Apr 2014 - Royal Corps of Signals



Apr 2014 - Royal Corps of Signals
April 2014
The Magazine of The Royal Corps of Signals
Deane-Drummond Prize Essay
Competition 2014
(Closing Date - 31st July 2014)
1st Prize - £1000
2nd Prize - £500
3rd Prize - £250
Context: “Operations in Afghanistan have served to highlight the vital role of
information on the modern battlefield. Indeed, the richness of the
operational information now routinely delivered at all levels of command
down to sub-unit and below has fundamentally changed the information
landscape to such an extent that it may be time to re-examine the current
division of responsibilities for information management (IM).”.
Question: Should all information necessarily be treated in
the same way; which aspects of the information landscape
belong to commanders and their staffs, and which are best
left to R SIGNALS personnel?
The essay should demonstrate understanding of the IM challenges and the
steps to be taken to mitigate against them, highlighting specific
recommendations for R SIGNALS.
Rules of the Competition:
Entrants must be serving (regular or reserve) members of the R SIGNALS or the QG SIGNALS.
Essays should be between 1500 – 2500 words and submitted in electronic format.
Classified matters must not be included.
References and quotes must be in accordance with the Harvard System of Referencing.
Essays should be sent to the Corps Adjt under unit arrangements.
The closing date for entries is 31 Jul 14.
The Magazine of the Royal Corps of Signals
APRIL 2014 Vol. 68 No: 2
Find us on
Established in 1920
The Wire
Published bi-monthly
Annual subscription £12.00 plus postage
Mr Keith Pritchard
Tel: 01258 482817
Editor: Mr Keith Pritchard
Deputy Editor: Ms J Burke
All correspondence and material for publication in The Wire should be addressed to:
The Wire,
RHQ Royal Signals,
Blandford Camp, Blandford Forum, Dorset, DT11 8RH
Email: [email protected]
Accounts / Subscriptions
Deadline for The Wire :
15th February for publication in the April.
15th April for publication in the June.
15th June for publication in the August.
15th August for publication in the October.
15th October for publication in the December.
10th December for publication in the February.
Mrs Jess Lawson
Tel: 01258 482087
To see The Wire on line or to refer to Guidelines for Contributors, go to:
All enquiries regarding subscriptions and changes of address of The Wire should be made to: 01258
482087 or 94371 2087 (mil) or [email protected] Remittances should be made payable
to Royal Signals Benevolent Fund
News from Operations
News from Blandford
News from Training
News from Regiments
News from Squadrons
Other Units
Adventurous Training
Last Post
2 Sig Regt Ex Northern
Gokyo Keys exped to Everest Base Camp. Photo
taken at the summit of Kalapatar with Mt
Everest and Nuptse in the background.
April Edition
Adventurous Training
In line with the new policy of Wire submissions instead of
formal PXRs, we have several AT reports from Units in this
Ex ALPINE BUFFALO - 3DRS skiing in Austria
Ex MOUFLON'S LOTUS - 14 SR trekking in Chile
Brunei diving expedition to Bali
skiing in Austria
Ex DIAMOND MANSKI - 1ADSR skiing in Bavaria
LCpl Aaron Rouget (30 Sig Regt) smashing
down the Giant Slalom course at the Army
Authors alone are responsible for the content of their articles. The opinions expressed in the articles of this publication are
those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the policy and views, official or otherwise, of the Royal Corps of Signals or the
Ministry of Defence. All articles and submissions are published at the discretion of the Editor.
This publication may contain official information. It should be treated with discretion by the recipient.
Printed by Holbrook Printers Ltd, Norway Road, Hilsea, Portsmouth © Crown Copyright
DComd Lt Col A E A Corkery
WO2 Robertson
Camp Bastion Superstars X-Fit Competition
– by Cpl Paige AGC(SPS)
We had to wait all afternoon for the results of the
competition which were finally released at 1700hrs. When the
results were shown we were all shocked to see that we ended
up in fifth position and only 40 seconds from 3rd place.
Considering the competition we had been up against which
included the Danish, Estonians, and many other British teams
we all felt we had done ourselves proud. As we were the top
placed British team we now have the bragging rights for the
next competition which hopefully will take place in Apr 14.
Maj P Stowell MBE
SSgt Miller
Helmand DA – by Sgt Keers
The XFit team looking rather fit!
JFCIS(A) decided that they were going to enter a team in
the inaugural Superstars Xfit competition that took place on
Tue 14 Jan. The team consisted of Flt Lt Hawley, WO2 (SSM)
Robertson, Cpl Dean and myself as team captain. We only
decided that a team was going to be entered 3 weeks before
the event so training time was of the essence. Our team name
was “21 seconds to go”.
We only managed to have 2 training sessions as a team before
the event took place so spent a little time assessing strengths
and weaknesses of all participants. We were all delighted to
find that we had a team that overall could compete strongly in
all events that the competition had to offer.
The day of the event arrived and we were all understandably
nervous, waking up realising what lay ahead. The competition
itself consisted of a 500 metre row for each member
(eughhhhhh) followed by 40 reps of bench pressing 50Kg.
After this we moved on to the farmers walk (or should I
say run). Two 25Kg plates in each hand covering 20 meters
before turning around and making our way back to the start
line counted as 1 rep. We had to do 40 as a team. This was
the longest time exercise of the event as a whole which was
followed by 50 tyre flips which involved flipping a MRAP
tyre. These tyres weigh approximately 100Kg. 200 box jumps
followed in which all team members had to complete 50
before moving to the next team member.
The penultimate event was 200 squat thrusts, which was the
same as box jumps, involving each team member completing
their amount of reps before the next team member could go.
The final event was a 400 metre sprint. Each team member
had to hold a baton and pass it on to the next member at
the end of their sprint. Cpl Dean went first followed by Flt Lt
Hawley, the SSM followed and I went last. We started behind
the Estonians but beat them to the line which was a nice end
to the competition.
Sgt Taff Collwell, Sgt Micky Keeps, LCpl Plummeret-Page
On my arrival into Theatre all I heard from the Sqn Yeoman
was that LCpl Page is glad you are here. Slightly wary, I
thought it cannot be all that bad, can it? My first day in the
office revealed what the next seven months or so was to have
in store. We oversee a Crypto account that covers the whole
of Helmand as well as accounting for almost 3000 secret
documents. Luckily LCpl Page came over for the handover
from 3 (UK) DSR so all was well!
After I settled in and completed RSOI I started my handover.
Thankfully LCpl Page is a wealth of knowledge and things
started to run smoothly after we got our heads around what
was required. As we work inside our own little compound
things can get a little bit boring throughout the day, but we
were kept entertained with some classic one liners from LCpl
Page such as, “Isn’t Paul Daniel’s married to that Mystic
Meg?” or “1666, wasn’t that the Battle of Hastings?” - It’s the
little things that keep us entertained throughout the day!
The Christmas period was busy and there was plenty
organised to keep us all entertained. We all took part in
running home for Christmas to raise money for charity and
there was a sports day organised on Christmas day to keep us
all amused. I, on the other hand, decided it would be a good
idea to take part in the Christmas day half marathon after
doing very little training.
LCpl Page has now decided that he has had enough so he is
off back to Colerne to be replaced by Cpl Smiejkowski. All in
all we have had a busy first three months working hard trying
to backload as much equipment as possible as well dealing
with our eighty accounts and trying to keep them all happy.
Maj Bennett
SSgt McDermott
MOB PRICE – by Cpl Rodway
Souter ICS Det in festive sprits
MOB Price communication towers and assets
As January draws to a close the pace is constantly on the rise
for the ICS detachment at MOB Price. With units moving
location to accommodate the closure of camp this is the start
of the busiest period for the members of 21 Signal Regiment.
2014 has now well and truly arrived and with it this new
beginning brings a new host of challenges for the small 3 man,
one woman team. As the MOB closure creeps upon us our
job of simply maintaining the communication infrastructure
of MOB Price has evolved into tearing out and back loading
several ISO containers full to the brim with used equipment.
Along with the remediation of CIS equipment it seems all
the home comforts are disappearing day by day. The latest
casualties being the office chairs that will go the same way as
the detachment sofa. Along with the chairs the flooring has
started to be taken up with half of the detachment looking
like a sandy beach. Unfortunately we are not in some far away
holiday destination that will have to wait until the hard work
has finished within MOB Price.
Now we have the plan for when each service will be switched
off and taken away the end of our time here seems ever
closer and returning to Bastion is a daunting reality…
The ICS Det has now settled into tour life and the learning
curve has begun to even off a bit.
Having just lost Sig ‘Arthur Tour’ Hunt (a member of the Det
who got an early ticket home), we were fortunate to gain LCpl
‘Rusty-nuts’ Harrison as replacement morale. He arrived in
style, finding himself in front of the RSM after only being on
the camp for 12 hours. Standing to attention alongside Rusty
was Cpl ‘should-know-better’ Lawton, LCpl ‘Creosote’ Mackell
and LCpl ‘Yankee candle’ Boyd, all quaking before the Scottish
monster. This was all down to LCpl Boyd, who thought it
would be a good idea to host a ‘movie night’ in his room. In an
attempt to ensure LCpl Mackell succumbed to his seductive
charms, he decided to add a little romance with the help of
some Cherry Vanilla Yankee candles. Unfortunately the fire
alarms put a dampener on events and the entire block had to
be evacuated. When LCpl Boyd said ‘Well, it smelt nice Sir’ as
his defence, the RSM replied with a glare and the immortal
words; ‘You’re a banger’. Eight hours of work parades (each)
followed for the ‘4 Candles’ gang and in a display of poetic
justice, LCpl Boyd was appointed Fire Safety JNCO.
The Det was stood down (with the exception of Sgt Wayne
Addison) from 1400 on Xmas Eve until 0800 Boxing Day for
sports and quizzes and other Christmas activities. The Camp
officers and seniors took over everyone’s guard on Christmas
day which was greatly appreciated by the Det.
TFH HQ Real Life Support – by Cpl Hunt
Right from the start of the tour when the first men touched
down in Camp Bastion it has been non-stop, with the only
thing changing is the amount of work being undertaken from
such a small team. We have all been responsible for providing
all the J1/J4 for over 190 personal deployed within Task Force
Helmand HQ.
SSgt Noble (TFH HQ SQMS) has been kept busy all the way
through the tour with his merry band of minions (LCpl ‘Paddy’
McLoughlin, LCpl ‘Riddy’ Rydeard and Sig ‘Gaz’ McDermott)
closely following behind his every move. They have been
providing everything you could imagine an HQ would require,
no matter what time of day.
SSgt ‘Mac’ McMullen has been kept busy managing the
complete accommodation allocation and planning for Camp
501 for the duration of the tour. This has included the
constant complaints about air conditioning units not blowing
out cold air, then hot air, then cold air as the temperature
begins to rise again, and the constant changes in the
temperature of the water in the shower cubicles not
remaining at a constant hot temperature at all times. This has
also been run alongside the twice monthly range packages
which he has organised to ensure all personal within TFH HQ
remain current and competent on their weapon systems. He
has been assisted by Cpl Matt Hunt as range staff and LCpl
Rydeard as always happy Ammo NCO. We have managed to
have a few laughs whilst on the ranges, most notably LCpl
‘Paddy’ McLoughlin’s single shot rifle! At least we know that
he cleaned his gas parts the week before the ranges.
SSgt ‘Jas’ Janes has managed for the majority of the tour to
provide a one man J1 support cell from within Camp 501 for all
TFH HQ personal, as well as those personal from the
Squadron deployed/attached to the various battle groups
within Theatre.
Cpl Hunt has been kept busy not only running TFH HQ MT
providing transport support for their every need being
assisted by his one man driving team of Sig ‘Clapdog1’
Clapperton, but also running the TFH HQ Armoury ensuring all
weapons remain serviceable at all times. Although Cpl Hunt
had completed all the risk assessments for everything and
anything which could be carried out, he still manages to bang
his head in the armoury on a weekly basis due to people
storing rifles in there.
We have had some fun times during the tour as three of the
team have celebrated their birthdays over here with pizza and
alcohol free beer. During one such celebration LCpl
McLoughlin managing to spill beer and bits of pizza
everywhere when a rather large bang shook the room and he
took cover under the table.
Well the light at the end of the tunnel is getting bigger and it
will be soon be time to say goodbye to Afghanistan with
everyone looking forward to not only a safe return to Hohne,
but the long awaited ‘Decompression’ in Cyprus closely
followed by POTL!!!!!
Main Troop - by Sig Guy
As September 21 2013 arose amongst us, the boys and girls of
the mighty 207 Signal Squadron, “the Desert Rats” deployed
on Op HERRICK 19 for the first time as TFH Signal Squadron.
We arrived safely and got put into transit accommodation by
the RSOI camp, met up with the remainder of the Sqn who
arrived before hand and had a whistle-stop tour of Camp
Bastion. RSOI day one was all death by PowerPoint, which
took its toll on the already tired troops. Day two started with
a squadded march in full PPE with weapon. The heat was
immense! We arrived at the ranges, zeroed our weapons and
had more briefs. That was it for the Cat ones, with the lucky
Cat 2 personnel completing a further 3 days, which included
OP BARMA, CIED, patrols, CQB, etc.
On the first day, as we took over from 1 Mechanized Brigade,
we had a pizza night at TacCIS village with the departing
personnel. The morale between the two was slightly different
as 215 were clearly happy to be going home and we were just
starting. We got split into 12 hour shifts of 6 people with
tasks including radio shifts as the J3 signaller in the JOC and
monitoring comms systems in TacCIS Village. Sig 'Shauny G'
Guy signed for the network eqpt room which has all the 117F
and Bowman equipment supplying the JOC, providing
situational awareness from out on the ground.
Down at TacCIS village, our jobs were to keep the terminals
working and monitor chat, the Data network and NFFI feeds
(NATO Friendly Forces Identifier) which provide HeATS and
GrATS, Blue Force Tracker, ANA, Civilian Convoy and BCIP
The first few months were very busy as we had to familiarise
ourselves with new systems and equipment, and get to know
how LAS was cabled in (this took a while to re-organise).
Once all the niff and naff was done, we had all comms IAW
with no problems at all.
LCpl ‘Stonesy’ Stones deployed with the Warthog group for a
week and did a good job with them sorting the comms out.
Later on in the year he and LCpl Beni ‘Close Protection’
Greenaway deployed with the BAT to Lashkah Gah Durai
where famously Stonesy tripped down a drainage ditch and
got suspected meningitis and was subsequently MEDEVAC’D
back to Bastion as CAT A (where tests concluded he had a
sore head!)
Christmas had arrived and we all had to parade at TacCIS
village as the Boss, Capt Miller, had organised the best
Christmas party Afghanistan has ever seen! All available
members of 207 Sig Sqn (along with some hangers on like the
Bde Comd’s PA and driver (LCpl Rachel ‘Dozza’ Dorrian and
LCpl Karl ‘Smudge’ Smith) and had a great time. As we are
separated across the AO, it was good to see some different
faces like Sig ‘Little Mac’ McMahon, LCpl ‘Red Belt’ Gaffer
and Sig Ollie ‘The Boss fancies your Mum’ Lippitt. The
celebrations included a raffle, secret Santa presents and a
quiz, and of course Christmas music. This wasn’t your
ordinary Christmas day like back home, having a beer, a
proper dinner, family, but what more could you ask for,
spending it with the people you have lived and worked with
for so long.
Boxing day came and Sig ‘Shauny G’ Guy deployed on an Op
in the North of the AO with an LO from the Artillery. He
proved he earned his money (finally) establishing comms and
relaying back to manoeuvre BG. This was not a good
experience as temperatures were in the minuses, and he had
to wash and shave with only a bottle of water…which most
days was frozen. May I add he didn’t get MEDEVAC’D.
January 25 2014, LCpl Beni Greenaway and Sig Guy deployed
with the BAT as the two signallers to the Sangin Valley where
they both set up MMS, VHF and TACSAT. These links were
vital as they were relied on to get comms back to PB Nolay
where the CO was, talking to the ANA on the ground.
It’s coming to the end of an era, with the majority of the shifts
churning and going back to Germany for a bit of well-earned
POTL, and the new boys come in and take their place. We will
say farewell to Cpl Hanley, LCpl Eccles and Sigs ‘Noodles’
Eady, ‘Dingle’ Dinsdale, ‘V-Dog’ Veringa, Chadwick, Sharp,
Lippitt and Eccles, and welcome LCpl Cobb and Sig Hallett,
Davies, Farrow, Burnett, French, Main and Caress.
FRT– by LCpl Daly
With the main RIP completely over by the end of 2013 we
were all expecting work to calm down in the FRT,
unfortunately this did not happen. With the battle groups still
bringing equipment into us by the truck load (or literally
brining their trucks in to get fixed). We have inspections and
the close down of bases around the AO coming thick and fast,
and the redistribution of Bowman kit has brought a lot of
work our way, doing serviceability checks for each bit of
equipment. A very busy period for the FRT is upon us.
We are now fully integrated with 21 Signal Regiment after a
few months of musical room changes and are very much
settled in our new home for the duration of our tour.
With Sgt Jim Berridge away conducting a DIT course, the FRT
was left in the hands of Cpl Nickie Creswell. In this short time
her 10 a day habit shot up to 30 a day to allow her a few
moments of peace she required to take a break. LCpl Resh
Ramsahye has been doing a splendid job running with the VTC
for the duration of HERRICK 19. The look on his face every
time he gets “Signaller, the VTC is not working” is priceless,
being that the most common fault is the microphone is not
turned on or they need to switch the TV on.
We say goodbye to Sgt Jim Green who left us at the end of
December. We organised a pizza and poker night (during
which no money changed hands), however Sgt Green did
walk away the victor with our monopoly money.
