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D Company


by Maj Walkley OC:


PSAO: 2ic:


SPSI: PSI:


CSM (V): QPSI:


Pl Comd: Pl Sgt:


Maj P Walkley Capt J Tyson Capt R Oakes


WO2 S Morrison Sgt S Johnson WO2 R Rogers CSgt D Roberts 2Lt T Constable Sgt S Smith


As Officer Commanding D Company 4 MERCIAN, I consider myself privileged to have one of the most stimulating, exciting and variable jobs around and I would like to take this opportunity to take you on a short tour in the life of the Company. D Company is accommodated in two separate locations in Crewe in Cheshire and in Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire. The Stoke- on-Trent location is established for two Rifle Platoons whilst the Crewe location currently houses both the Company Headquarters and a third Rifle Platoon. At first glance, the combination of the former Cheshire Regiment-badged location of Crewe with the Staffordshire Regiment- badged location of Stoke-on-Trent might seem unorthodox. However, the fusion of the two locations into D Company 4 MERCIAN has been a resounding success. A key advantage that has unfolded from the merger is the fact that D Company is a Rifle Company in the classical sense with no attached specialist Platoons. This has greatly eased the training burden and led to the formation of a shared identity and purpose between the locations.


In terms of training, the year 2008/9 has proved to be very stimulating with key training events at both Company and Battalion level. The year began with a period of patrols training culminating in the inaugural 4 MERCIAN Patrols Competition. This was followed by a highly stimulating live firing package at Sennybridge training area when the Company was given the opportunity to throw the L109 HE grenade, fire the 5.56mm Light Machine Gun (LMG) and complete an individual battle shooting range (IBSR) assessment. This, in turn, was followed by a protracted period of FIBUA training at both Company and Battalion level. This began with a period of Section and Platoon level FIBUA training at Company level and culminating in Ex


The Mercian Eagle


Ex CAMBRIAN INVADER “4 MERCIAN March and Shoot champions and runners up, Warcop Feb 2009”.


Street Fighter I at Swynnerton training area. This was followed by the Battalion- led Ex Urban Action II at Longmoor FIBUA complex where the Company was able to practise drills up to Platoon level in a realistic environment. Further training was completed at Company level to include hamlet clearance drills and Company FIBUA level training; this culminated in Ex Street Fighter II at Swynnerton training area prior to the Company deploying on Ex Urban Action II at Longmoor. This proved to be a spectacular success with the Battalion able to conduct a Company level dawn attack on the complex utilising BATSIMs and other effects simulation including CIVPOP, etc.


With the FIBUA phase complete, the Company was able to focus on a further period of patrols training prior to a progressive live firing package spanning several months of the training calendar. The package took the soldiers from the APWT stage through the Individual Battle Shooting Range (IBSR) assessments prior to conducting the Annual Weapons Assessments (AWA) on both the 40mm underslung grenade launcher (UGL) and the 5.56mm LMG on Ex Festive Strike at Warcop in December 2008. This was followed by a weekend of Live Firing Tactical Training (LFTT) - again at Warcop during January 2009 on Ex Combined Strike. During the exercise, members of the Company were able to conduct live Fire Team attacks including the tactical throwing of the L109 HE grenade during the final stages of the attack - heady stuff indeed! This, in turn, was followed by the


Battalion-led event Ex Camrian Invader at Warcop, where the soldiers were able to fire the 40mm Heckler and Koch Grenade Machine Gun (GMG), L1A1 12.7mm Heavy Machine Gun (HMG), L115A3 Long Range Rifle, 9mm Pistol and Shotgun.


The last year has also been very busy indeed in terms of competitions and events and the soldiers of D Company have managed to deliver performances that they can be proud of. The first taste of glory for the newly formed Company was victory in the inaugural 4 MERCIAN Patrols Competition on a freezing cold weekend during February 2008. A team from D Company led by the then LCpl Treeby managed to fight off stiff competition from the rest of the Battalion and also a second D Company team under the stewardship of Cpl Poole. This initial success was followed earlier this year by second place in the 143 (WM) Brigade Military Skills Competition, Ex Stomping Macaw. This proved to be a very stiff test of both the knowledge and resolve of the team and featured a number of high quality and demanding stands. These included navigation, signals, OPs, patrol debriefing, prisoner handing, orders, first aid and CBRN, all of which were set against a backdrop of a freezing cold and snow covered Leek training area. This result was achieved against even tougher competition from within the Brigade area and the Battalion itself. The team was commanded by 2Lt Tom Constable with Cpl Poole as his 2ic and featured amongst its members a number of the most junior soldiers from within the Company. With little time to reflect on their achievements,


October 2009 91


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