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the soldiers of D Company were again in action during the 4 MERCIAN March and Shoot Competition in February this year. Once again, the soldiers of D Company stepped up to the mark and achieved both first and second place beating teams from across the Battalion. This time Cpl Poole was a member of the winning team!


Both training and competitions are vital if soldiers are to be prepared to support our regular sister Battalions on operations and 2008/9 has been a busy year on this front also. The operational focus has increasingly been on Afghanistan during this period, however, a number of D Company personnel have continued to deploy in support of the nation’s residual commitments to Op Telic in Iraq with several cohorts from the Company deploying from across both locations. However, the main focus of our operational commitment has now firmly shifted to Afghanistan with the Battalion sending a reinforced Rifle Company to be known as Normandy Company to Afghanistan. This commitment is in addition to a large number of soldiers from the Battalion who are already embedded with 2 MERCIAN on FTRS contracts. D Company has deployed a total of 17 soldiers in support of these commitments plus further soldiers in support of Op Telic and on individual long language course FTRS contracts.


An essential part of any deployment is the pre-deployment and OPTAG package that the soldiers receive and the quality of the preparation training offered to this group of soldiers has been very high indeed. Much of this package included a familiarisation and training package on L1A1 12.7 mm HMG or .50 cal, and the Heckler and Koch 40mm GMG. The Senior Permanent Staff Instructor (SPSI) from D Company, WO2 Morrison (who joined us from 1 MERCIAN) was tasked with delivering much of this training having recently completed a heavy weapons course at OPTAG himself. The training he delivered proved to be highly exciting with members of Normandy Company firing both weapon systems. The GMG with the capability to fire 40mm grenades out to a range of 2Km at a cyclic rate of fire of 350 rpm certainly put a smile on a number of faces as did the 12.7mm HMG with an effective range of over 2Km and a cyclic rate of fire of between 485 and 635 rpm. Aside from the sheer thrill factor of using these weapon systems, the package reinforced the serious message that the TA soldier is now trained and equipped to take his place alongside his regular counterpart on operations with the very latest weapons and equipment. We salute all of our soldiers who are now deployed and wish them all the very best of luck and a safe return home, no doubt with many more tales to tell the readers.


92 October 2009


Ex STREET FIGHTER I FIBUA “L/Cpl Eyre and Pte Martin get up close and personal during FIBUA training on Ex STREET FIGHTER I”


Op TELIC “ L/Cpl Shutt and Pte Bennett, D Company enjoy a moment of relaxation in Iraq.”


Ex CAMBRIAN INVADER “L/CPl Shutt, D Company gets to grips with the L115A3 Long Range Rifle at the Warcop training area”


Ex CAMBRIAN INVADER “Pte Styles, D Company, demonstrates the 40mm grenade machine gun”


Ex COMBINED STRIKE LFTT “L/Cpl Minor and Pte Ramsay close with the enemy during Ex COMBINED STRIKE”


Ex URBAN ACTION II FIBUA “Pte’s Glover and Rawji demonstrate their tunnel clearance drills during FIBUA training on Ex URBAN ACTION II”


“Pte Hughes brings up the rear during patrols training, Swynnerton 2008”


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


The Mercian Eagle


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