Life in the Warthogs – by LCpl Fell
Both myself and Sig jones deployed on HERRICK 19 with 9/12
Royal Lancers as part of the Warthog group. Our role is to
provide that critical link for the Warthogs back to TFH Comd
when the Warthogs deploy on the different operations
outside the wire of Bastion. We have also helped the Sqn
with the maintenance of the Warthogs and the running of the
signal stores.
The first couple of months of the deployment has been very
busy for the Warthogs with the handover and takeover from 2
RTR and with the different operations that we have been
tasked with in Helmand province. We have now hit the half
way mark in our tour. The first half of the tour we have kept
busy with all the different things that have gone on. Both
myself and Sig Jones were involved with an event to raise
money for BLESMA, doing 30 miles each either running or
biking, to help 9/12 Royal Lancers get back home to the UK.
Some good news, Sig Jones was expecting a child around the
time of his R&R, he managed to get home just in time to see
the birth of his little girl. With us going in to the last half of
the tour and only having a few months left we are getting
ready for our replacements to arrive.
interesting and varied with EST Coy depending on the tempo
of operations
Ops have been “interesting” from receiving SAF from AK47s
and PKMs to RPGs and UGLs flying overhead to the quiet days
when the Coy are screening in an overwatch position. The
most memorable Op so far was 11 days in the hills around
Sangin when temperatures fell to –16o overnight whilst
sleeping in old fashioned shell scrapes.
When not on Ops we are based in Bastion, making sure all the
kit is functional and the Coy have everything they need to
make their own radios work, and organising training on UK
The highlight of the day though is when we’re able to catch
up on Jeremy Kyle to remind ourselves what we are missing
back home.
Running Home for Christmas – by Sig Eady
During the Christmas period here in Afghanistan, 207 Sig Sqn,
along with 21 Signal Regiment, were set the task of running
home for Christmas. This was a challenging task which
consisted of covering 7500km by either running, cycling or
rowing. This was made harder than it should have been as we
only had 7 days to complete the 7500km! For this to be
achieved in such little time it meant some of us would have to
put in an all-nighter and row, cycle and run in the dark. The
first night this was done, we as a Troop managed to cover a
staggering 1500km.
Estonian Company (Manoeuvre BG)
– by Cpl French and Sig Rabar
Cpl French and Sig Rabar from 207 are part of a 6 man
contingent attached to C Coy 17 Estonian Scout Battalion.
Other attachments include a Liaison Officer (4 Scots) FST (3
RHA) JTAC (RAF Regt) and Int Offr (11 MI Coy). Life is
Sig Rabar on Patrol
Lashkar Gah Rear Link Detachment - by Sgt Baker
It’s been a busy tour to date for the RLD located in MOB
Lashkar Gah. At the start of Op HERRICK 19 Sig ‘Ozzy’
Whittaker and Cpl ‘Nath’ Watts faced all the usual challenges
of taking over a new detachment in unfamiliar surroundings.
Luckily it wasn’t long before the RLD welcomed their
inspirational leader, Sgt Matt ‘Bakes Cakes’ Baker.
With the RLD complete, there was just enough time to get
settled into our shift pattern before the arrival of the Second
Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment, ‘The Poachers’, who we
are attached to.
November saw Sig Whittaker depart to a more isolated
working environment at the Operational Coordination Centre
– Provincial. This is where half a dozen ISAF personnel work
side by side with Afghans in a joint Ops Room. It’s only 500m
from the MOB but may as well be 500 miles. Personnel have
to remain in either the Ops Room or the accommodation, and
if they go to the gym it must be in pairs.
While Sig ‘Golden Maggot’ Whittaker was safely tucked up in
his sleeping bag at the OCCP, the remaining RLD were adding
a new acronym to their dictionary, BRAC/T! (Base Realignment
and Closure/Transfer). To us, it meant we needed to work out
how we were going to remove the remaining cabling,
antennas and tactical communications that had been
established in MOB LKG over the previous 18 Op HERRICKs.
During Sig Whittaker’s absence, Cpl ‘I wish I was an Operator’
Watts took a giant leap for the CS ENGR trade, covering
operator duties as well his own hands-on technical work. As a
reward for his efforts, Cpl Watts was sent to the FRT in
Bastion to recover from his operator experience.
Sig Whitaker establishing secondary communications on a 117f
With Sig Whittaker safely back from the confines of OCCP,
and Cpl Watts back from his operational holiday, it was time
for the RLD to embark on a new operation, Op WOMBLE. We
found ourselves deployed on a ruthless, gruelling mission with
the task of minimising anything that was not operationally
necessary. Brew kit, televisions and furniture all had to go.
The Christmas period saw Sig Whittaker return to the UK for
R&R leaving Sgt Baker and Cpl Watts to enjoy the festive
season in Lashkar Gah. Prior to the Christmas Day banquet,
we donned our lycra, tinsel and our newly issued Santa hats,
for a Christmas Day fun run. Both of us had the opportunity
to open gifts and speak to loved ones back home.
As we entered 2014, we welcomed the following members of
the 2 R ANGLIAN RSIST, Cpl ‘Winge’ Farrar, LCpl ‘Get some
guns’ Cargill and LCpl ‘Night Walker’ Hymers.
Cpl Watts carries out some critical repairs to a coax, which fell
victim to a JCB operated by a locally employed civilian
With more hands on the pump, it was time to focus on
downsizing and removing our tactical communications. All
the team worked hard reducing the FSU HQ to a minimal Ops
Room that they can operate from for the final weeks.
With British troops scheduled to leave the MOB next month,
the scenery is constantly changing. We have witnessed the
removal of accommodation tents, the closing of the EFI shop
and the down scaling of Paradigm facilities. Next week will
see the closure of the dining facility and introduction of ration
Following the close down of MOB Lashkar Gah, the RLD are
looking forward to a few weeks in Bastion before that wellearned banana boat ride on decompression, and then
spending some well-earned Post Operational Tour Leave with
family and friends.
The LKG RLD stripping cables and equipment from our Bowman
Operational News - MOB PRICE – by Sgt Virot and Cpl Abusah
From our arrival into MOB Price on September 18 2013, Sgt
Virot and Cpl Abusah hit the ground running. We took over
from the respective RSDC and RSIST members and settled
into the routine of MOB life as Watchkeepers and Signallers.
MOB “NICE” as it’s referred to was soon to lose the majority
of its AO as we dropped from 2 patrol companies to 1
Protective Mobility company location. This came into effect a
month into our tour once C Coy 3 Mercian arrived and
assumed their duties. We said goodbye to friends in 1RRF as
they left the end of September to mid-October.
Once departed we set to the task of making the Ops Room
our own (as happens on all tours). We started by tracing
every cable known to man within the DORs and sending Visio
diagrams to Bde. During silent hours we disconnected,
rerouted and re-established comms, feeling pleased with the
work done we settled into routine.
Establishing Combat over the HCDR network was our next
task. Although we could get Sterga 2 and Bastion, our aim
was to bring LCpl Robertson and Sig Wright into the fold
from Durai junction. This in itself was proving difficult even
with the assistance of a 25 metre Racal mast.
The location of the mast itself was a problem as the real
estate required for the guys was exceeding the space given
within the Citadel. As our predecessors only had it half
elevated we decided to go whole hog and get it up to the
max, only to learn that the guy ropes were cut and the mast
pump was nowhere to be seen. A move was in order to get
the 20 odd stone mast to a suitable location and gain comms.
We recruited a “few big guns” from the FST and a pump
from Durai then elevated the monstrosity of a mast. It had a
few admirers and was a favourite resting place for the
transiting birds of Gereshk.
After all the effort of the move, Lashkar Gah Durai was still
out of reach. The Yakchal Mountains had beaten the mast;
the next step was to move the mast via Chinook to Sterga 2
where the link came in.
We then started the fun of BRAC/T. This entails the removal
of ISO containers and shrinking the HESCO from the MOB,
and the start of the base downsize (which came with
problems of its own!).
Some of our masts were elevated on top of ISOs stacked 2
high so getting to them with long enough ladders was a
mission in itself, only to learn once scaled that the base plate
had been welded on so could not be removed. A few choice
words followed as we had to then improvise the TFH RRB
mast onto HESCO, and part of our mast kit was soon on its
way out of Afghan on top of a container.
One of the biggest problems faced is the legacy cabling lying
all around the MOB, having to trace miles of cabling and
coaxes to their end, the majority being legacy Danish and
American equipment left aloft numerous metal masts. Trying
to track down the owners in Bastion has proven difficult
enough but we are getting there slowly.
Company training continues on request for TacSat and VHF,
and the BRAC/T of the Ops Room continues on a daily basis in
slow time and will pick up pace massively as we get towards
the end. Having been here 4 and bit months we have seen
the base shrink dramatically. Soon the luxuries will be going,
down to a field kitchen, welfare and internet services are off,
as are the tents and air con, and to everyone’s upset, the
Everyone within the MOB are looking forward to a bit of
aggressive camping when we go into ponchos for the last
couple of weeks and deploy an alternate Ops Room before
we lift out of what was MOB Price and head back to Bastion,
leaving a relic of a camp to the Americans within their small
Operational News - Manoeuvre BG HQ – by Sgt Harris
Life in 4 Scots RLD team has been relatively busy…and then
we deployed on Op HERRICK. Our general working day
consists of radio shifts broken up by occasional (monthly)
re-zeroing of weapons.
However, there was a break in the normal routine when the
Manoeuvre Battle Group CO’s Signaller went on R&R between
Christmas and New Year, well timed on his part as CO’s TAC
was to deploy on Boxing Day as part of an operation to
support the BRAC/T of American PBs. Unfortunately (for me)
this coincided with the lowest temperatures of the year (-12o
C) which was recorded by the Tac snipers in an OP. Our admin
was certainly tested; cold water shaves, john bags (that really
was an experience!!) and a brand new issued thermorest
which ended above my knees, all added to the fun! I also
found out that the tier 2 protection in conjunction with the
Husky rear seats makes for an extremely sore backside. The
issued tier 1 underwear was a godsend, 12 days of continuous
wear and my bits still smelt fresh...ish.
Despite a few
downsides it certainly
made a nice change
to see something of
Afghanistan other
than the inside of a
JOB/MOB/FOB, albeit
most of the view
consisted of miles of
Dashte (desert) with
the occasional
mountain in the far
distance interspersed
with the odd bizarre
appearance of a
random herd of goats
complete with goat
herder. As for the
comms side, the usual
Bowman VHF with a
liberal sprinkling of TacSat was the norm, although I did end
up using a new (for me at least) comms system. Mobile
Mission Secret (MMS) which would appear to be the updated
version of LWRN comprises of a BGAN sat dish and a pelicase
with a built in framework of router, VoIP phone and
Toughbook. This is certainly a smaller, lighter and overall
more compact system than LWRN ever was. New Year came
and went and passed us by as we were leaguered up in our
desert box seeking shelter from the biting wind. Now it’s
finished I’m back in Bastion and once again sat behind a desk
running a myriad of comms nets in the relative warmth. I say
relative because is started snowing yesterday and
appropriately enough the heating systems in both the
accommodation and in the Ops Room have chucked in the
towel and refuse to work. It’s still warmer than it was out on
the ground though! Happy New Year everyone.
Superstar’s Competition – by Sig Roberts
On 14 Jan a Superstars competition was held in Camp Bastion.
It was a team event which consisted of four people. The
competition was open to anyone on Camp Bastion, regardless
of service, cap badge, sex or nationality. In total there were
26 male and 8 female teams. The events included:
2000m row (500m per person at level 10).
20kg shoulder press, 30 reps.
40kg Romanian dead lift, 10 reps.
Farmers walk. 20 kg disks, 40m walk ten times.
Box jumps. 50 reps.
Squats thrusts. 50 reps.
400m run.
The dead lift, farmers walk and box jumps could be split
unevenly between the team, but each member had to
attempt every exercise.
Many people were interested in entering the event in TFH HQ.
My team, “Fatty Boom Boom” ended up consisting of myself,
LCpl Dorrian (AGC, Comd PA) Lt Eldridge (ISTAR EW LO, R
SIGNALS) and Lt Hunter-Choat (BAT, Int Corp). Many teams
trained for weeks prior to the event, but due to our team
working different hours, it was hard to meet up for training,
and as a result only having one training session as a team.
The big day came. Many personnel from the HQ came and
supported us. My team was confident we would do well,
even due to the lack of training and that LCpl ‘Dozza’ Dorrian
had tonsillitis. From start to finish the event was challenging,
but the team was strong in every event, completing most
exercises quickly with short rest periods. The hardest part of
the event was towards the end at the squat thrusts, because
our legs were tired after farmers walk and box jumps.
The team finished in 42min 13secs, putting us in the lead; but
there were still strong teams to go. We kept the lead all day,
but the other TFH team, “Nice Apps” (Lead by our very own
Capt Katie Apps) beat our time, then the Danish team after
them also beat us by 40secs. We came third over overall
which we were all very happy with.
STERGA 2 – by Sig Lippitt
Set high on a cliff beside the Helmand River, OP STERGA 2 has
two contrasting views. To the north is the Green Zone and to
the south an empty desert. There are several key reasons
why this OP is located here, not only to observe upon the
unknowing locals as they do their strange day to day business
or as insurgents do their thing. Myself, Sig Oliver ‘Kid’ Lippitt
and LCpl Carl ‘the Kraken’ Eccles play an important part as we
provide a radio re-broadcast (RRB) station. We are a lynch pin
for communications throughout the Helmand AO and are sat
here so that vital communications can be heard and sent from
Lashkar Gah Durai.
At STERGA 2 we work alongside two of the 4 Scots infantry
signallers. The remainder of the 4 Scots lads do the FP of the
camp and protect the ISTAR Gp asset. We have 5 Regt Royal
Artillery providing a Mamba asset and BISTAR for better
viewing and to assist sangars. A male nurse and a medic
provide the medical facility. Because of the small space it is
important that everyone works together to supply basic
administration for the OP i.e. area cleaning, odd jobs around
camp and important sangar duties. The reason this camp runs
so smoothly is that everybody digs in together.
207 Sig Sqn Christmas Function – by Sig Sharp
It’s Christmas Day, the snow is falling, the Christmas songs are
playing and we’re all happy that it’s that time of year again,
especially Cpl Hanley. Sorry who am I kidding, I couldn’t
think of a better way than to spend Christmas Day out here in
sunny Afghanistan! The only way you could tell it was
Christmas is that the temperature had dropped to a chilly 25o
C and the decorations were up. On the plus side it meant we
got to avoid all the hustle and bustle of doing any Christmas
shopping, going into shops and listening to the same old
Christmas songs being played which we have heard a billion
times over. Also we got to avoid the dreaded task of cleaning
up the Christmas pots, pans and dishes which is also a bonus.
A task LCpl Stones enjoys doing with his rubber gloves and
apron on.
Anyway back to the story. The Squadron had organised a
function for the guys out here, which was held down at
TacCIS Village, just to make it feel a little more “Christmassy”.
This was probably the first time, since getting split up into our
shifts, departments and to other locations that the majority of
the Squadron could be together. There were prizes up for
grabs which included iPads, headphones, cameras, Galaxy
tablets and some other prizes. It was a free raffle, for which
names were pulled out of a rather fetching Christmas hat.
The funding for the prizes was kindly donated by the
Squadron PRI funds which totalled around €2000. Some of
the money went towards food for the function, although it
wasn’t Christmas dinner on the menu, pizza, snacks and cans
of pop was just as good, even though the pizza was gone in a
matter of minutes. Christmas dinner is overrated anyway!
After we had eaten pizza and did the raffle it was time for
Secret Santa, which was organised by Sig Roberts. Once all
that had finished, we had some time to chill out before the
videos from the families back home were played. To top the
night off we finished with a quiz on Best of British which was
won by Capt Apps and her team.
Brigade Reconnaissance Force (Spec Op’s)
– by Sgt ‘Viking’ Aanes and Cpl Ash Spooner
After a hectic start to life with the BRF, things are now
starting to calm down slightly. We are now 4 months into our
9 month tour so we have had and still have plenty of time to
get stuck into the BRF way of life.
Cpl Ash Spooner and I took on the Crypto, ECM and Bowman
accounts as soon as we got into Theatre so we are both kept
fairly busy. As well as doing the accounts we also deploy out
on Ops as the Tac Signaller/Tac defence. Going out on Ops
with the BRF has proved to be very different to any other Ops
we have done in the past, mainly because the BRF are the last
remaining fighting troops in Theatre. When we’re not out
“on the ground” we have both been taking the troops
through various Comms lessons. These include TacSAT and
152 which they appreciate a lot as they do not touch these
types of Comms on their Signals courses.
When it comes to
physical training
with the BRF it
started off quite
hard with a lot of
battle PT, often
tabbing up to
12-15 miles
carrying a
amount of
weight!! Now
though it’s pretty
much do your
own thing, so a group of us have just completed Insanity and
are about to start it for a second time……’cos we’re hard!!
A typical day on an Op consists of being woken up at a god
awful time during the night, getting into the compound to get
all our kit ready, carry out radio checks with the troops then
it’s onto a coach up to the flight line. We normally sit on the
flight line for about 30-40 mins before loading. Once on the
Helo everyone tends to get a few mins of shuteye before
touching down on target. From there, under cover of
darkness the troops make their way to the relevant
compounds before carrying out strikes and searches. Cpl
Spooner and I are attached to one of the troops, taking over
a compound and setting up our comms to Higher. Once
comms have been established we normally hand over to the
2IC Capt ‘I’m Bloody Hot’ Grant and we crack on with
whatever tasks are being dished out by the troop we are with.
These tasks can be Tac protection, rummaging or engaging in
fire fights with Terry Taliban.
