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Commanders working with their respective OCs, ready for the eventual move to FSGs for Kenya and HERRICK.


For those not on FIRIC, life has been hectic and varied with freedom parades, supporting EX Where Eagles Dare and various look at life visits from ITC, AFC Harrogate and ATR Winchester. As a platoon we have also made frequent visits to ITC to deliver a recruiting presentation, resulting in a number of soldiers joining the Platoon straight from training, and in Pte Bolton’s case, moving on to give an excellent performance in the boxing ring.


A four week Basic Recce Cadre was held within the Battalion to bring on the skills of the Platoon and this laid a good platform for further training. Concurrent to this the OC, Capt Brown, attended the Recce Commanders Course in Warminster and returned in late November. Various commitments saw the day-to-day availability of manpower dwindle, but the New Year brought with it a busy Forecast of Events that would be in support of training rather than in opposition to it. Sgt Horton, LCpls Mills and Nicholls and Pte Green took part in the SSARF Trial, testing out this new equipment on SPTA and Australia. LCpl Rixham also managed to squeeze in a Parachuting course. The Platoon deployed to the Falkland Islands in March 2009 for 6 weeks, where the focus was increasing the long range robustness and endurance of all individuals and the practising of Mortar and Artillery Targeting and E-CAS procedures.


The 2ic, CSgt Wright arrived in November and then promptly left the Platoon in March to attend PDT before deploying to Baghdad, and Sgt Horton stepped up to fill the position. Cpl Hawkins has had an exceptionally busy few months completing Recce Commanders’ Course and then straight onto PSBC.


At the time of writing, the Recce Platoon has a bright future. Manning is set to be at full strength, with key personnel attending courses and gaining the qualifications and knowledge required to effectively train the soldiers. Fitness levels are high; a key requirement for our upcoming tour to Afghanistan. The focus will increasingly be on combining traditional soldiering skills with the reconnaissance element so that the platoon will be in a good position to face whatever challenges are thrown its way.


The Mercian Eagle October 2009 21


Fire Support Platoon – Lt A Raven/ CSgt Vickery


FSp have had a busy few months since reforming, completing a Numbers Cadre and deploying gun sections to the Falklands to support the RIC.


The Numbers Cadre at Otterburn gave the Platoon an excellent opportunity to shake out and culminated in an impressive night shoot working in conjunction with the Mortar Platoon. CSgt Vickery and Cpl Draper produced a demanding and progressive range package and Sgt Borlace kept a tight grip on the G4, displaying a frightening ability to make neat straight lines out of anything. Shortly after the cadre, Lt Andy Raven arrived from B Coy and the Pl switched its focus onto preparing itself for FIRIC. Undermanning has meant that a number of individuals have opted to complete double rotations. For those that volunteered, thank you. For those that didn’t, you know who you are and why! FIRIC has provided a great opportunity to live fire and to start the important process of Sect


The platoon has recently absorbed the drums platoon from A Coy, providing a welcome boost to manpower, an extra string to our bow and the chance for CSgt Vickery to refer to himself as “Drum Major”. On a final note Pte “Skippy” Tyler has volunteered for a tour in Kabul as a driver at the Afghan Officer Training Academy and we all wish him well.


Sniper Platoon – Lt L Moore/CSgt Glynn


Sniper Platoon started life as a section within the Recce Platoon and completed the Recce Cadre in Otterburn. With the arrival of Lt Moore from C Coy, CSgt Glynn from ITC and Sgt Lomas from ACIO Stockport, the Platoon has come forward in leaps and bounds, the majority of the Platoon are now ‘badged’ and a plan is in place to have the remainder qualified for Kenya. A key player in this has been Sgt Lomas who has bought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Platoon. The Platoon has also waved goodbye to its L96 rifles and is now getting to grips with the new, shiny (and heavy) L115. The Platoon has been quick to realise that one of the few places they can fire their weapons is at Altcar ranges and are sure to make the most of this! At time of writing the platoon are completing a 6 week training package in the Falklands, and are eagerly awaiting the prospect of a live (four legged) enemy in South Georgia.


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