This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Inspecting the guard. A border survey patrol on the Iranian Border, 50km east of Basra Lt Causer with Iraqi DBE Personnel


Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers during Op Telic 12 would be firstly rather dull and secondly quite time-consuming. Instead, I aim to discuss a number of themes that punctuated my tour through a few specific events. To place my experience into context: since arriving at my parent battalion, 3rd Battalion The Mercian Regiment (STAFFORDS), like all young Platoon Commanders, I was keen to deploy and command soldiers on operations, an opportunity that I thought was likely to pass me by due to our Land Warfare Centre commitments. I was pleasantly surprised one grey March morning when I was informed by my Company Commander that I would be assuming command of a Platoon within the 1 RRF BG in just under three weeks’ time.


I travelled to Fallingbostel and, three days later, found myself on an MRX and CALFEX in Hohenfels, somewhere in the barren wastelands of Southern Germany. I assumed command of 6 Platoon X Company who had spent the majority of the previous six months in pre-deployment training and getting to grips with all the required theatre specific TTPs; I, however, had done no COIN training since RMAS some 18 months previously! After an intense three weeks, my Platoon deployed via an RSOI package in Kuwait to begin Op Telic 12 and I had already learned invaluable lessons that would serve me well through my time in theatre and beyond. The importance of basic skills being done well and being done thoroughly are crucial for any Infantryman to maintain situational awareness; everything I had learned throughout RMAS, PCBC and within my parent Battalion had become intuitive. The principles and practices employed to fight a war differ only slightly from any theatre specific skills so, by ensuring that I was the commander and that all of my subordinates understood the TTPs relevant to Op Telic, the new skills set required was soon second nature. The requirement for thoroughness was learned the hard way and was a very formative lesson however it is the purpose of any pre-deployment period to make mistakes before leaving home soil.


The one word that most aptly describes the key attribute within any modern Infantryman is flexibility; if this character trait had not been evident amongst me and my Platoon,


The Mercian Eagle


we would have had little or no success. The Platoon eventually deployed as part of the 1 RRF BG although it had done all of its PDT with 2 R ANGLIAN BG. The Platoon spent a great deal of its PDT planning and conducting strike operations yet, when we deployed, the Platoon found itself doing a greater number of tasks than any of the Platoon would have dreamed. When the Platoon did conduct strike operations, every soldier involved had to have the mental agility to switch from an aggressive posture to a soft stance at a moment’s notice. Plans change, as does the background on which any plan is to be executed, and it is only through flexibility that any sub Unit will achieve mission success. It was only due to flexibility, at all levels, that my Platoon could switch from conducting an armoured road move in an urban environment one evening to undertaking a helicopter-inserted, quad bike supported, dismounted border patrol the following morning.


The third and final theme to my short time on operations was the importance of mission command at all levels. I, as a commander, had two priorities in the planning and briefing process; firstly to ensure that I myself understood my commander’s intent and my part within his course of action and secondly to brief down so that it was crystal clear for every member of my Platoon, particularly their part within my plan. The importance of this was shown on a number of occasions when


A flexible armoured infantry platoon, extracting from a


five day dismounted border patrol on the Iran/Iraq Border 50km east of Basra


young Fusiliers were being forced into making decisions that, if they had gone the wrong way, would have had negative effects at a strategic level. It was this particular lesson that made my time on operations so enjoyable. It is the young, inexperienced Infantryman who has a handle on his surroundings and who is making intuitive actions on the ground who is bringing about the eventual successes within Iraq.


When I first learned of my attachment, I was apprehensive due to the challenges of working with different soldiers and within a different Battle Group structure. However, I have been fortunate enough to learn an invaluable lesson early: all soldiers are of the same character, their accents and backgrounds may vary but their professional abilities and individual characters are largely the same. As for working in a different battle group, the training that all infantry officers undergo combined with the key character trait of flexibility meant that I was adequately prepared for my cross cap badge challenge - a challenge that no young infantry officer should fear.


Commanding soldiers on operations has undoubtedly been the highlight of my military career to date and I have also learnt a number of lessons of huge value. By doing basic skills well, staying flexible and fully employing the principles of mission command, I was able to adapt quickly to an alien, complex theatre of operations as all young Infantrymen can do.


6 Platoon X Company, 1 RRF, Op Telic 12, Basra, Sep 08 Lt Causer, (3 MERCIAN), Pte Davies 42 (4 MERCIAN)


October 2009 61


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132  |  Page 133  |  Page 134  |  Page 135  |  Page 136  |  Page 137  |  Page 138  |  Page 139  |  Page 140  |  Page 141  |  Page 142  |  Page 143  |  Page 144  |  Page 145  |  Page 146  |  Page 147  |  Page 148  |  Page 149  |  Page 150  |  Page 151  |  Page 152  |  Page 153  |  Page 154  |  Page 155  |  Page 156  |  Page 157  |  Page 158  |  Page 159  |  Page 160  |  Page 161  |  Page 162  |  Page 163  |  Page 164
Produced with Yudu - www.yudu.com