So, once we have carried out all tasks we call the Helo’s back
for pickup and get out of Dodge as fast as we can!! Once
back in Bastion it’s just a case of squaring all our kit away and
getting back on 60mins notice to move for future Ops.
PRRS Jan 2014 – by Cpl Willis
In September 2013 an elite team of Royal Signals Electricians
were assembled and deployed to Afghanistan to work in the
Power Response and Repair Section (PRRS). Based out of
Camp Bastion, the department is responsible for repairing and
maintaining FEPS generators and electrical distribution
equipment across multiple locations within Theatre as well as
Camp Bastion itself.
With Task Force Helmand closing down various MOB’s and
FOB’s, it has also been our job to fly forward and advise in the
changeover from civilian KBR equipment to FEPS generators.
It is also the task of the PRRS to inspect, repair and clean all
surplus generators to the high standard required for them to
be redeployed to the UK. The most time consuming part of
this process is washing down the FEPS, with it taking about 8
hours to clean one generator to the standard required by the
bio hazard inspection.
On a trip to Sterga 2, Cpl Flanagan was tasked with carrying
out a yearly inspection on two generators and to survey the
power equipment on site. On his return to Bastion the only
information he was able relay back to us was the fact that it
was dark and he couldn’t see any faults or damage due to it
being night time.
Cpl Flannigan and LCpl Harland waiting to start the New Year run
coffee with the Afghan Police. On his return to the PRRS yard
he decided while load testing a 40kW generator to set it on
fire and leave it to Cpl’s Flanagan and Willis and LCpl Harland
to extinguish it before the RAF fire service arrived to
congratulate us on a job well done.
Although it has been a long tour the heavy workload is
keeping us very busy and helping to make our time in
Afghanistan go quick. With the first of us now going on R&R
it won’t be long until we are back home with our families.
On the run up to Christmas, Camp Bastion was visited by
Katherine Jenkins where we all got the opportunity to watch
her perform and after the show we were given the chance to
meet the opera singer to get a few photos and an autograph.
Christmas Day in Afghanistan was celebrated with LCpl Bob
Harland running the Santa half marathon while Cpl Andy
‘Tash’ Willis cycled six miles of the route to take pictures of
Bob’s impressive time of 1hr, 37mins 42secs, putting him into
the top 100 of over 400 runners.
New Year’s Eve was seen in with all members of the PRRS
being scrambled to supply backup power to the Task Force
Helmand HQ due to a power outage; however we were
finished in time for midnight.
2014 was started with all the RSE’s taking part in the more
sensible 5 kilometre Bastion fun run with Cpl Flanagan
dressed in his home made snowman costume and LCpl Bob
Harland wearing a teenage mutant ninja turtle onesie.
Four months into the tour and with Christmas out of the way
Sig ‘Pyro’ Sackey was flown out to visit all the remaining
locations within Helmand to check up on all of our deployed
equipment and to fix any faults. While out at Lashkar Gah he
needed to tag along on a foot patrol to OCCP where he
became a celebrity with the locals and even got to go for a
Cpl Flannigan fighting fire
The Corps Recruiting Team
On 13 Jan 14 the Royal Signals Corps Recruiting team was
reformed with the intention of reinvigorating Corps
recruitment. The Team, consisting of Capt Stu Keenan, LCpl
Rosie McMullen, Sig Matt Carter and Sig Daniel Wren, were
thrown straight in at the deep end and immediately began
assessing the scale of the task. With new recruiting literature
to be produced and presentations to be refreshed the team
have been busy preparing for the wave of upcoming
recruiting events. A trip to the Royal Military Academy
Sandhurst for the Arms and Services day was a gentle way to
settle in and provided the team with an opportunity to polish
their pitches.
The next few months are lightly to continue at pace with the
calendar filling up quickly. You should look out for the CRT in
your area. If units are attending any events that would
benefit from CRT attendance please contact Capt Stu Keenan
at HQ Royal Signals on 94371 2855, R SIGNALS HQ-CRT-OC.
Warthog Driver Training Course - by LCpl Longman
A Sunday morning in mid January saw myself and LCpl Alex
Reid begin our journey to Germany for a 3 week Warthog
driver training course in support of TRUST ECM trials.
Obviously the journey began with a standard MacDonald’s
breakfast on the way to Heathrow. On arrival at the airport
LCpl Reid was hit with an unexpected £77.00 extra baggage
fee because he’d brought along his full 1157!
After a 1½ hour flight to Munich, a 4 hour wait then another
hour’s flight meant we finally arrived in Sennelager. Due to
the delay we weren’t surprised to learn that we had missed
the bus so had to pay for a €100 taxi to the camp. So far this
was becoming an expensive course!
Monday morning came and so did the beginning of the
course; with the only other people on the camp being QRH
(Queens Royal Hussars) LCpl Reid and I stood out like a sore
thumb! The first couple of days was learning the ins and outs
of the vehicle which then led onto driving soon after. The
driving phase began …and so did the fun. We drove out to
the wet, muddy and hilly driver training area and were told
“go where ever you want, get used to the vehicle”. We took
this to mean go as fast as you could, through the deepest
puddles and up the steepest hills! Needless to say it was great
fun and we both thoroughly enjoyed the experience. At the beginning of the second week we were told that we
would be finished a week and a half early because we didn’t
need to do the range shoots. This wasn’t a bad thing because
the weather was awful and it was absolutely freezing. After a
couple more days driving and then the assessment we had
successfully passed the course.
The Warthog platform
JTRS Trial - by LCpl Maggs
The aim of the Joint Tactical Radio System trial was to
evaluate the effectiveness of the JTRS Bowman Waveform
(JBW), utilising the US Soldier Radio Multifunctional (SR-M)
and the BCIP 5.5 VHF radio suite.
Tests were conducted using both a voice only network and a
mixed voice/data network, all within the confines of a (not so
sunny) Blandford Camp. Although at times the trial felt a little
like Groundhog Day, the 4200 serials were completed despite
LCpl Carr’s VP, and Sig Lee moaning about the weather at
every possible opportunity (even though he’s from Wales).
Exercise TIGER TRIAL – Advanced Group - by LCpl McColl
When we eventually arrived in Les Deux Alpes we were
allocated rooms in the UCPA hotel, which was located around
200m away from the main slopes of the resort and was
central on the strip of bars and restaurants that the resort
had to offer. After our first night to settle in and look around,
the next morning we gathered in the lobby to receive our ski
passes and get fitted for our ski equipment. An hour later and
we were on the first slope of the day, a simple and
uncomplicated blue run, for a chance to regain our ski legs
and remember what it was like to be on skis. Everyone in this
group had been skiing before and had qualifications so it
didn’t take us long to get back into the swing of things.
There is a trial going on around all that admin!!!
Exercise TIGER TRIAL – Beginner Group - by Sig Lee
The lucky 15 from CIS TDU set out from Blandford on
17January but we were painfully limited to 60mph for the 18
hour drive to Les Deux Alpes in France!
The aim of the exercise was to provide the alpine skiing
foundation skills required for a student to be a party member
on slopes within a recognised ski area. The group was split
down into two ability groups, a beginner group and a
continuation of training group, this was for the qualified
skiers to further their knowledge of the sport and practise
already learned skills.
The beginner group, which consisted of four of us, began by
learning how to walk with skis, side walking and how to stop
using the snow plough method. Both LCpl Maggs and Sgt
Williamson excelled at the snow plough and used this new
found skill throughout the whole week! The week started off
with a lot of falling over and LCpl Maggs and Sgt Williamson
constantly cursing their skis whilst sat in the snow. The
theme of the week was expensive with a pint of Stella costing
at least €5 …but the night life was great and definitely worth
the money.
At the end of the week the instructor felt that we had
improved enough to go down a red slope. The whole group
managed to achieve the SF1 qualification including the injured
who, for crating reasons will not be named (Sig ‘Jelly Leg’ Lee
and SSgt ‘Bad Groin’ Nix). By the end of the week we all left
with very light wallets but with a new found love for skiing.
Just one of the numerous slopes
Welcome rest bite from the slopes, in the bar! Maj Hill, LCpl
Maggs, Random Massive Dog, Capt Hammond and Sgt Lamkin
Once our instructor, WO2 (YofS) Webster, was happy with
our skiing to a point where we weren’t going to cause any
physical damage to the other skiers on the mountain, we
progressed through the day. Starting with a few easy slopes
and simple tasks, proving in a small assessment that we could
all do the plough, stop safely and control short turns in order
to slow down or stop. Everyone did really well including an
off balance Capt Hammond who on the previous night packed
a tent sized daysack which included an emergency poncho
and first aid kit just in case he was caught in an avalanche and
had to stay out for the night. The day came to an end and we
were all happy with how it had gone.
After a good nights sleep we carried our confidence into the
next couple of days, sticking mainly to blue slopes and having
a few more refresher lessons on crucial skiing skills such as
carving, tucking and were even taught how to do 360 degree
turns with style. We enjoyed a few of the restaurants on the
slopes as well, taking advantage of them especially in the
freezing cold temperatures which were sometimes as low as
-20o. Day 3 and our instructor felt it was time to try everyone
on the black slope for the first time of the trip. We coped
with it really well, it was a massive test of our skiing ability
and everyone navigated it safely and professionally. The black
run experience was thoroughly enjoyable, although the same
could not be said when trapped in a closed confined ski lift
with Maj Rodger’s flatulence ‘issue’, something that had a
major effect on SSgt (FofS(IS)) Fraser.
With everyone tired we headed back to the hotel for a few
well-earned beers and a sample of the hotels entertainment, a
local French band. On days 4 and 5 we were a lot more
relaxed when skiing because after completing the black
slopes, the blue and red slopes felt really easy. We tried out
routes we hadn’t used before and even found ourselves at
the top of the 3500m mountain, taking some pictures of the
beautiful scenery and enjoying the sun which occasionally
shone through the thick cloud. After skiing down we caught
up with the beginner group and had a chance to witness LCpl
Maggs and Sgt Williamsons tentative, yet progressing, skiing
After another tiring day a few of us took advantage of the
hotels sauna and Jacuzzi, paying the €10 for an hour of
relaxation and recovery. On the final day we joined up with
the beginner group and together we navigated down a few of
our favourite slopes from the last 5 days. As the weather was
horrendous, this came to an abrupt end and the majority of us
headed back to the hotel early to go ice skating instead while
a brave few carried on. When everyone had returned to the
hotel we handed back our ski equipment, packed up our kit
Group photo at 3500m
and were ready to start the long horrific journey back the
next day. We travelled back with everyone extremely tired
from a hard but excellent and rewarding trip.
A unique discounted price of £109
per rider has been offered to Army
personnel booking before May 1st.
Thereafter it will be £129 for ALL
personnel. Before May 1st the day
can only be booked with No Limits
Trackdays by ringing 01727 827794.
This years annual British Army
Trackday will take place on Sat
23rd Aug at Snetterton Race
circuit. The day is open to all
serving, ex-army and reservists
so please feel free to spread the
word to your pals!!!
Please DO NOT DELAY in
booking, it is a Bank Holiday
weekend in the height of summer
on a great circuit – it will sell out
months in advance!!! After May
1st the day will be opened up to
the general public. Secure your
place early or you will miss out!!!
The day is open to ALL levels
of riders and anyone booking
can choose between novice,
intermediate and experienced
groups. There is no safer
environment to improve on
your skills and gain advice from
professional instructors.
A charity auction of signed
motorbike merchandise last year
raised over £1000, this year our
chosen charities are the Royal
British Legion and East Anglia
Air Ambulance.
The aim of the day is for riders to
transfer skills to the roads and
ultimately make for safer road
riding. For those intending on going
for the Army Road Racing Team
selection further details will be on
the Facebook group page.
British Army Trackday 2014
Specific detail ref the event can be found on the Facebook group page. Search for - British Army Trackday 2014
For any queries contact - WO2 Glyn Hannah, Q Bomb Disposal, 29 EOD Gp on 94659 5534.
Lt Col M C Brookes
WO1 (RSM) C Hoggard
Maj G Wills
WO2 (SSM) K Umney
– by Sig Thomas, Sig Ball, Sig Bennetts and Sig Walker
We left Blandford Camp early morning Saturday 25 January,
heading for London Gatwick to embark on six days of Skiing in
the Tyroleon Alps in Austria. For us Signallers this was to be
our first taste of Adventure Training in the Army, an
experience which we were very much looking forward to. As
part of a large group, which included a mixture of ranks,
trades and appointments we flew to Salzberg. The aim of the
exercise was to train novice skiers and personnel with little to
no experience in order to qualify to Ski Foundation Level 1.
However, we had never put on a pair of skis in our life, and
from early conversations it appeared that some of the group
had at least skied once before. No pressure there then!
As it turned out our first experience of extreme high octane
thrills came in the form of our ski rep and his approach to
driving the mini bus from the airport to the town of Kirchdorf
where we would be staying. Surviving this journey we were
sure we could handle whatever the Austrian slopes threw at
us in the coming week. Arriving late in the afternoon, we had
time to collect our rented ski equipment and head off to our
hotel; a cosy, family run establishment.
This could be love? Maj Graham Wills and Sgt Ryan Booth
us. In the afternoon we faced an even greater challenge,
using our first T-Bar lift. Eventually we all reached the top of
the first slope and successfully skied to the bottom, albeit
with many spectacular falls along the way.
For day two we headed to St Johann in Tirol to ski on our first
proper mountain. The day consisted of working on the
techniques we had learnt on the previous day. However,
some people learn slower than others and then some people
Our first day of skiing had finally arrived; we were a mixture of
excitement and nerves! We broke down into two groups of
ability; those who had skied before and those who hadn’t.
Much to our embarrassment we were led to the kindergarten
slope whilst the others headed up the mountain to split down
further into intermediate and advanced groups. First lesson:
how to put on your skis, which can be harder than it sounds,
especially if you have the balance of a drunken Signaller on a
night out in Blandford. After this we began to learn how to
bring ourselves to a stop safely, followed by basic turning, all
the while being completely out shone by children zipping past
Capt (Tfc) Gethin ‘Mega Dob’ Thomas demonstrates the best
technique for cracking ribs
SSgt (YofS (EW))Conrad Keegan takes a rest during a long day
just don’t learn at all, with Sig Dan Ball propelling himself into
the ground resulting in a dislocated shoulder and an Olympic
dream in pieces. Despite losing one member of our group, we
managed to maintain high confidence levels, essential for
successful skiing. By the end of the day our skiing was
definitely beginning to take shape.
Over the next few days we skied at both St Johann and
Fieberbrunn, progressively developing our skiing ability and
skills to enable us to ski comfortably and safely down the
slopes, and we even managed to get the hang of using the
T-Bar, a lesson learnt the hard way. Eventually we found
ourselves piling in less and less and that we were going faster,
using parallel turns, which were later enhanced by pole plants
and that just maybe we were getting the hang of this skiing
malarkey! All of the credit belongs to the instructors,
particularly Maj Elizabeth Mortimer, who was extremely
patient with us. By the last day we had successfully proven
ourselves to be skiers worthy of qualifying for the Ski
Foundation Level 1 and were allowed free reign of the slopes
without the supervision of our instructors.
Another side of adventure training which we very much
enjoyed, and was suited to our existing skills, was the après
ski, which roughly translates as ‘after ski boozing’. This
included a fancy dress balcony party, beer pong with
members of the Austrian army (which we won), tobogganing
and curling.
It is safe to say that everyone involved in the exercise
thoroughly enjoyed themselves, became better skiers and
would jump at the chance to ski again! We would like to
thank all those involved in arranging the exercise and to the
fantastic instructors who taught us. We would recommend
that everyone takes the opportunity to give skiing a go!
The instructors from Cuerdon Associates were very
welcoming as we delved deep into the subjects that where
presented to us. Applications such as OPEN JOP, ICC, ICS
which where as foreign to us as the 0600 wake-up call the
Navy get were studied in depth. Other lessons where
presented to certain individuals such as how not to salute
Leading Hands (equivalent to a Corporal) to Sgt Smith and
also how to stay quiet for 5 minutes to Sgt ‘Jabber Jaws’
The 2 weeks progressed with us eventually instructing the
instructors on how to fix their own equipment and how great
the applications where (honest).
Lessons learnt, we returned to the sunny inviting arms of
Blandford to bask in the knowledge that our boss, Mr Evans,
had thoroughly enjoyed his 2 weeks of golfing, I mean work
whilst we where absent.
Military Support Section (MSS) – by SSgt Jay Smith
MSS has seen the departure of Sgt Del Farr, and the newly
prompted SSgt Phil Sills and also the arrival of two new
members in the form of Sgt ‘Razor’ Gillett and Sgt Jay Smith.
The Section has continued its hard work providing
contextualised assessments to the Class 1 and 3 CS Engineers,
and also to the Class 3 CS Operators. This is an important part
of their training as it assesses everything that they have learnt
throughout their respective courses from building servers, to
the physical configuration of switches and routers for the
engineers and the service desk for the operators. And
through the use of our training facility in nearby Piddlehinton
they are put through their paces to ensure we have trained
confident and efficient soldiers to go forth and carry out their
trades effectively.
My role is to assess the Class 3 Operators on the service desk.
This is done by putting them in a service desk environment
and assessing their ability to react to faults that might occur
in a real situation such as security issues, requests for new
equipment and faulty equipment.
While carrying out their normal work the Section has also
found time to involve itself within the Regiment and wider
Corps, whether its Sgt Chris Slade utilising his many Military
Qualifications to aid in training, or Sgt Andy Hogg organising
the Christmas Family Friday in the Mess, or Sgt Jay Smith
representing the Corps in the Inter Command Indoor Hockey
Competition where the Royal Signals narrowly missed out on
getting to the final by one goal. Sgt Pete Mellor continues to
impress the Section with his ability to be in The Wire for two
months running.
