‘Working with the Regulars is always a good experience’
(Rifles Reservist, Exercise Wessex Storm Salisbury Plain 2015)
Exercise Wessex Storm saw Riflemen from Regular and Reserve Battalions take part in a large scale ‘validation’ exercise on Salisbury Plain in June 2015 which allowed them the opportunity to share expertise and techniques in a tough combat environment.
Major Ben Salt, who is a Regular and commands A Company, 1st Battalion the Rifles said “The exercise reaps enormous benefits by allowing Regulars and Reservists to share and ‘cross pollinate’ experiences.”
Tasks carried out were designed to enhance mental robustness and develop strong situational awareness, intensifying trust as Reserves and Regulars communicated effectively, worked, learned and trained together and allowed Reservists to forge professional links with their opposite Regular numbers.
THE RIFLES – SWIFT AND BOLD
Exercise Wessex Storm
RIFLES Reservists Train with Regulars
- Regular and Reserve soldiers from 1st and 6th Battalions The Rifles (1 and 6 RIFLES), took part in the large scale validation Exercise Wessex Storm on Salisbury Plain in June 2015.
- This was the largest ever exercise due to the vast number participants.
- The aim was to share expertise and techniques in a demanding combat environment and allow the Reservists to forge professional links with their opposite Regular numbers.
- Salisbury Plain is one of the largest training areas in the UK and strenuous demands were placed on all participants; such as having to carry a bridge for an extended distance at night or having to carry a fellow Rifleman.
- Tasks were designed to enhance mental robustness and develop strong situational awareness, intensifying trust as Regulars and Reserves communicated effectively, working, learning and training together.
- Maj Ben Salt is a Regular Officer who commands A Coy, 1 RIFLES he said “The exercise reaps enormous benefits by allowing Regulars and Reservists to share and ‘cross pollinate’ experiences.”
The four day ‘advance to contact’ where the enemy’s location is identified and attacked is tough on Reservists and new recruits but at the same time they are learning new technical skills, such as the use of Night Vision Goggles (NVG) and handling weapons.
- NVG on the helmet can be heavy and takes some getting used to; platoon football played at night whilst wearing the equipment to helps quickly become proficient at balancing whilst moving quickly and safely.
- Using modern technology the laser equipment on Rifle muzzles accurately gauges a Rifleman’s aim. The equipment used is known as DFWES (Direct Fire Weapons Effect Simulation).
- Riflemen ‘shoot’ straight at the vest worn by the ‘enemy’ and antennae attached to the vest allows the shot to be tracked via satellite to screen.
- It also picks up signals which identify injuries whether to the Rifleman himself or vehicles, and the exact location. This equipment captures all the data for review later