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Headquarter Company


by Capt Butler OC:


PSAO: 2ic:


SPSI:


CSM (V): QM (V):


RQMS (V): Vacant


Capt M Butler Vacant


WO2 Humber WO2 V Moddy Capt F Young WO2 R Jones


Headquarter Company has been very busy throughout the last twelve months supporting the many training weekends and the plethora of small tasks that are often taken for granted but are nonetheless equally important. Signallers, Vehicle Mechanics, Chefs, Armourers, Medics and Clerical support staff have all played their part in varying amounts of participation.


Pte Williams at the Charity Car Wash


The main focus last autumn was Ex Steppe Eagle in Kazakhstan which was very testing both physically, mentally and logistically. Once again, the HQ element received well deserved recognition for supporting this exercise. In addition, we have participated in various Charity works, more recently a Charity Car Wash which raised in excess of £2,000 with the assistance of the local Fire Service. Currently, we have soldiers - male and female - serving in Afghanistan on Op Herrick 10. They completed their pre-deployment training and we said farewell to them a couple of months ago; we look forward to their safe return in the Autumn.


Op Herrick 10 by Maj Crabb,


Training Major Way back in January 2008, 4 MERCIAN were warned off about a six month operational tour to Afghanistan with 19 Light Brigade. The OCP commitment was for an infantry cohort of 140 but, with 30 already on FTRS with the 2nd Battalion and the support from 7 SCOTS shifted to Bde backfill, the OCP was finally amended to a requirement of 100 only from 4 MERCIAN.


By June 2008, the soldiers of 4 MERCIAN were demonstrating their true understanding of the commitment to being in the TA and the ORBAT was already full. Pre dental work began in earnest as this is the biggest cause of failure at RTMC. By November 2008, the Cohort was named Normandy Company and two selection weekends were held as a chance to gauge the level of fitness (more work required there…), brief the families on what they would be doing and conduct some paperwork and pre-


The Mercian Eagle


medicals. The main effort for 19 Bde was driver training (we needed 32 x Cat C just to function) so, because of the length of time required to get a TA soldier through his/her test, an mobilisation was called in November and these became the driving cadre who went on to pass the Cat C and convert to WMIK, VECTOR and SNATCH 2A. By December 2008, Normandy Company Ops Offr, 2ic, IO, CSM and CQMS had mobilised and started the detailed planning required to ensure that our moral duty to send soldiers properly trained was carried out. The operational equipment arrived soon afterwards which required a complex amount of courses to be attended by the regular SPSI mentors (Morrison and Smith) who then cascaded this training down to the soldiers. All of the equipment given to Normandy Company was a UOR and almost “bowled” us over as a training requirement; however, taking the 40mm GMG and HMG for a test drive was fun. In no time at all, the main mobilisation on 5 January was upon us and we did not lose too many through attrition. Places at RTMC were limited, so 4 MERCIAN had to commit to a further five mobilisation courses for a further 19 soldiers.


HQ Coy soldiers during Charity Car Wash


Although the main effort for 19 Brigade was driver training, the most important training requirement for us was to give the soldiers the best training chances prior to deploying. 19 Brigade allowed us to depart from the MRX and conduct a bespoke tactical live firing package at Lydd. With external support from the Div for the PRT and great deal of help from OPTAG, the package was a huge success and the way forward for the future. This is a good time to mention the excellent support from OPTAG: they helped and advised us throughout the process and provided any assistance we asked for.


By now, I think that the Company had managed to fit in a long weekend following Lydd but only when the OC had completed his 24 hour exercise. They were soon back for more training and moving around again, this time to Donnington, for team medic courses and Hepatitis B jabs. In no time at all, the training package was over and the Company went on pre-deployment leave. The deployment dates came in, and, following leave, the Companies bid them farewell and the GOC attended the Herrick dinner at A Company TA Centre. The OC and CQMS went on the pre-advance, followed quickly by the


October 2009 95


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