Our cosy and very welcoming hotel, The Gasthof Neuwirt
Maj J C Wilson
WO2 (SSM) P Kemp
Digitisation Section JC2SP Train the Trainer Course
– by SSgt Mick Frain
With the transition of upgrading the teaching LAN’s from
BCIP 5.4 to 5.5 successfully completed, Digitisation Section
en-mass refocused its attentions and headed for HMS
Collingwood to attend a 2 week, train the trainer package on
JC2SP. Successfully arriving on mass we initially had to
decipher what the Navy where talking about. Words such as
“galley”, “cabin” and “going ashore” confused some initially
and a further translation into Nepalese for our civilian
instructor Mr Rana was even more of a challenge.
Military Support Section
Installation Technician Basic Training – by SSgt Phil Brown
ITBR 13/001: The senior Installation Technician Basic course is
coming towards the end of their Phase 2 Trade Training. Over
the last few months they have covered a number of subjects
at Cable Systems Section ranging from Electronic Switching
Systems and Line Testing, taught by Cpl Chris Rutter,
Structured Cabling, taught by Sgt Del Slowey, and finally
progressing onto Fibre Optic Cabling, taught by Cpl Ioesefu
Barinisavu. A long journey which started in May 13 will
culminate in a final contextualized exercise, where the
students will put into practice and demonstrate all that they
have learned over the previous months. This exercise
simulates the full tour experience; therefore there are plenty
of early mornings and late nights with each student given the
responsibility of team IC in order for them to demonstrate
their trade and leadership skills amongst their peers. On
completion of the final exercise, the students are due to carry
out driver training and Military refresher training prior to
attending their working units.
ITBR 13/002: The current “baby Inst Tech” course arrived in
early Nov 13. So far they have covered subjects such as
Electronic Principles, Communications Principles and
Electronic Workshops. At present the course is attending
Mechanical Workshops. This subject teaches the students
about numerous hand tools and the correct ways of using
said tools safely, progressing to using the tools under
assessment. This comes as a sigh of relief after the mental
taxing aspects of the course so far. Over the next few
months the course will progress onto subjects such as
Underground and Overhead Cabling, where they will learn to
install, terminate and test Copper cabling within both
confined spaces and also whilst working at height.
Foreman of Signals Course 84 – by Sgt ‘PC’ Charlerey
Following an eventful first term, full of confusion and despair
FofS 84 arrived back from Christmas leave still slightly
battered but ready for more fun filled classroom hours. The
absence of the Italian stallion instructor that was Mr Franco
DiCaprio was felt throughout; however he seemed to leave
behind his offspring in the form of Sgt Jim Gallop who
inherited the Italian way by his great love for expensive suits,
fine cut shoes and Rolex watches. He has a real chilled out
attitude and can always be found recovering from his day
drinking a couple of Strongbow whilst posing in his yellow
leather mankini.
SSgt Lee Greenhough started the new term still crazy with
desire to be top student. However, this was fast becoming a
challenge as SSgt Helen Tweed stormed into the lead without
even breaking a sweat. Never-the-less, he remains focussed
and motivated with persistent revision.
Within the young and spritely (not) group we have the selfproclaimed cross country champion, SSgt Jerry ‘Springer’
Springett, who wears his maroon tee shirt with the uttermost
pride … when he turns up that is. We are all waiting for this
sub 8 minute PFA which he claims is easily achievable after a
heavy night on the drink.
The persistent back row ‘clicking’ can be often heard for many
hours. If the assignment was on candy crush it would be 100%
all round.
Porridge eating SSgt Loz Howarth’s breakfast antics was
abruptly brought to an end during an extra special Digital
Logic Lesson. One thing for sure is her time management
skills will never be brought into question again.
The second term hasn’t failed to maintain the ‘not enough
hours in the day’ pace, as we surpassed the fundamentals and
embrace more advanced modules such as ITIL and Digital
Electronics. Although exceptionally hectic, the high level of
comradeship amongst course members has helped ease the
pressure developing lifetime friendships. We are still,
however, thoroughly looking forward to a well deserved
Easter leave, as the smile remains firmly etched on our faces
as we plough on until the end.
SSgt Capt Hebindra
SSgt M Wilson
Visit by Mrs Patti Lomax – by Cpl Marc Speed
The Troop were honoured with a visit from Mrs Patti Lomax,
wife of the late Capt Eric Lomax MiD, who was an Officer in
WW2 and author of the book The Railway Man. She visited
Blandford Garrison on Thu 30 Jan 14 in order to open a new
exhibition in the Corps Museum.
Whilst in Blandford she visited 11 (RSS) Signal Regiment,
Deployable Systems Troop to meet the Detachment
Commanders and crew to discuss the challenges which face
the new generation of Royal Signals personnel. Much was
discussed with topics varying from trade training to housing
Mrs Lomax was welcomed to Deployable Systems Troop by
Sgt Cath Charnley. After reading the book and watching the
newly released film, Sgt Cath Charnley was overwhelmed
with the visit. A very fascinating and memorable visit from a
lovely lady.
Capt Eric Lomax was an ex serving Royal Signals Lieutenant
who during World War ll was captured by the Japanese in
Singapore and sent to a POW camp where he was forced to
work on the Thai-Burma Railway. During his time in the camp
Eric was tortured for building a radio.
Years later, and still suffering the psychological trauma of his
wartime experiences, he, with the help of his wife Patti, and
best friend Finlay, decided to find and confront one of his
captors. Lomax returns to the scene of his torture and
manages to track down his captor, Japanese officer Takashi
Nagase from the prison camp, “in an attempt to let go of a
lifetime of bitterness and hate.”
WO1 Mason
SSgt Challand
Exercise LIGHTNING FITNESS - by Cpl Chris Kell
On Saturday 9 of November 20 members of Lightning Troop
headed to Swanage Bay View Caravan Park for the Children in
Need charity event.
There were quite a few different events happening
concurrently. The fire-service were climbing the ladders to
cover the distance of the 3 peaks, there were a team that
broke a record for rowing 1 million metres non stop and many
local sports teams were all doing different events.
When we got to the event there was one lady called Mimi
that was more excited than a kid at Christmas that we were
coming. As the gent I am I took it upon myself to entertain
her throughout the day with witty anecdotes and selling her
tickets to the gun show. She was quite rowdy from the off,
then she started on the rosé wines. Things escalated quickly.
So after we packed up we went round the different tents to
try and raise some more money and we thought the only way
to do this was to have a dance off to the Cha-Cha Slide by DJ
Caser. This went down a treat with the locals, who seemed to
not know the difference between their left and rights.
The caravan park was a lot different to how Jay described it
from the Inbetweeners but it was still a good day. All the
guy’s worked hard and we raised money for a worthwhile
WO1 C Brown
SSgt McCreadie
Life in Ulster Troop - by Cpl SA Bevan
Doing the sit-up challenge. Mimi is the one in the white top
giving ‘inspiration’ to the guy’s
Our event consisted of 4 teams of 3, which were all Phase 2
soldiers. Each team was racing against each other in these
60 mins of rowing (500m intervals)
60 mins of cycling (Furthest distance in that time)
Break for lunch
Superstar circuit of clean and press, push-ups, situps, bench press, box jumps (these were best effort
at maximum reps for each)
Ulster Troop has seen two significant changes recently. We
said goodbye to Sgt Clough, who was filling in the gapped Tp
SSgt post and has now taken up a position in 3 MRSR on
promotion to SSgt. The new incumbent, SSgt McCreadie, has
taken over after being posted in from 3 (UK) DSR. SSgt
McCreadie has been getting involved straight away in many
Troop activities including organising a Mil Skills weekend for
the Phase 2's and an Adventure Training exercise happening
later in the year.
Troop training has continued since Christmas leave with some
more interesting activities taking place as well as the more
mundane tasks such as weapon cleaning. One notable
activity being led by LCpl Ingleby, Ulster Troops resident PTI,
which involved much leopard crawling, partner exercises and
grappling on Pond Bottom. Not much different from a
normal PT session (or a normal Friday Night) you may
think…..however by the time the activity took place it was
pitch black leading to much hilarity being caused by the
diminished visibility. All good training for what is to come as
military skills exercise, Exercise HARROGATE FOLLY fast
approaches. This will be a Squadron level exercise taking
place in March, and will be the last significant action by Ulster
Troop OC, WO1 Brown, who has been waiting two years for
his desired RSM post to be vacant.
There are a number of different sporting events that have
happened recently. WO1 Brown has started taking Mixed
Martial Arts training on a Monday and Wednesday, with many
from not only Ulster Troop but other Troops and Squadron’s
attending. LCpl Taylor from the Troop has continued to
represent the Regiment at Hockey and as such was the
natural choice to head up the Troop’s hockey team as they
commence their training for the Harrogate Cup match which
will take place in February. Alongside hockey training, Troop
basketball training has also begun, led by LCpl NG, in
preparation for their Harrogate Cup match which is also
taking place in February. The Tp SSgt claims to have failed to
win an Inter-Sqn competition only once in his career, so the
pressure is on the Sport ICs to deliver. The Troop has also
been represented in the Regimental football team.
The Clean Press Challenge
We had a few visitors coming round but the most random was
possibly Ed Stewart, the presenter from Radio 2 who just
came in and took his shirt off and announced, “I bet you
haven’t got a belly like mine” Thankfully none of us did.
So a few rosé wines later and Mimi became Mr Motivator and
started beasting the blokes to give them the motivation. She
seemed to take a shine to Sig Morgan who was not a fan of
hers after a good 3 minutes of getting belt fed abuse.
However, this was a lot of fun for everyone else watching it.
Cross-country has featured heavily as the season resumes
after a break for Christmas. A number of people from the
Troop have continued to run in the Regimental team; some
helping the male senior team to a well deserved second place
at the Corps Championships. The championships were held at
Bulford this year with Signals teams, including some TA, from
not only the UK but abroad attending. The course was
particularly demanding with steep hills being made all the
more tiring by the bog that the ground had turned into
underfoot due to all the recent rain. As a result of this race
Cpl Bevan from the Troop has been selected to represent the
Corps at the Inter-Corps Cross-Country Championships in
March. Finally looking forward as the season draws to a close
Mental agility
Physical attributes
Self criticism
both male and female senior teams are in a strong position to
rank highly in the Southern Area Cross-Country League.
Lastly members of the Troop continue with their trade
courses. Some Phase 2s are nearing completion of their
courses and as such are looking forward to moving onto their
first unit and being let out into the “real” Army. The Phase 3
course which is part of the Troop is progressing steadily with
the first technical phase over and all exams passed, causing
much relief throughout the course. Now that just leaves the
project and IS side to complete!
Maj E A Mortimore
WO2 (SSM) B Sherwin
Welcomes, Promotions and Farewells
The Squadron has seen plenty of change in personalities in
past weeks. Firstly we welcome the new members of 4
(Military Training) Squadron permanent staff: SSgt Steve
Ware joins us as 611 Troop SSgt, SSgt ‘Ratts’ Rattenbury joins
us as MT SSgt and Cpl Jamieson, Cpl Skates and Cpl Williams
join us as instructors within 611 Troop.
We would like to congratulate the following on promotion to
WO2: SSgt ‘Gaz’ Collins, SSgt ‘Nate’ Dorrian, SSgt Stu Welton
and SSgt (Combat YofS) ‘Olly’ Smith, beers in all-round.
As always with new arrivals, come our farewells. We say
farewell to: Sgt ‘Compo’ Gallon (JCLM Training Team), Cpl Jim
Machin (PNCO Training Team) and Cpl ‘Kenty’ Kent (PNCO
Training Team). We wish them all the best in their new posts.
Royal Signals Instructors Selection Board
- by Sgt A Creighton - JCTT
All Royal Signals personnel selected for promotion to Corporal
attend the Junior Command and Leadership Course in
Blandford. During attendance on the course soldiers are also
assessed for the Royal Signals Instructor Selection Board.
The Royal Signals Instructor Selection Boards aim is “To
assess a candidates aptitude, character and suitability to be
employed in a Royal Signals Instructor post primarily in a
Phase 1 or Phase 2 Training Establishment but also in Phase 3
Training Posts”
So how does it work? Each candidate on successful
completion of the AFT at the start of the course is placed into
a section led by a Sergeant from the Junior Command Training
Team. Accompanying each section is also an External DS, who
is either a Warrant Officer or Captain. This enables each
candidate to be assessed with two sets of eyes, therefore
giving a more balanced and better picture of instructor ability.
The candidates are observed and assessed on various
activities throughout the 5-week course. These activities
Battle PT sessions
DIT theory and practical lessons
Discussion groups
Written essays
Individual interviews
Basic Close Combat Skills
What are they looking for? The attributes assessed
throughout these serials are varied, and have been deemed
the qualities that all personnel should have the highest of,
when representing the Royal Signals in training
establishments. These are:
At the end of the course a Selection Board is held by a
number of personnel specifically selected for their expertise
and experience in the training environment. These include
the Commanding Officer 11 (RSS) Sig Regt, OC 4 (Mil Trg) Sqn,
RCMO and or SO2 Soldiers, a representative from ATC
Pirbright and Winchester, the SSI Junior Command Training
Team and the section directing staff.
The Board will have in front of them the candidate’s personal
file from APC and the reports from the various activities they
have been assessed on throughout the course. The Board will
then make a recommendation on an individuals suitability for
employment in a training environment. A report is raised and
then forwarded to APC, in which recommendations on further
training and development are made.
Royal Signals Instructor Selection Board has been deemed the
most suitable to assess potential instructors over an intense
and short period of time. The ultimate goal of this whole
process is to identify and assign the most suitable NCOs to
training establishments as Instructors.
Capt M Gauntlett
SSgt S Ware
611 (Communications Training) Troop, is the latest evolution of
what used to be know as Radex (ETT). This change was
brought about by the ever changing requirements of the
trade training environment. As has always been the case
within the training environment the Troop is working at near
maximum capacity to deliver training to not only Phase 2
operators, Basic Signalling Skills and also Technician
upgrading but also to the YofS, FoS and Troop Commanders
courses. This means that the majority of the Troops time is
spent on exercise, away from the garages and family.
The Phase 2 solider now spends 3 weeks with the Troop
instead of two. This time is split over three weeks throughout
their course. The first exercise the trainees embark on is KEY
DEVELOPMENT 1.2. This exercise concentrates on the
fundamentals of detachment working environment from
basic detachment sighting and construction to antenna
theory and practical. KEY DEVELOPMENT 3 tests the trainees
on everything they have learnt in trade so far including KD 1.2.
This is achieved by sending two and three man teams as RLD’s
around the Dorset countryside, their intention to set up,
achieve voice communications and pass traffic to the
headquarters. The final stage is KEY DEVELOPMENT 4 where
the trainees continue on with the RLD and Headquarters roles
but now start with a full pacex including initialisation, to
deploying a robust and resilient data network across the
Dorset area.
The Troop’s makeup is unusual within the Corps as it is mainly
manned by full corporals and a few Lance Corporals. This
enables the Troop to have a vast amount of knowledge and
skill sets to call upon. This vast amount of experience is of
great advantage to those seeking to progress within the
supervisory roster. That, and the fact that we also facilitate
many of the YofS exercises during their time in Blandford,
gives us a unique insight as to what is required to be
successful on the YofS Selection Boards.
Due to the vast amount of exercises that the Troop supports
our fleet is vast with a total number of 42 vehicles; this means
that when Troop members are not on exercise, the mammoth
job of maintaining the fleet takes up the majority of the time.
With that and courses the Troop is very rarely all in camp at
the same time. It’s important that when we do, we make the
most of it with team bonding trips to London and an
impressive trip to HMS Havoc.
Troop Commanders Course – by 2Lt Zach Brookmier
Troop Commander’s Course 87 (TCC87) arrived in Blandford in
Sep 13 and the 12 man strong course is made up of 10 British
officers and 2 Kuwaitis. After a variety of long and short
attachments having been completed across the Corps, we are
now well into our training and eagerly anticipating taking
command of our future Troops.
With such a high work tempo postings here tend to fly by and
this month we have said goodbye to Cpls Johno Aitken, Ricky
‘Beefy’ Henstock and Marc ‘Matty’ Matthews, also LCpls
Michael ‘Bruce’ Lee and Paul ‘Enzo’ Entwistle. A warm
welcome to Cpls Kitchen, Jamieson, Williams and LCpl
Skates. Treat yourselves! 611 is a great place to push your
career forward and for those that wish to be future YofS I
believe there is no better place to be.
Capt S Rice
WO2 (SSM) Ellis
Squadron Notes
The Squadron has finally settled down after a dynamic period
of change during the re-orbatting of 11 (RSS) Sig Regt and our
focus is now firmly on delivering Officer and Command
training. The Troop Commanders Course and CISM Course
remain the main-stays, whilst other officer courses repeatedly
arise on each turn of the training handle. Currently there is
planning underway for the forthcoming Squadron
Commanders Course and the Reserve Troop Commanders
Course is also not far away.
‘The Railway Man’ visits Blandford
On 30 January 2014, Mrs Patti Lomax, Mr Andy Paterson and
Mr Mike Finlason visited 11 (RSS) Signal Regiment. All three
are connected to the Royal Corps of Signals through the late
Capt Eric Lomax MiD who served in the Corps during the
Second World War. For those not aware of his amazing story,
Eric became a Prisoner of War following the surrender of
Singapore and spent the majority of the war building the
Burma Railway, which claimed the lives of over 100,000 men.
Eric was key in keeping morale high through building a radio
to receive news about how the war was going thus
countering the Japanese propaganda machine.
Unfortunately, the radio was discovered and Eric and others
were punished for its existence. Eric particularly suffered at
the hands of a Japanese Officer named Takashi Nagase.
