERRICK in the spring of 2010.


The pace of life is accelerating rapidly. Whilst it is not often that more than 30% of the soldiers are in the same place at any one time, the ethos, experience and reputation of the Company is going from strength to strength.


Company HQ – Capt J Baker / WO2 Higginbottom / CSgt Dunne


Company HQ continues to strive to keep the Company administered, trained, equipped and fit, using a range of cunning techniques ranging from crystal balls, training programmes written in dry wipe marker, a new clerk (HRA?) every month, and letters to Santa for “lots of Javelin Missiles, and some GMGs and HMGs, please” (didn’t work). A big challenge for the Company is maintaining our core infantry skills whilst retaining our specialisations; we can look forward to an LFTT/OBUA package in the coming weeks. CSgt Dunne, Cpl Cooper and Pte Connelly continue to run the biggest account in the Battalion and a big thanks to them for their continued good work.


The Mercian Eagle


October 2009 19


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