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completion of Part 1 (A&S), NCOs gain substantive rank and commence Part 2 (WBL) which requires them to complete a workbook. The workbook captures a broad range of competences including supporting the career development of soldiers, conducting training, using the Estimate, and Basic Skills. The workbook can easily be tailored to reflect what NCOs do on-the- job making it more relevant. Once the workbook is completed, NCOs attend Part 3 (AEC), a 5-day course which consolidates their learning from Part 1 (A&S) and Part 2 (WBL). NCOs are required to complete the latter two parts of CLM within 12 months of having finished Part 1 (A&S); that done, they are eligible to be selected for promotion to


the next rank. The Army’s Basic Skills Policy dictates that the minimum entry standard for attendance on CLM Part 1 (A&S) is a Level 1 qualification in Literacy and Numeracy - eg a GCSE Grade D – G in English and Maths. Another important entry requirement is a qualification in Defence Instructional Techniques (DIT). This raises the importance for Battalions to cultivate the ability to deliver DIT in-house by sending one eligible SNCO per Company to attend the DIT(T) course, making them less reliant on DIT franchises to meet this requirement which cannot always meet demand.


With NCOs spread thin between Companies and with the Battalion frequently away on exercise, it has been a challenge to prioritise


education. However, the supportive Chain of Command and willing attitude of most soldiers to further their education have helped enormously to improve the Battalion’s educational state of affairs since May 2008. Despite the busy rôle as Land Warfare Centre’s (LWC) OPFOR Battlegroup, we’re making real progress on substantiating eligible NCOs through attendance on CLM Part 1 (A&S) and have approximately 39 NCOs completing Part 2 (WBL). Just under fifty percent of the Battalion hold the required Basic Skills qualifications, including a number of Pte soldiers and I remain optimistic about what can still be achieved prior to the Battalion’s move to Germany.


‘Indian’ Company


Indian Army Visit to LWC BG: 26 August – 21 September 2008 by Capt D M Conlon


• To train Bravo Company in the use of Warrior


• To train Bravo Company in FIBUA operations to Platoon level.


Gen Deepak Kapoor (left of picture), Chief of the Indian Army Staff. With more than 1 million soldiers under his command, his visit was a great privilege for Bravo Company


Introduction


From 26 August – 21 September 2008, 3 MERCIAN hosted Bravo Company 16th Battalion The Mechanised Infantry Regiment of the Indian Army. The visit was arranged as part of the closer ties Britain and India are forming with each other to provide stronger political, military and commercial links.


Bravo Company is a Mechanised Infantry Company which equates to our Armoured Infantry (AI) Company. They are usually equipped with BMP-2 and perform many of the same tasks given to our AI Bns. Much


76 October 2009


of their equipment is Russian in origin and their conventional warfare tactics have been developed independently over a long period of time. Naturally, being the LWC BG and also AI ourselves, 3 MERCIAN were in an ideal position to host the Company during its stay in England.


Aims of the Visit The aims of the visit were:


• To train Bravo Company in the use of British personal weapons (including NLAW) • To train Bravo Company in the use of TES


This was all necessary in order to enable Bravo Company to deploy on Ex Lions Strike (8 - 11 September 2008) as a split armoured and light-rôle Company and also on Ex Wessex Warrior (14 - 18 September 2008) as an independent light-rôle Company. A further task which was added closer to the time was participation in the Chief of the Indian Army (General Deepak Kapoor) visit to the UK on 3rd September 2008. For this, the LWC BG were to provide a BG capability demonstration at Copehill Down Village (CDV), of which Bravo Company were to form a part. Finally, we intended to provide some cultural visits for the Company during their visit to show them life outside the Army and Salisbury Plain.


ORBAT


Bravo Company, commanded by Maj Ganesh Raghavan, arrived at Heathrow with its full complement of manpower (137 men) and was orbatted in a very similar way to a British Company (Coy HQ, 3 x Pls). Extra groupings included a full recce section, an Arty FOO, along with several cooks, barbers and clerks. The accommodation was in Westdown Camp and they fed from a kitchen given over to the Indian Army chefs who produced meals similar meals to those which the soldiers would eat in India.


The Mercian Eagle


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