Following the war, Eric returned to Britain and spent the
remainder of his life suffering from the trauma of his ordeal.
In the early eighties he met and married Patti who, as a nurse,
could tell something was wrong and encouraged him to write
a book about his time in captivity in order to help him
overcome his feelings; he called the book ‘The Railway Man’.
Mr Mike Finlason picked up the story and made a
documentary about Eric and joined him and Patti when they
travelled to Japan to meet Eric’s wartime tormentor in the
mid 1990s. Following this, Mr Andy Paterson heard of the
story and spent many years working hard to bring Eric’s story
to the masses.
Thanks to the film, and the kindness of Patti, the Royal Corps
of Signals have benefited with a large donation to the Royal
Signals Benevolent Fund and the opening of a new exhibition
in the Corps Museum thanks to Patti’s donation of some of
Eric’s military memorabilia. Patti and her party had the
opportunity to meet soldiers of all ranks and trades from
across the Unit before having lunch in the Officers’ Mess with
the Commanding Officer and other officers of the Regiment.
TCC 87
In recent weeks, the course has moved under the instruction
of Command Support Troop who provide the communications
training. WO2 (YofS) Burton was up first to teach us all about
Trunk communications before handing us over to WO2 (YofS)
Young to teach us all about Combat Net Radio.
Ex LAST ORBIT was the culmination of the Trunk training and
gave us an insight into the planning of a Trunk network and
the chance to develop our delivery of communications orders,
having received the bulk of our orders training thus far based
on an Infantry model. Competition was fierce between the
two syndicates, as was the banter and ‘good ideas’, but the
Directing Staff of WO2 (FoS) Gordon, Sgt Ramsay and Sgt
Grindle ensured we got through in good order.
Our CNR phase provided us with our first practical experience
with the equipment and this was culminated by a week in the
field on Ex FIRST GLANCE. Many questions were asked and
answered, such as how many Troop Commanders does it take
to raise a 12m mast? It appears the answer is five if the wind
is 75kph and the rain is hitting you at an almost horizontal
angle! This was watched with much amusement by our
course Yeoman, WO2 (YoS) Young and his giggling sidekicks
Sgt Ryall and Sgt Davies RM not to mention the Det Comds of
611 (Comms) Tp. It seems they enjoyed it more than us…
In sporting terms TCC87 have already made an impact at
Corps level, with 2Lts Owain Miller, ‘Murph’ Murphy and Dan
Tarbox each being selected to the Corps Rugby Union squad.
2Lt Ash Jackson has taking the reins of Blandford Garrison’s
Cross Country team due to his hyperactivity and the idea of
forming an American Football team received some support
from the course following an introduction to Flag Football
(akin to touch Rugby).
As we all know, no course would be complete without the
occasional extracurricular balancing event. This we have
managed with a combination of a Graeco-Roman Wrestling
party and a Superbowl Party in the Officers’ Mess. In
addition, the course has managed to undertake some charity
work, 2Lt Brookmier, supported by TCC87, raising £765 for
the Huntingtons Disease Association after singlehandedly
lifting 25 tons (and eating an inordinate amount of chocolate
brownies in the process).
Head of Arm
Maj EL Roberts
WO2 (SSM) R Whitmore
The Warrior Trophy - by Cpl Coleman
The Warrior Trophy is awarded to the winning section of each
intake and is based upon their performance throughout their
14 weeks of training at ATR Winchester. It is established
around existing professional tests within the Common Military
Syllabus, but also includes a testing and arduous march, shoot
and assault course competition. The Warrior Trophy forms an
important part of Recruits training where the spirit of
competition and “the will to win” is strongly encouraged.
one area may prove to be the strongest in another. I made
sure I would lead from the front when things got tough,
constantly providing encouragement rather than screaming at
them. I felt that this approach got the best out of my section
and really helped forge that section spirit which was
evidenced with 2 Section’s victory. I believe that I was really
lucky with the recruits that made up 2 Section, right from the
start they were keen and strove to do their very best.
The winning section during the SE16 intake was 2 Section,
commanded by myself. My section was made up of 8 female
recruits, who went onto join the Royal Military Police and the
Royal Artillery. They had stiff competition from the other two
female sections from 8 Troop and the four sections of male
Recruits from 9 Troop.
When the two troops formed up on 15 September 2013, I was
given 2 Section to command. This was my first intake as a
Section Commander and I was probably just as nervous as the
recruits. I immediately tried to establish a team spirit within
the section, explaining that we would tackle everything as a
section and I would be there to give them any help they
required. When the two troops were informed exactly what
the Warrior Trophy was and how it was scored the female
troop wrote themselves off, believing there was no way they
could beat the male Recruits, especially when it came to the
physical aspects of the course. It was our job as 8 Troop
training team to motivate and convince them otherwise.
In order to build up 8 Troop’s self-belief, we continuously
encouraged them and tried to make every small triumph over
9 Troop seem like a massive victory. This included getting into
uniform first and looking the part, marching in step around
camp. The girls reacted well and immediately refused to be
beaten in anything they were faced with. The training team
built a strong troop ethos, giving them ownership of their
own troop and their own sections within that troop. 2
Section started to gradually pull away from the other
sections, especially when it came to the more physical aspects
of training. I tried to help them understand that it wasn’t
about individuals but the section as a whole, that we were
only as strong as our weakest member. I also explained and
made it apparent that someone who appears to be weak in
Halfway through their training with still a lot of work to do
Learning to Ski at Serre Chevalier – by Capt John Triddon
Learning to ski for the first time is difficult right? I mean it
gets to a point when you just think I really can’t be bothered.
Yes I’m getting paid for it, and yes AT is supposed to be a
period of development but when I’m bouncing down the ice
like a bowling ball for the seventh time that morning – I get a
little peeved. I don’t blame others for my ineptitude, but I do
blame them for raising my expectations of how good I was
going to be. The oft quoted phrase ‘going down the slopes is
incredible – nothing else like it’ makes the assumption that
you are going down the slopes upright and with a degree of
ease. For those who know balance to be an issue (symptoms
include bumping into door frames and a poor about turn)
then the advice ‘skiing is like a treadmill that has an ever
increasing decline setting’ is far more appropriate. But what
do I know. I’ve recently put The Wolf Of Wall Street in my top
3 least enjoyable films of all time though am yet to find
anyone who is even close to agreeing with my assessment.
Everyone loves that film ... and everyone loves skiing. So I’m
thinking I’ve got this one wrong.
Being keen on his sports in general, but particularly skiing, the
CO was keen that every member of staff who wanted to get
on this trip found a way of doing so and in the end nearly 50
personnel did. I was on the second week and the journey
over (which is obligatorily to mention in a Wire article) was
from Gatwick to Turin, where we were met by the white fleet
that had driven over on the first week. We made our way to
the apartments and debated with the designated roommates
which side of the double beds we wanted to sleep on. (For
the record, I always go by the window. Always.)
Cpl Coleman’s winning section
Over 90% of those on the AT had skied before (I have to be
wrong on my assessment of skiing with that sort of return
rate) and therefore were halfway down the mountain before
the motley crew of beginners had their first piste of the
morning. There were three groups, defined by ability level
and each with a home-grown ATR(W) skiing instructor. The
vibes were good throughout the week as everyone continued
to be tested and found space on the not-too-packed slope to
find their own routes if feeling adventurous. The evenings
were spent cooking our dinners and in the bars, though
mostly to escape the exorbitant fee for Wi-Fi in the
apartments. The trip back was spent reminding ourselves of
the stories of the week – the wipeouts, the tantrums, the
jumps, the bar room propositions, the slugs, and the man
sauce. Oh how we laughed.
If you’re thinking of organising an AT in the near future may I
recommend getting a few tips from Sgt Ash Stoby who did an
excellent job of booking and co-ordinating the trip. It acted
as a perfect respite from the training courses at ATR(W) and
everyone – bar none – took something from it.
I went to an indoor ski slope in Milton Keynes last weekend.
It really does get easier the more you do. And I’ve bought
The Wolf on Wall Street on DVD. I’m a changed man.
Pro-active Coaching Ethos of an Army Training Regiment
– by WO2 (SSM) Ritchie Whitmore
Continuing the success of Commando Training Centre Royal
Marines (CTCRM) and Infantry Training Centre (ITC), Army
Training Regiment (Winchester) (ATR (W)) has adopted a pro
active approach to coaching in an attempt to create more
opportunity for recruit first time passes in the Common
Military Syllabus (Recruit) (CMSR).
ATR (W) is in a fortunate position previously benefitting from
the assignment of 2 ex ASLS instructors and a former
instructor from the Values Based Leadership (VBL) Cell at ITC.
The instructor previously from ITC and our own MAA, due to
their expertise and their appointments outside of the training
Squadrons were chosen to carry out the initial culture change.
The journey to creating a VBL culture within ATR (W) started
by the CO, Lt Col N A P Wright MBE bravely volunteering to
be the first to endure a 360 leadership survey from his
Squadron Commanders. This questionnaire more commonly
known as “slate a mate” is a statistically psychoanalysis of
leadership behaviours displayed by the commander from the
subordinates perspective. The question set has also been
developed by Prof Lew Hardy and Dr Calum Arthur – Institute
for the Psychology for Elite Performance, School of Sport,
Health and Exercise Sciences, Bangor University, Wales, from
the Multi Factor Leadership questionnaire designed, and
academically stress tested by Bruce Avolio and Bernard Bass.
The questionnaire was then applied to other rank structures
within our ATR which, albeit suffering from the quick turnover
in Permanent Staff, gave most in the unit a better awareness
of their strengths and weakness as leaders.
The ITC VBL model was plagiarised, work smart not hard,
where we are now at the point that each training team
attends VBL training in a purpose built learning environment
as a team. These sessions are conducted prior to a new
intake, in the middle of an intake, as a VBL top up, and post
intake. The sessions involve interactive vignette based
learning drawing on the knowledge from experienced
instructors and the ideas from new instructors. The training
team, after initial VBL training sets its own action plans on
which leadership areas to concentrate on. For example goals
set by training teams range from applying punishment more
contingently with parity between instructors to displaying
more individual consideration to specific learning differences.
To aid integrity and ownership of these action plans
immediate chain of command are not allowed to attend the
VBL sessions.
ATR (W) is only a year into this VBL journey but subjective
measurements suggest improvement in our recruits desire to
learn and the VBL sessions have identified areas we can
continue to improve on such as better use of praise. I believe
the above is another example that, although a physically and
mentally demanding, assignment, working at an ATR offers
the opportunity to not only develop soldier basics but does
present many opportunities to develop leadership.
Prof Lew Hardy receives a thank you from CO ATR (W)
Your Legacy can help us ……..
Did you ever benefit from a welfare grant from Corps Funds or maybe one of your
mates received help with a welfare problem where the Royal Signals Benevolent Fund
stepped in to help him or her in their time of need? There has been a long-standing saying that the “Corps looks after its own” and Royal Signals has a proud history of care
for its people, supported by the one day’s pay scheme and generous donations from
serving and retired Signallers.
…. help others in their time of need
That work continues today and every year we help hundreds of those who have fallen
on hard times whether it be a serving Signaller who has been injured on operations,
the families of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, members of the Corps who
need help with specialist medical care for their children or veterans who need help in
maintaining their mobility and independence.
The Royal Signals Association
The Royal Signals Benevolent Fund
Swift and Sure Help for Signallers in Need
We don’t distinguish between Regular, TA, National Service, ex-ATS or WRAC who
served with the Corps, officer or soldier and their dependants; any case brought to us
will be considered with expert support from SSAFA, The Royal British Legion and the
Army Benevolent Fund. We will help whenever we can …. and you can help too, by
leaving a legacy in your will. Its simple to do and can make all the difference to someone
who has worn the same capbadge and who may not have been as lucky as you. If you
would like to make a difference, please contact the Association who will tell you how to
leave a legacy so that others from the Corps might benefit from your generosity.
Royal Signals Association – ‘phone 01258 482090 or e-mail [email protected]
Lt Col J G Hill
WO1 (RSM) D Mears
1 (UK) ADSR Alpine Ski Season – by Sig Hudson, Sig Jabob, Sig
Rennie, LCpl Gowlett and 2Lt Parsons
1 (UK) ADSR’s alpine ski season saw the team competing at
both Corps and Divisional levels with aspirations to make it
the full 9 yards to the Army’s.
The season began on 16 Nov with 8 keen Bode Miller
wannabes setting off in the early hours of the morning for Ex
MERCURY GLACIER, the Corps race camp and ski
championships. After an 8 hour journey with Sig Dan Jacob’s
contribution of excessive sarcasm and Sig Josh Rennie’s
insistence that he does actually have massive guns, the team
arrived in Zell Am See, surprisingly still in high spirits.
The first weeks training would be on the Kitszteinhorn Glacier,
known as the coldest place on earth. With the first morning
being team ski, it allowed all to regain their ski legs and
inevitably brought with it some impressive falls. The quote “if
you’re not falling, you’re not trying hard enough” was soon
coined. The afternoon consisted of the mighty ‘ski off’ and
determined which group each would be skiing in for the
duration of the camp. On conclusion it was clear that 1 Div
had strong potential with 4 skiers in the top 2 groups.
With week 2 came a fresh dump of snow giving all the
opportunity to test their powder skiing. It soon became
apparent that no matter how determined a skier may be,
racing skis combined with some questionable powder
technique equal many a buried skier. This was highlighted
when Sig Dan Jacob, a first time instructor on the camp, took
his upper beginner group off piste. He still maintains that all
learnt something from the experience. Along with fresh
powder the impenetrable clouds began to roll in on the
glacier providing some very testing conditions to train in. The
undeterred and mighty 1 Div however did not succumb but
instead fought through to get the best out of the week. It
was clear that after 2 weeks of training many had made the
transition from punter to budding racer. This was especially
evident in Sig Emma Hudson who unfortunately was unable
to complete the camp in 2012 due to injury but came back
with renewed confidence determined to do well.
Following a weekend of rejuvenation the 1 Div team were well
prepared to take the final week of training head on. This also
saw the transition to the Schmittenhoe Mountain, very well
received by all on the camp as being lower down meant
warmer temperatures. Combining this with the forecast of
blue skies for the last 2 weeks, conditions and morale could
not have been better. The atmosphere became more serious
as rivalries between teams started to form, notably 11 Sigs and
1 Div. Race suits began to come into play as all set to get the
most out of the final week and adjust to the unnatural feeling
of wearing lycra. RQMS Mark Anderson was particularly
disappointed to find that his mid arrival to the camp had
meant all the current race suits in the 1 Div armoury had been
signed out. Determination to wear lycra in an acceptable
environment however paid off when he was graciously given
one by another team. 1 Div finished week 3 confident that
they would perform to a standard able to attain silverware in
the upcoming race week.
The weekend prior to race week saw some of the team visit
the Christmas market in Salzburg and a few well earned beers
in the Irish pub. On return to resort final prep began
consisting of waxing and sharpening skis as well as the
customary motivational speeches. Race week was finally
upon the team with the first event being the GS seeding.
Strong performances by all meant that 1 Div had attained
favourable positions with more than half the team in the top
25. The team who had been untouched by injuries
unfortunately also saw their first casualty, LCpl Alex ‘Smudge’
Smith who had been growing in ability throughout the camp
as well as a vital asset to the team had decided that morning
that he much preferred being amongst the trees. The result
was a broken bone in his knee that spelled the end of his race
camp. Tuesday and Wednesday saw the individual and team
GS races. All team members demonstrated just how much
they had progressed in the 3 weeks prior to race week and as
a result were well rewarded with winning the team GS event,
11 Sigs looked on feverishly as their winning streak from
previous years became vulnerable. 1 Div however knew it
would be the slalom on Thursday and Friday which would
settle it as 11 Sigs strength was this discipline. 1 Div were not
wrong, all team members put everything they possibly could
into the slalom but however fell short coming only 3rd place
behind 30 Sigs and 11 Sigs.
2Lt Parsons gunning it on Race Week
1 Div gathered for one final meeting before putting on their
gladrags nervously as they waited for the transport to
presentation evening. All teams attended and the prizes for
all events were handed out including the medals and trophies
1 Div were awarded for 1st place in the team GS and 3rd place
in the team Slalom. The wait for the final announcement of
who had won the team combination seemed to take a
lifetime, but finally it arrived. 3rd place: 30 Sigs, 2nd Place (Sig
Josh Rennie begins to walk out of the crowd convinced 1 Div
would not win) 11 Sigs, a huge eruption from the 1 Div team
rang out realising that they had positioned 1st. Cpl Grom
Wallace looked to have tears of joy, finally winning after 3
years of attending the Corps Camp. The team were ecstatic
and deservedly so. 11 Sigs, who had performed incredibly,
congratulated the 1 Div team and 1 Div returned the gesture.
It had been extremely close with 1 Div only winning by 88 race
points. The night followed in high spirits with celebratory
drinks before the return journey the following day.
conditions – wet, cold, windy and very, very muddy. The
course had changed from the previous year, now faster with
plenty of short, sharp hills.
The female race was first to start, with 2Lt Hall leading the
way to an excellent 3rd place. She was followed in by Lt
Haley, LCpl Jones and Sig Farrell, all of whom placed within
the top 50. On to the men’s race and here it was Sig Taylor
who took the honours, coming in first for the team in a very
creditable 30th place in a field of over 400 runners.
Despite a strong showing in both races there were to be no
team prizes for 1ADSR, so once 2Lt Hall had collected her
trophy the buses were back on the road for the journey back
to Herford. Unfortunately, technical problems with
Eurotunnel meant that there was to be a 3 hour wait at
Folkestone, which resulted in the teams getting back at the
less-than-sociable hour of 0530. Debate continues as to
whether the runners or the drivers had the more difficult task.
It was an enjoyable trip and we hope to improve on our
results again next year.
The Royal Signals Ski Champions 2013
The Corps Camp is an incredible opportunity open to all and is
highly recommended to anyone who has an appetite for
competitive, adrenaline fuelled sport. The entire 1 Div team
put everything into the camp this year and as a result got a
huge amount back in return. All are now looking forward to
next season where the Corps Cup will once again be up for
Lt Haley moving so fast the photo blurred
The 1ADSR Ski Team
The Div championships in Les Contamines were a great
opportunity for the 1 Div team to develop their racing further
and at a higher level. Overall finishing middle of the table it
was a great result for the team considering it was their first
year competing at this level. The bar has now been set for
next year with the intent to get a full team qualified for the
Army Cross Country Championships 2014 – by Lt Haley
The Army Cross Country Championships took place at RMAS
on Wed 5 Feb and for the second year in a row 1ADSR had
representation in both the male and female competitions.
After a long drive over to the UK and more Nando’s than you
could shake a stick at, the teams were ready to go. The
weather, obligingly, provided classic cross country running
Maj Stoy
WO1 (RSM) Revell
Exercise DRIVING GAUNTLETS - by Sig Davies
At 200 Signal Squadron the work comes thick and fast so the
maintenance of morale is extremely important and after a
few long weeks it was decided it needed to be built back up.
So on 31 Jan, Sig ‘Kenty’ Kent from Tigris Troop organised a
night out for all the available Tigris personnel to do some
Go-Karting. We met at Talbot Barracks guardroom, where we
set off towards the Kartbahn in Bielefeld.
On arrival excitement and anticipation built as we watched
other groups race. In an attempt to try and psych each other
out, the experienced racers brought their very own gloves
and head-overs.
The first session consisted of practice laps, including
qualifying. We spent this time learning the track and
practiced finding the ‘racing line’, plus it gave all competitors
the opportunity to recognise their closest competition. By
the end of the first race it was evidently clear who the
quickest drivers were... the lightest. After only the first lap,
the physical strain was starting to show on a couple of the
racers: ‘my arms!’, ‘my neck!’ could be heard dotted around.
The second race is where things began to heat up. In typical
soldier fashion, everyone’s goal was to take each other out.
That being said, it was amusing to see the person who just
passed you smashed out against the barriers, and everybody
was at it! By this point we all knew the track corners and
straights, the 2nd race was taken perhaps a little too seriously
by some.
For the 3rd and final race, deep rivalries had been established;
people saw the last race as an opportunity to have a bit of fun
and try and get the best take out. The main culprits were
LCpl ‘Get Them Rounds Down’ Ewen and LCpl ‘Bradders’
Bradfield who were ruthlessly and relentlessly taking out the
competition; tactically looking behind them, allowing
themselves to be overtaken, then picking off passers by.
Cheers for the bruised shoulder-blades lads!
In the later half of my time in Herford, I deployed on a week
long battle camp with 211 Sig Sqn in Haltern Training Area. I
was happy to be doing something that I was so familiar with,
these basic field skills had been drilled into me over the past
year and it was great to put them to use with real soldiers.
The exercise finished with a platoon deliberate attack,
something a lot of the soldiers hadn’t done since basic
I spent the second part of my attachment about 45 minutes
down the road in Sennelarger with 200 Sig Sqn. Throughout
my time there, I was heavily involved in the Squadron Cross
Country team and managed to successfully qualify for the
Army Championships. I also attended a week long battle
camp similar to the one I attended in Herford.
Overall, the attachment has been thoroughly enjoyable and
provided a fantastic opportunity to learn about Regimental
life prior to attending my Troop Commander’s course. The
most rewarding thing has been the chance to command
soldiers in the field and in barracks and I look forward to
doing both these things in my first posting as a troop
Overall it was a fun and light hearted night followed by a visit
to the Sqn bar to swap stories of failure and victory.
Congratulations to Sgt ‘Jay’ Shone who won the much sought
after award for best overall driver.
Tigris Troop on race day
Lt Hall doing what she does best
Junior Officer Attachment – by Lt Hall
Exercise WARRIOR GAUNTLET – by LCpl Ewan
My time at Sandhurst had finally ended and I found myself
preparing for the next big thing; an attachment in the ‘Real
Army’. After a few weeks leave in Portugal, I began the long
drive to 1 (UK) Armoured Division and Signal Regiment in
Herford, Germany. After finally arriving, I was summoned to
the Green Bottle Bar, a delightful drinking establishment in
the cellar of the Officers’ Mess. After a warm welcoming,
which consisted mainly of jumping aboard the infamous
Jaeger train, it was time to call it a night and I headed back to
my half unpacked room.
The Senior Signal Squadron deployed on a well-executed five
day semi-conventional exercise organised and run by Sgt Bob
Rankin. The exercise took place on Haltern training area. The
aim of Ex WARRIOR GAUNTLET was to improve the
Squadrons individual military skills. The incentive to do well
was to be awarded “Top Tom” and “Top Field Soldier”.
The first week of Regimental life consisted of using the range
qualifications I had obtained at Sandhurst. I found myself
assisting with the ranges, enabling the soldiers to get their
MATT testing done in preparation for deployment this
summer. After this, I was involved in a ‘Staff Ride’ to
Stalingrad, Russia. The study was a great opportunity to
reflect upon tactics and doctrine adopted during the battle of
Stalingrad and to compare it to those currently used on
operations today.
Day one of the exercise took a lot longer than it should have.
LCpl ‘Trigger’ Stevens was commander of the lead vehicle and
what should have been a two hour journey took four and a
half. A similar situation with the initial patrol to the FOB. LCpl
Dan Priday was point man and with his exceptional map
reading skills, what should have been a short and sweet 15
minute patrol took an hour and a half. Remedial MATT 5 for
you boys!
Day two and the Platoon was well into a working routine.
Enemy activity was becoming apparent in and around our
FOB. Various patrols were sent out to observe the enemy. 2
Section led by Section Commander Cpl Gemma Rolt went out
to observe the enemy in their territory. When they came
The Platoon at Endex
under contact a decision was made to tactically withdraw,
even with the QRF led by Cpl ‘Sharpy’ Sharp, the ratio of
enemy to friendly was too great.
Day three and the Platoon Commander Lt Baynes felt the
need to step it up a gear, a set of orders was given to the
Section Commanders. 1 Section led by LCpl ‘get the rounds
down’ Ewen was to set up an ambush at objective BRONZE. 2
Section led by LCpl ‘JJ’ John was to maintain FOB security. 3
Section led by LCpl Bradfield was to set up an ambush at
objective COPPER. The Section Commanders then gave their
Sections a set of orders and executed two very successful
ambushes resulting in capturing one of the enemy for
Day four was a demanding part of the exercise. The FOB was
overrun by IDF resulting in a tactical hasty withdrawal at
0500. We deployed into a harbour area and stood too until
first light then began our routine. Shortly after entering
routine the new Platoon Commander, 2Lt Hall decided the
harbour area was not in a good enough location and so we
moved 200m up the track into better cover. If 2 Section only
knew what the enemy had installed for them in the early
hours between midnight and three. DS/Enemy SSgt ‘Jacko’
Jackson and Sgt Richie Andrews began their “sneaky beaky”
bit by sneaking into a very wide and thinly spread harbour
area, unlucky for 2 Section their method of entry was through
their line which saw Cfn Donna Anderson, Sig Elliot Rhodes
and Sig Pearson get captured. Sig ‘Wez’ Wright’s personal
weapon and 2 Sections GMPG were also taken. Luckily the
enemy were lenient that evening and returned them all safely
some hours later.
congratulated us on a very successful exercise.
Although the scoring throughout the whole week was
extremely close, the OC announced the following awards:
Best overall Section was 2 Section, “Top Tom” went to Cfn
Donna Anderson and Top Field Soldier went to LCpl Ewen.
Maj Stanard
WO2 (SSM) Scarcliff
Squadron Update - by Sig Hubbard
With Op HERRICK 20 getting closer, everyone has been busy
on courses and exercise in preparation for the job they will be
required to carry out whilst on tour. This has made January
and February busy months for 201 Sig Sqn including Ex
Ex PASHTUN LION in Sennelager.
However, these commitments have not stopped us from
getting people onto adventure training as Sig Hudson and Sig
Goulding have just gone to Bavaria skiing for a month on Ex
Day five encompassed the usual end of exercise Platoon
attacks. In total the Platoon completed 4 Platoon attacks,
each one more successful than the last. As we were formed
up in our Re-Org positions, much to our relief we heard those
beautiful words come from OC Sqn Maj Stoys mouth “STOP,
STOP, STOP, END EX”. Brilliant!
At the end of the day a scale A parade was called at the Sqn
Bar, where the lads and lasses enjoyed a well-deserved hot
curry and cold beer. The OC addressed the Sqn and
201 Sig Sqn en route to the assault course
SNOW WARRIOR and LCpl Waryck and Sig Entwistle are to go
snowboarding in Austria for 2 weeks. A Sqn trip to Berlin has
also been organised for the beginning of March for 2 days.
Throughout our normal weeks work, we’ve also worked on
our leadership skills by having a command tasks with everyone
also delivering presentations to the others in the Sqn. There
were several different subjects covered such as World War I,
history of the rifle, berets, etc.
In the middle of February we had a visit from the Master of
Signals, Lt Gen Robert Baxter CBE, and we set up an inter
Squadron competition which involved an assault course, a log
run, and a gun run; although not coming first it proved to be a
great event - well done to 211 Sig Sqn for their victory.
was also on standby for any serious generator faults. As part
of cross-training theme, central to much of the Sqn’s
preparation for tour, REMEDY courses were being conducted
on the exercise in preparation for our core role on tour of
service desk provision.
It was very busy to begin with as there were only four RSEs
on the exercise these were: LCpl ‘Poor Banter’ Hodgen, Sig
‘The Muffin Man’ Herbert, Sig ‘Simple Jack’ Cardwell and Sig
‘Morale Man’ Smith. With such a big demand for power to be
installed in different locations, it consisted of nonstop
working until the early hours of the morning, never stopping
until the job was complete. Once the initial build was
complete we soon settled into routine, including daily PT
sessions led by Cpl ‘C/S Deadly’ Rana (including an excellent
demonstration of how not to run into a lamppost)
Another highly of the exercise was when Sig ‘The Jack of all
Trades’ Williams managed to disable the mini bus by getting it
stuck, until the Recovery RSE Team led by LCpl Hodgen came
to the rescue!
All in all, an incredibly varied exercise of which all learnt a
great deal; it goes without saying of course that none of it
would have been possible without the multi-talented and
highly skilled team of electricians. ‘Power to the Corps!’
Squadron Command Task Exercise – By Sgt Cocozza
LCpl Wilkinson-Welch and the Master of Signals
is a series of CFXs in
preparation for Op
HERRICK 20; it lasts
over two months and
is visited by almost all
deploying soldiers.
This exercise helped us
to understand the
‘bigger picture’ of Op
HERRICK 20, giving
insight into how things
are going to run and
the challenges that
come with working
with a variety of
different cap badges
and trades.
Sig Williams fighting for comms
As an RSE, it was my
job to provide power
to three different
locations on the
exercise area. The FOB
locations required
power for lighting,
heating, comms
equipment and
kitchens for the chefs; I
It was a bitter, cold but strangely sunny January morning
when the troops of 201 Signal Squadron deployed armed with
helmets, gloves and a sense of keen anticipation to the
Wentworth sports pitches. Sgt Cocozza had put together a
series of challenging and ‘fun’ command tasks as part of the
Squadrons Command and Leadership training week, in the
hope of bringing the best out of the soldiers and developing
Squadron cohesion.Initially morale was high and the guys
were really looking forward to it as this is something they
don’t do a lot of. After a short brief and introduction to the
command tasks, the men and women of 201 were broken
down into syndicates and sent on their merry way. Sig
‘Chalkie’ White and LCpl ‘Lance’ Neilson seemed to be
enjoying the leap of faith task hosted by LCpl Waryck a bit
too much as they had a full on man hug moment whilst
balancing on a tyre.
At the other end of the field, where Cpl Wilde was hosting
the electric fence task, Sig Elliot was attempting to show off
his gymnastic prowess as he immediately did a handstand
expecting his team mates to lift him over the fence legs first
(perhaps next time he’ll remember to brief them). Cpl ‘Mac’
Mclaughlin wasn’t taking any prisoners on the barrel
extraction task, getting the guys to start again even if it barely
scuffed a blade of grass. On the ‘5 Tyres’ task that Cpl Moore
was hosting, everyone was of the impression that it was easy
as they had done it before. This didn’t stop LCpl ‘Rory’ Cobb
and LCpl Neal from getting their tyres in a twist!
Sig Elliot and his gymnastic skills
All things considered, it was a great day and everyone took
something away, even if was a couple of bumps and bruises.
Maj Moran
WO2 (SSM) Tiplady
Over the period 10 –15 Jan 14, the Sqn deployed to Sennelager
training area on Ex FREE FLIGHT. On our return from
Christmas leave the Sqn hit the ground running with a PACEX
before rolling out the door on the Friday.
All the vehicles were lined up on the square on Thursday in
preparation for deploying on the Friday. The vehicles were
lined up as per there packets and inspected by the TCWO for
the relevant documents and break down equipment. Friday
saw all the packets rolling out the main gate on route to
Sennnelager Training Area.
All the packets were safely accounted for at the UDTA where
the SQMS organised sleeping areas and a feeding facility for
the Squadron. Prior to everyone getting their heads down a
brief by the Troop Commanders was given. The SQMS
provided cooked meals to the HQ’s and ICS locations for the
duration of the training week.
Main Troop commenced their build the following day at
Campsite 5 and deployed there RRB/Radio Relay
Detachments, while at Campsite 0 Falcon Troop deployed
their detachments around the training area and the remaining
elements of the Troop along with Tac troop started the build
of the Ops room and set up of the HQ where the VTC and
conference call testing were conducted. The remainder of
the week Falcon and Bowman voice and Data Networks were
established. The Falcon WAN Network was trailed back to
Corsham and also trunk functionality test capabilities as per
FALTAT’s TO’s. The Falcon TNG and DivLAN were also tested.
The climax of the Ex was a visit from the CO 1(UK)ADSR along
with elements of the Regt Ops Team to Campsite 0 and
Campsite 5 locations on Tue 14 Jan. Endex was called on Wed
15 Jan and the Squadron returned back to Herford to
complete the turnaround process of the Detachments.
Maj Leigh Crossing
WO2 (SSM) Baz Anderson
HQ Squadron has continued to support both Regimental
activities and the wider Herford station in the lead up to the
Christmas period. This has seen the Sqn support MST training
for 201 Sig Sqns upcoming Op HERRICK 20 deployment in the
form of Ex PREM KUSH1 and Ex PREM RANGES1 whilst also
maintaining service provision in Herford. The Sqn has also
carried out a number of organic tasks such as delivering the
Station Remembrance Service and Station Carol Service whilst
individual departments of HQ Sqn have enabled numerous
other events from the Station Bonfire to the SSAFA Fayre and
Christmas parties. Regardless of who is the lead for a Station
event it is clear that some component of HQ Sqn will be
involved ensuring the departments remain busy. More on this
below in the department updates.
To assist keeping the Sqn on track, the SHQ has been
bolstered by the arrival of a new Sqn 2IC Capt 'Dangerous
Dave' Malortie and a Sqn Ops SNCO in the form of SSgt Jo
Cordery. Jo is a short term fix who will depart on maternity
leave at Christmas and we wish her all the best for the baby
coming along in the New Year.
RGB SSgt SSgt Al Winter
Another busy period for the department started with the
Anglo-German Carol Service, Sig Southam receiving the GOC
Commendation for his professionalism whilst on Guard and
Sig Ratandi gaining his Ski Foundation Level 1 (at the same
time as the Regiment returned from leave!! Just saying). We
have members from the Department away on two separate
exercises being carried out in the UK. We had to say farewell
and all the best for the future to Cpl Douglas – now Mr
Douglas at the time of writing, and welcome to LCpl Amanda
Turnbull who is fortunate enough to join us from 201 Sqn.
Congratulations go to Sig Robinson on passing his PTI course
and showing us on a daily basis how good at heaves he is.
TM TROOP - by LCpl Davidson
Tp SSgt SSgt (SQMS) Lee Jolly
It has been a period of significant change for TM Troop as the
majority of the manpower has been distributed around the
Regiment to support other tasks. The Troop lines have
subsequently been closed down and handed over to 201 Sig
Sqn who have moved in from Harewood Barracks on the
other side of Herford. TM Troop does though still exist in a
smaller capacity in the guise of LCpl 'the body' Pritchard, LCpl
'Davo' Davison, LCpl Measom and LCpl Hickson. Now
co-located with HQ SQMS SSgt 'Task Force' Jolly, the Troop
roles have been reduced down to the DII Helpdesk, MOSS
TSA’s and equipment calibration.
Amongst those to leave the Troop were the FofS SSgt Biggs
Hancock, Tp SSgt Wayne Topping who went to 201 Sig Sqn
and Cpl Sam McGinley and LCpl Butters who departed for
Civvy Street. We bid them hearty farewell, and good luck.
Capt Bodycomb RLC
WO2 Jackson RLC
HQMT have been heavily committed in the recent Regimental
exercises PREMIER KUSH 1 and PREMIER RANGE. During Ex
PREM KUSH the mission was two fold; provide RLS to the
Regt main effort which was preparing 201 Sig Sqn for Op
HERRICK 20 whilst also conducting some internal role specific
training. The latter took the form of a GS Fam course run by
Cpl Jimmy Bentley. This was quickly followed by Ex PREM
KUSH which was a two week range package primarily aimed
at those Troops deploying on Op HERRICK 20. The exercise
was supported in the form of transport and drivers but also
by Cpl Bentley and Sgt 'Barney' Barnett conducting ranges.
2013 has been a very successful year for our young MT
soldiers with Sig Page, Sig Wilby and LCpl Qasevakatini all
promoting in the last few months. They have all worked
extremely hard and thoroughly deserve their promotions. In
addition to this the White Fleet JNCO LCpl 'Tonks' Tonkinson
will be moving onto Elmpt in the new year. They all deserve a
huge thank you for their efforts at 1 ADSR and will be deeply
missed, we wish them well for the future.
QM (T) DEPT - by Sig Armstrong
QM(T) Capt Fred Fensom
RQMS(T)WO2 Mark Anderson
It’s a busy period for the QM(T) and with all guns blazing, but
the arrival of Cpl Martin Jarvis from 662 Sig Troop Gutersloh,
the new Bowman Accountant will be seen as another hand to
the pump, taking a small piece of the work load away from
Cpl Jese Saunitoga as a few of us prepare for deployment on
We should and can always find time for a bit of departmental
fun with Sig Steve Warriner who has taken it upon himself to
organise an AT Ex in Sennelager, hopefully the Skydiving
centre are aware that most of us are afraid of heights, but
more to follow on what should be an interesting day out.
It’s business as usual for the next coming months and as a
whole the department we are looking forward to more
arrivals and a few MJDI training days before ops.
WO2 (SSM) Savage
SSgt Bill Reddy
A child from the local school sings a carol
The Christmas period has seen a number of personnel moving
in and out of the Training Wing. Firstly, we say a fond
farewell to Lt Miller, who after only a short stint as the Trg
Offr has decided that her future lies in law and not comms; all
the best for the future “Copper”. Cpl Dave 'On time' Horton
also leaves Herford for the green, green grass of 21 Signal
Regiment in sunny Colerne with his 5 a side team and
shouldn’t have any dramas with turning in on time with the
extra hour gained from moving back to the UK!
on behalf of a local German children’s charity and Scotty’s
Little Soldiers, raising over €650.
We welcome to the Training Wing, SSgt Bill Reddy who joins
from 200 Signal Squadron, with his wealth of knowledge he is
a welcome addition to the team. Finally, we welcome Sig
Connolly and Sig Wilson from the Regimental Generator Bay,
who will boost the team when enemy troops are required!
We now look forward to the upcoming months supporting
the Regiment in getting all the boys and girls ready for
deployment for the final Op HERRICK tour, including the final
Regtl Exercise, PREMIER KUSH and Exercise PREMIER RANGE
to name a few.
The congregation of both 1 ADSR and the local German
Regimental Carol Service
The traditional Anglo-German Carol Service took place in early
December and a number of soldiers in the Squadron were
involved with our very own SSgt Winter taking the lead on
behalf of the Regiment. Music provided by the band of the
Coldstream Guards proved to be suitably rousing for the
slightly chilly attendees and combined with the fantastic
turnout ensured the church filled with the sound of carols
being sung in English and German at the same time.
Alongside the traditional Christmas story read in both English
and German, there were contributions from the Military Wives
Choir, Lister School Choir and Konig Mathilde Gymnasium (the
local German secondary school) Choir. A collection was made
After the service there was an opportunity to strengthen
Anglo-German relations with gluhwein, stollen and mince pies
in the Church Hall. A good number took advantage of this and
reaffirmed friendships with some local personalities. There
was much talk of our shared past in Herford and the history of
the British Army in Germany. As the move back to the UK
draws ever closer and the number of events involving the
community falls, we are reminded how strong the connection
with Herford is and how much it will be missed. British guest
of honour Maj Gen J Chiswell CBE MC, GOC 1 (UK) Armoured
Division, clearly felt the same and spent the reception talking
with many of the German guests.
Lt Col Hargreaves
WO1 (RSM) Mason
Maj Rose
WO2 (SSM) Blowes
Exercise NORTHERN KEY ALPINE – by Lt Noone
On a mild Saturday morning, the managerial team from 2
Signal Regiment left Imphal Barracks towards Manchester
airport. In a break from tradition, all remembered their
passports and the outward journey continued without
incident into Geneva. WO2 (YofS) ‘Jono’ Hanes had just about
finished his first monologue by this point and his second
carried us from the airport to the resort of Avoriaz. Here, our
final 500m was on horse-drawn carriages and we soon settled
into our 1960s-themed hotel. Our fashionably late arrival for
dinner meant a hungry wait for most but WO2 (SSM) John
Blowes’ plan delivered and all received good food and
average wine before bed.
The French restaurant was kind enough to offer the diet-plan
breakfast which set us up nicely for our assessments from Maj
‘Jersey’ Howell-Walmsley and Sgt Phil Dransfield. Both
groups set off with the larger, more experienced group taking
to the bigger slopes to suss each other out. WO2 (SSM) Nige
McDiarmid was keen to aid the process and skied straight
underneath a ‘Caution’ barrier. Outside of this, plenty of
good skiing happened and muscle memory soon kicked in to
reduce falls and heighten egos. Capt ‘Wings’ Watson, keen to
lighten his skiing load, tasked a local barkeeper to look after
his daysack while he carried on a bit more but the results of
this experiment were negligible so he returned to SOPs.
Day 2 saw a further break in the ability groups with the top
skiers being given free reign. They received their pocket
money for lunch and set off so quickly, our actions-on-lost
procedures were well tested. Days 2 and 3 provided good
amounts of skiing as the instructors let us run and Day 4
allowed for a lot of off-piste runs as well as trips down
through the woods and over jumps. Some elevation was
more intentional than others and I surprised myself by
clearing one hump before crashing into another, while
simultaneously removing both skis – multi-tasking any CO
would be proud of. However, our CO was under far more
sensible control as he and the other members of the group
clocked in some good skiing under the careful watch of the
QM. Maj Anthea Burdus demonstrated smooth skiing to the
group and the team of SSMs Blowes and Gleave were never
too far behind. WO2 (YofS) Hanes was being complimented
on his new ability right up until the moment he fell over skiing
to breakfast one morning but he showed it takes more than a
cold face to keep him down.
The week culminated in an enhanced group-meal at the local
restaurant and fondue; melted cheese and beef joints helped
to replenish energy before an early start the following
morning. The return was uneventful despite the best efforts
of Capt Vishal and our coach driver performed a rolling replen
to get everyone back to York. Traditions were maintained and
not all management personnel made it back unscathed but
walking wounded and questionable limbs did nothing to
dampen a fun, demanding and bonding week.
After we had finished the tests we had most of the day to
wait for the other teams to complete their march and shoot
as our Squadron was one of the last of the day. This gave us
plenty of time to plan strategies of how we were going to
march, work out how many points we needed on the shoot
and also time to get nervous.
As we approached the start point we were told of how 214
Squadron had achieved the fastest march of the day so far
and it was in a time we knew we couldn’t beat. However, if
we could just come second we would still have a chance. As
we began the march, Lt Kearney set the pace so that we were
fast enough to achieve second place but not so fast as to tire
us out for the shoot. It was a long 2.5 miles carrying 10kg of
weight plus trying to carry a weapon. We did well as a team,
helping each other out and I don’t think I would have made it
in time without the help of Cpl Lalit and Sig Sanjeev. On the
way round I think most of us were wishing we had done more
phys over Christmas leave when we had a march and shoot
on our 3rd day back. I definitely was! Finally we made it to
the range where we were given ammunition and 5 minutes to
get ourselves together.
The shoot began with a 100m sprint to the 300m point which
to me seemed the longest 100m in the world after that march.
As the targets popped up it was clear how much being
fatigued affected our shooting but we needn’t have worried
as we gained plenty of points. On the way back to camp we
wondered if we had scored high enough in the written tests
and done well enough on the shoot to achieve first place.
When the time came to announce the winner, the CO told us
that each Squadron had come first in an event each; 214 in the
march, 246 in the shoot and 219 and Support Squadron in the
written tests. After an anxious few minutes he finally
announced 246 Squadron as the winners of the 2014 March
and Shoot Competition which I think I can say we all thought
was a great way to start the year.
Kowloon Troop Mountain Biking Day – by Sig Beni
The event was organised on 22 Jan 14 by Kowloon Tp OC Lt
Kearney at Dalby forest, Pickering. We left the camp around
0800hrs and arrived at our location around 0900hrs. We all
geared up with appropriate dress and everyone selected his
own bike and helmet. First, we had a safety brief from Sig
Bishnu who is a Mountain Bike Leader and demonstration by
Cpl ‘007’ Milan on going down hills, up hills, changing gears
and adopting correct position etc. We were split into two
groups. Obviously, I was in the slow group.
Regimental March and Shoot Competition – by LCpl Cassidy
We then set off for our adventurous journey, which was
about 12 miles. I was very excited about my journey but that
did not turn out quite right for me. The route was not as easy
as I had thought. I was expecting the normal off road track
but the track was full of stones, tree branches and tight turns.
There were a lot of small pot holes, up hills, down hills and
bends throughout the track. Since I have never ridden on
that kind of route I struggled from the beginning. However,
Cpl Milan and Cpl Jayaram encouraged me after the first 3
miles proved tricky. In addition, Sig Sagun taught me how to
adopt the downhill position and to use the gears better.
Most of the time I came off the bike and walked. I was too
scared, especially when going down steep hills. I should have
gone through the green route but instead, we did the more
technical red route.
The day for us started with a CBRN written test followed by a
race to see which Squadron could get into full CBRN kit the
quickest. As we were trying to pull on our suits we realised
the Squadron before us had tied the legs and arms together
in a bid to sabotage our efforts. Sadly for them we still
finished in a quick time. Following this was a BCDT written
test before a practical BLS test on ‘resus Annie’.
After a 1hr 15min ride, we all reached safely to the half way
point and had a lunch break. During the lunch break Kerney
Saheb, Cpl Milan, Cpl Jayaram, Cpl Mehar and LCpl Stanley
were showing off their skills doing bike stunts. We then
decided to go through the green route for about 2 miles,
which was easy. This time there was a vey little single track
with lots of bends on it. I was still feeling scared from the
2 Sig Regt management team avoiding work
Maj M Barratt
WO2 (SSM) Suresh Gurung
start and fell off the bike twice. Nevertheless, with the Gods’
wishes I did not hurt myself. Cpl Jayaram also fell off his bike.
We then rode for another four miles to reach our destination.
Before the end of the bike route, there was a steep down hill
road where we can ride up to 40 mph. I hope everybody
enjoyed the last finishing part. At the finish point, we washed
our bikes and went to the coffee shop for hot drinks.
out for Op FORTIFY where she spent most of her time
harassing members of the public to join the Army Reserves.
She was still willing to continue her role but was replaced by
LCpl Darren Scaife due to her PNCO course. At the same time
I deployed with a group of 16 for Ex LION STAR in Cyprus. Our
main role was to support soldiers from 32 Signal Regiment
and lead them by example.
I absolutely enjoyed the biking although that was my first
experience. I would recommend all to experience the thrill
and organise a group day out in the summer period. If you do
not own a bike, you can hire for a whole day.
We have seen members of ES Tp taking part in Regimental
cross country. Sig Harris and I went to the competition in
Catterick where everyone produced an amazing time despite
being lost on route to the competition. This made us realise
that map reading was not our greatest skill; I was pleased it
wasn’t an Orienteering competition. Sig Harris also attended
another competition in Bulford where she ran like a gazelle
and was selected for the Corps female cross country team,
well done.
Regimental Christmas – by Sgt Bates
After missing last Christmas due to operational commitments
the Regt ensured a return to routine for this years festivities,
a day of events starting with the usual “Gun Fire” followed by
the eagerly awaited “Bone of Contention” rugby match.
Contested hard between a combined team of Officers and
SNCOs v JNCOs and below, 44 participants donned their
boots (or World War 2 equivalents in WO1 (FofS) Steve
Colbecks’ case) the match was considered a “resounding
success” by the CO.
Kowloon Troop preparing to hit the trail
Maj Burdus
WO2 (SSM) Gleave
ES Troop - by Sig Giri
Over the past three months ES Tp has been really busy
preparing for RSIT and ECI. Over this time we have seen the
promotion of Sgt Jason Sheehan to SSgt and a change of
command appointment in the Troop with the Regimental FofS
WO1 Steve Colbeck (leaving the Army) replaced with FofS
WO1 Paul Landregan.
Members of ES Tp volunteered for different Regimental
duties and taskings over the period. Sig ‘Holly’ Harris went
The Seniors team hobbled away eventual winners in a very
closely contested match, 5 points to nil. The plaudits have to
go to stand out performances by Cpl ‘Gaz’ Swannick for the
Juniors and SSgt Michael ‘Fozzy’ Foster on the Seniors side.
Both players put their bodies on the line and should consider
playing a higher level of rugby in the future. It wouldn’t be a
true representation of the game if we didn’t mention the
“RED CARDS” received for “Fisty Cuffs” between SSgt Phil
'cheap shot' Stillie and Sig Oliver Dutton. The referee on the
day, Lt Col Green, should be thanked for his diligence and
obvious pragmatic approach to refereeing. Not to finish on a
sour note, the Junior ranks mess was then invaded by the
whole Regt for the serving of Christmas lunch to the soldiers
by the WO’s and Officers dressed to impress in their finest
Christmas jumpers.
This Christmas was definitely a step up from last year for the
Sqn! We will now ramp up into a busy period of training and
support post Christmas.
Lt Col P R Griffiths
WO1 (RSM) Stowell
and other nations, which promises to be an exciting time for
all, and Normandy 70 commemorations.
This has been yet another busy period for the Regiment. With
Op HERRICK 18 now successfully behind us, refreshed from
POTL and Christmas leave, our focus has been completing the
re-subordination of 258 Signal Squadron to 30 Signal
Regiment and 228 Signal Squadron from 12 Mech Bde HQ.
We welcome new faces, including WO1 (RSM) Stowell as
Regimental Sergeant Major, and say goodbye to some old
friends. We wish them all luck in the future, especially WO1
(RSM) Luke on his commissioning and selection as the Corps
Regimental Sergeant Major.
CT1 training is in full swing concurrently with equipment
uplifts and our continued support to tasks; ranging from local
commitments to BATUK and BATUS. We are planning for a
busy spring with the Regiment pioneering interoperability
using Falcon deployed on Ex ROCHEMBEA with the French
The future for the Regiment looks busy, but fun. Despite
everything planned, and everything not planned (Op
PITCHPOLE), we have still seen groups deploying on a myriad
of Adventure Training expeditions and we will continue to
drive Adventure Training and Sport with passion.
Maj C Dixon
WO2 (SSM) K Brown
The Squadron Returns – by LCpl Bethel-Hancock
With Op HERRICK 18 now a distant memory; 202 Signal
Squadron have returned to work after well earned POTL.
With the new re-organisation of personnel throughout the
Regiment, the Squadron has bid farewell to some old friends
but on the other hand welcomed some new faces to add new
momentum to the new year.
Now that we have settled back into barrack life some
members of the Squadron have been away on Falcon and
driving courses ready for the Regiment’s new task as a MultiRole Signal Regiment. We’ve even had members lucky
enough to take advantage of the various AT expeditions being
organised in the Squadron. Thanks to Sgt Jonny Howe,
Inkerman Troop, formally known as Lashkar Gah Troop have
managed to get away for a week on Exercise ALPINE
BUFFALO, hitting the slopes in Austria, while Overloon and
Waterloo Troops still have their AT to look forward to.
Meanwhile for the rest of the Squadron there has been a
flurry of activity conducting Range packages, MATTS and
Military Skill lessons. To everyone’s delight, Squadron PT also
made a quick return! Many, including the PTI’s have been
working hard to burn off the Christmas dinners and sweat out
the 7 weeks of partying.
It has been a busy start for 202 Signal Squadron this January,
getting back into the swing of regular barrack routine. We
are now looking forward to an even busier couple of months
as we take control of our Bowman Detachment’s and conduct
Falcon training ready for the upcoming tasks this year. A lot
of changes are happening and it certainly going to be a
challenging but exciting time for all of us.
3DSR Alpine Ski Team – by LCpl Harper
In early January 2014, 3 (UK) Division Headquarters and Signal
Regiment dispatched a mighty trio of talented alpine ski
racers to Exercise SPARTAN HIKE, the Divisional Ski
Championships in Serre Chevalier, France. LCpl Neil Harper
and LCpl Adam ‘George’ Daws embarked on the arduous
cross Europe journey under the watchful stewardship of Team
Captain Lt Gemma Banting, whose unquestionable
navigational skills made the journey far less stressful than in
many a previous year’s pilgrimage. The team laid up for the
night in a budget hotel in Grenoble where coincidentally
Michael Schumacher was laid up in hospital with a head injury
following a ski accident. Fortunately this proved not to be a
bad omen for the trip. The following day, the Iron Division
skier’s pushed on to the mountain resort for competition
registration and accommodation check in. Both processes
were far more complicated than expected, however 3 hours
of afternoon skiing was procured. This enabled one and all to
shake off the festive period and rediscover race skills honed in
the previous year on Exercise MERCURY GLACIER, the Corps
Championships. This was deemed adequate preparation for
the seeding race and competition beginning in earnest the
following morning.
LCpl Harper and LCpl Daws began strongly with their eyes
firmly on the lucrative prize of qualification for the Army
Championships and the promise of a further 10 days skiing,
not to mention the chance to represent the Royal Signals’
Corps team. All that was required was consistent and fast
racing, to guarantee a finish in the top third of the 158 strong
cohort of racers. Through perseverance, courage and an
impeccable dedication to both equipment preparation and
The 3DSR Alpine Ski Team
maintenance both 3 DSR men achieved this respectable feat.
LCpl Daws’ qualification was touch and go in his 2nd attempt
at the Divisional Champions but he improved throughout the
competition and made the grade. Just, as he placed 65th
overall. LCpl Harper’s qualification was less laboured as he
leaned on the experience he had gained from his previous
Divisional and Army campaigns which had all ended in him
earning a coveted spot in the Corps team. Having
represented the Corps team a total of 3 times prior to this
season he was recognised with the presentation of Corps
Colours at the Corps camp the previous December. In this
season’s competition however, he went on to finish the
overall competition in 32nd place, with his best performance
coming in Super Giant slalom where he placed a creditable
For the trip Lt Banting had made the generous and bold
decision to adopt Sig Ollie McLeod, the current Alpine Skiing
Corps Champion, from 2 Signal Regiment. Sig McLeod repaid
this generosity as he successfully completed just 2 races out
of 7, tumbling down the rankings and often also the piste, to
a disappointing 144th place overall and failure to qualify for
the Army Championships, unlike in his debut season.
However, his out of character, appalling form was recognised
by the race committee come competition prize giving with
LCpl Daws on the Downhill
the award of the ‘Best Endeavour’ prize for his valiant efforts
in what is only his second ever full ski racing season since
taking up the sport at the Corps Camp 2 years ago.
Lt Banting also in only her second season of racing placed
104th overall and was the 9th best placed female.
Unfortunately this meant she too narrowly missed the cut for
the Army Championships as only 7 females were permitted to
qualify. This forced the team to divide into 2 with Sig McLeod
and Lt Banting returning to the UK and their respective units
while LCpl Daws and LCpl Harper partnered up with the rest
of the Corps team, who were entirely comprised of the 4
members of 30 Signal Regiment who also enjoyed a very
successful Divisional Championships.
LCpl Harper on the Giant Slalom
In the 10 days that followed in Chantemerle at the Army
Championships, LCpl Daws began with the nice round bib
number of 100 and by the end of the competition had that
down to number 88, despite a tumble in the Super G and a
spectacular failed jump during a downhill training day (video
available on request) He also earned a slot in the Corps team
and achieved several strong timings that counted towards the
Corps teams overall performance against other cap badges.
LCpl Harper began with a bib number of 54 and managed to
place 26th in the Men’s Alpine Combination, a result which
saw him bring the Michael Pearce trophy back to 3 DSR for
the first time since 1985. The trophy is awarded to the top
Royal Corps of Signals skier in the combination event. With a
trophy in the bag and no injuries to contend with, all in all 3
(UK) Division Headquarters and Signal Regiment can be proud
of their efforts out in France with a view to a repeat
performance next season.
Maj D Spencer
WO2 (SSM) S Harrison
206 Signal Squadron have been focussed on delivering CT6
level exercises to 3 Division HQ, Exercise IRON RESOLVE and
Exercise IRON TRIANGLE. After Christmas leave the Squadron
has gone straight into preparations for a Combined Joint
Expeditionary Force (CJEF) exercise which will include CT1 and
CT2 level exercises, both two weeks long.
After just two weeks back in camp from Ex IRON RESOLVE,
206 Squadron redeployed the Divisional Headquarters to RAF
St. Mawgan just outside of Newquay. We were supporting
one of the biggest exercises ever run in the south of England!
We were joined on this exercise by the French, who took
Plymouth by surprise when they arrived. According to the
Plymouth Herald “The Royal Navy have admitted they were
completely unaware the French had arrived”. Working with
the French was a new experience for a number of soldiers, so
the time spent working with them on IRON TRIANGLE has set
the tone for the upcoming year.
The biggest problem we faced, besides the enormity of the
HQ itself, was the fact that it had been located on top of a hill
next to the sea. This meant that we had winds of up to
50mph to contend with, resulting in tents with over 90
sandbags still blowing away, with Cpl Dave Cryle and his team
still holding on! Once the HQ was built and the weather
calmed down (slightly) the staff arrived which brought the
new challenge of keeping them warm in November. As warm
kit seemed not to be an option, we managed to make the
whole complex significantly warmer than the outside and 7
Signal Group had the hottest tent in the whole HQ.
Trying to repair wind damaged tents
Finally the exercise was finished off with a much needed
Squadron Christmas function in Newquay which gave
everyone the chance to blow of some steam before returning
to camp for a well-deserved Christmas leave.
LCpl Harper being presented with the Michael Pearce trophy
The Squadron has had a very busy start to the New Year. The
Squadron has been reshuffled in terms of both equipment
and manpower as we move towards becoming a Multi Role
Signal Regiment (MRSR). Within a week of being back we
were thrown straight into MATTs. The standard lessons were
mixed in with interesting presentations on drugs and alcohol
from outside speakers. On Thursday and Friday Sgt Metcalfe
ran the ACMT package for the Regiment. The ranges
provided an opportunity to look for potential members of the
shooting team who will be taking part in the Operational
Shooting Competition this year. Sig Mitchell gained top shot
of the week with full marks, placing him firmly in the spotlight
for the team!
CJEF Build-up
Exercise planning is in full swing, with all three Troops
preparing to deploy on CT1 in February. Cambrai Troop and
Normandy Troop will be deploying to Salisbury plain to
practice low level soldiering and communication skills. Mons
Troop will be training people on Magpie and running the
Falcon uplift programme on behalf of the Regiment.
Mech Bde. Very best of luck for the future to you and your
family. Losing nearly all the members of our QM Dept, we
wish you good tidings and hope you enjoy the challenges of
working in Sp Sqn. Capt Jim Watt (QM) and WO2 Matt
Stowell (RQMS) have both been successful on recent
promotion boards and have moved over to 3 DSR to assume
new jobs; Capt Watt has taken over as QM(T) and will become
OC Support Squadron in summer 2014. WO1 (RSM) Stowell
will be taking up the post of ‘The Badge’ of 3 DSR before the
publication of this magazine. Congratulations again and the
best of luck to you both in your new roles.
Good news is that we have a Sergeant Major, WO2 (SSM) Neil
Cansfield fresh in from 10 Sig Regt; we welcome you to the
Squadron and hope you enjoy your 2 years with the team.
This is a very small submission from the Squadron as we have
been busy since the first week of this year and all of our key
events are still taking place. Next time look forward to
articles on troop training from Main Tp and a quick summary
of a 6 week deployment to BATUK from Lt Jay Thomas.
OC SSM SSgt Swan trying to fold maps for CT1
All of the exercises over the coming months are building
towards Exercise ROCHEMBEAU, a joint Divisional level
exercise with the French. Exercise ROCHEMBEAU will allow
the Squadron to deploy Falcon, Bowman, TNG and MIP to the
north of France and to work in a CJEF role. To facilitate this a
number of people from within the Squadron have spent the
first few weeks of January working in Blandford with their
French counterparts. They have been trialling interoperability
of Bowman and Magpie with the equivalent French system,
SICF. Once the testing is complete both UK and French staff
will be able to exchange mapping, overlays, situational
awareness, chat, email and collaborative working. The UK
systems were configured from scratch to allow for a fresh
start and for everyone to learn from the ground up.
LCpl Jones and Sig West have found the past two weeks to
be an “eye-opener”. The main obstacles they have had have
been software based, closely followed by the networking side
of things. Security is always a big consideration so everyone
has worked hard to ensure that the balance between a secure
system and shared information has remained at all times.
They have found working with the French soldiers hugely
enjoyable and have learned a great deal about how
multinational ICS/CIS systems work together.
Maj Brian Jeffery
WO2 (SSM) Neil Cansfield
On 6 Jan 14 228 Sig Sqn re-subordinated from 12 Mech Bde to
3 (UK) Divisional Signal Regiment.
With the change in command status the Squadron say hello to
3 DSR and we are looking forward to working alongside our
new colleagues and gaining the support and depth of a
Regimental structure. But we have also had some key
personalities move on as a direct result. It was sad when the
Squadron lost their RSM, WO1 (RSM) Duncan Windsor to take
on a jet setting life style in the post of Comd Sgt Major for 12
Maj A McKenna MBE
WO2 (SSM) Law
Support Squadron continues to run at a high pace since the
return of 202 Signal Squadron from Herrick 18 and all
departments are busy providing essential support to the
regiment for the re-subordination. The Squadron has a new
2i/c, Capt Reid who has now picked up the reigns and is
co-ordinating the establishment of all the many Support Sqn
Departments. The Squadron also welcomes the new QM(T),
Capt JAM Watt, and the new RQMS, WO2 MT Turner.
The Squadron bids farewell to the RSM, WO1 R Luke, with a
congratulations on his commissioning and future posting as
the Corps RSM. The Squadron also wishes to say farewell to
Capt Wakeling (who leaves the Army after 28 years of loyal
service) and all the other redundancies with best wishes in
their future endeavours.
AGC Detachment - by LT Stalker
In January Pte Ford, who is a keen footballer, was successfully
picked to represent the AGC Corp Football team and he has
been heading over to Worthy Down in Winchester to take
part in training sessions and matches.
In December the Detachment deployed to Bramley training
area to conduct a 3 day field exercise where they practised
basic soldiering skills such as occupying and living in a harbour
area, patrolling, night navigation and reaction to effective
enemy fire. Plus they were also required to set up a field
admin office in order to experience how it would be running
an office with limited supplies/resources. Thankfully the
weather, although cold, remained dry and the exercise was a
huge success in giving the soldiers a refresher and
introduction to new skills.
The start of February saw the Det Commander (Lt Stalker),
SSA (Sgt Tovagone), Pte Sutcliffe and Pte Ford attend the
RHQ Ski AT package in Zell am See, Austria. At the beginning
of the week I think it is fair to say everyone was a little
nervous, especially as Lt Stalker and Pte Ford had never skied
before and Sgt Tovagone and Pte Sutcliffe hadn’t skied in a
while. However, those nerves quickly disappeared by the end
of day 1 for Pte Sutcliffe as she could be seen speeding off
down the slopes after Lt Patterson, racing him to the bottom.
The week away was enjoyed by all with everyone successfully
gaining the Ski Foundation 1 Qualification.
Catering Detachment - by SSgt Meadowcroft
MT Department – by LCpl Harrison
December’s silly season descended on the Department with
the usual busy period for the chefs. Combined Christmas
Dinners for over 1000 soldiers, 5 Christmas Balls within the
Messes, as well as the turnaround from IRON TRIANGLE 13
meant the department was extremely busy. Sgt McCulloch
catered for the GOC’s shooting party and Sgt Beckett has
been extremely busy catering for the Commander Land
Forces and his high profile functions.
One of the main events was on the 22 November, the medals
parade for Op HERRICK 18, a proud moment for both the
soldiers and their families. When the families arrived they had
the chance to grab a quick brew before watching their loved
ones receive their medals for their efforts on operations.
The Super Diner hosted the Divisional Christmas Cake
competition, and was run by Cpl Scott. Sgt Beckett came 2nd
within the Division in the Master Class. All cakes were sold
and raffled for charity, this years chosen charity being
‘Scotty’s Little Soldiers’.
On the parade from the MT were Cpl Holden, LCpl Johnson,
Sig Park and Sig Cowle. Once the parade had finished the
soldiers and their families where transported to the other side
of camp where they could enjoy the rest of their day with a
band, dodgems, free ice cream and much more.
Once the medals parade was over the MT drew their
attention to preparing for the Christmas leave period and
making sure we were ready for the exercise in January. We
also managed to squeeze in an excellent Christmas function,
arranged by Cpl Holden, which consisted of go-karting and a
Chinese meal with a few drinks down Amesbury. A good
night which not all of us may fully remember.
After Christmas leave the MT deployed on exercise down to
Warminster. The exercise ran for 2 weeks. The first week
consisted of a build-up which ran smoothly until the Sunday
night when the weather changed for the worst and strong
winds managed to blow away a 18x24 tent tied down already
with storm lashings. After chasing bits of tent around the
exercise area the 2nd week the exercise began as planned.
Sgt Beckett receives 2nd Place trophy in the Divisional Cake
A final welcome to the new arrivals to the MT department in
the last few months which are SSgt McCrum, Sgt Chadwick,
LCpl Wilby, Sig Smith and Sig Raine.
Lt Col EA Dallyn MBE
WO1 (RSM) JA Garner
The New Year has started with a great variety of operational
tasks, sport and adventure training. This has included a Regt
skiing expedition to France and Inter-Sqn and Corps Cross
Country, around the busy day job of continuous deployments
to Op HERRICK and UK based operations. Congratulations go
to WO2 (SSM) Watts for being awarded a Meritorious Service
Medal and to Mr David House, our civilian storeman, who has
been awarded a CLF commendation. Within RHQ, we sadly
say farewell to WO1 (FofS) ‘Indy’ Ind who leaves the Army
after 24 years of loyal and dedicated service. Soon to be Mr
Martin Ind, he is about to start a new career with the Atomic
Weapons Establishment. We all wish him the best of luck for
the future.
Maj HC Cairns
WO2 (SSM) L Davies
Op HERRICK Inst Tech Surge Oct – Dec 13 – by Sgt Peart
Eleven members from 241 Sig Sqn with 4 members from 81 Sig
Sqn (V) deployed to Afghanistan on a surge task to support
Communications Planning Office projects and tasks in Theatre.
The team was split in two early in the surge and remained that
way for the duration. The team which I headed up, consisting
of Capt Oxley, myself, LCpl Hanson and Sig’s Davis, Jenkins
and Kapoor-Junior, deployed to the Afghan National Army
Officer Academy, Qargha, to complete various small projects
and tasks. Our workload soon increased upon arrival,
supporting a variety of J6 infra tasks that came to light.
Sig Jenkins was responsible for accounting for all stores
whilst at Qargha and Camp Souter. Despite having to use all
his fingers and toes for counting, he did a superb job and the
accurate work proved very helpful to the resident Inst Tech in
Once the work had finished we then moved back to Camp
Souter whilst awaiting transport to NKC. Another Camp for
us to “Mechanise”! The install at NKC was fairly quick but the
visit gave LCpl Terry 'The Tourist' Hanson plenty of photo
opportunities. He became very adept at photography, much
to the teams amusement!
Before heading back to sunny Bastion we were tasked with
providing J6 with a records package for Camp Souter. Due to
the size of the task and time constraints I brought some extra
hands up from Team 2 (Bastion). Sigs Kershaw and Pain were
eager to stretch their legs and joined us for the remainder of
the Surge. They both had ample opportunity to test their
trade ability and were not found wanting.
Team 2 was headed by SSgt Rosser, a member of 81 Sig Sqn
(V). The Inst Techs were led by Cpl McPherson and LCpl Page.
Cpl McPherson showed great leadership, trade knowledge
and ability throughout the Surge and made even the difficult
jobs look easy. During their time at Bastion the team spent
much of it checking and updating the records to better assist
the Remediation Plan. Records are an essential part of the
trade and the teams effort and achievement in this work was
a credit to them and essential to the local Inst Techs.
Team 2 completed two high profile projects at both the CTC
and the JAG. Both projects had restrictions that tested their
abilities and needless to say they thrived and produced some
exceptional work. Sig Coster not only stood out with his
efforts during any job thrown at him but also produced some
very professional work in joinery.
and hiccups on the way, with recently promoted Sgt Dave ‘no
more drinks for me’ Harrod, we were on the way to Luton to
meet the rest of the group with Starbucks being the first port
of call. After a lengthy transfer from Grenoble, we arrived in
Tignes early evening, ready to start the week’s activities.
Taking the lead was Capt ‘Dobby the house elf’ Dobson who
was quickly impressed that his group were all competent
skiers, so we said goodbye to the blue slopes and headed out
for the reds and blacks.
Sig Ampong was responsible for the teams PT which he
thoroughly enjoyed (a little too much for some!) putting us
through our paces on a regular basis. As well as some hard
PT, the team enjoyed a variation of sport weekly.
Sigs Goulding and Roberts both have a lot of previous surge
experience and provided much support to the team members
out for their first time. Both showed a very professional
attitude to their work throughout.
The Surge was a huge success and with this being my first
Surge, as a Team Leader I was very proud of the entire team
for their efforts and professionalism throughout. For all those
off to new pastures I wish you all the best.
Juniors vs Seniors Football – by LCpl Curry
On 17 December 2013 the Junior ranks in the Squadron played
an 11 a-side football match against the seniors of 241 Signal
Squadron on the astro pitch at MOD Corsham. The game was
organised by LCpl Rees and Sig Rogers. The senior team was
run by SSgt (SQMS) Partridge who struggled to find 11 players
for the game, leading to Sig Perry and Sig Stroud being
drafted to the Senior team for the duration! The Junior team
was run by LCpl Brodie who had managed to get 15 players
for the game allowing for the draft of two of the Juniors to
the Senior team.
The referee for the game was Sgt D Tuck from 21 Signal
Regiment who kept all decisions fair throughout the game!
As the game kicked off the possession of the ball for the first
10 minutes was kept by the Seniors, leading to them being 1
– 0 up with a goal from Sgt ‘Spud’ Williams, who later scored
the second goal for the Seniors. After fighting to keep the
ball, LCpl Demery put the ball in the net 5 times in the game,
with one of the goals being a wonderful free kick from
outside the 18 yard box. The Seniors managed to score
another three goals during the match, one coming from their
goal keeper/out player Sgt Peart and the other two goals
from SSgt (SQMS) ‘Papa Smurf’ Partridge who scored a great
curling shot from outside the 18 yard box that Sig Coster
couldn’t even get his hands to. A further five goals were
scored by the Juniors from LCpl Page, LCpl Rees and LCpl
Curry to end the game 10 – 5 to the Juniors.
A glorious day up the mountain
As the week progressed we ventured further and further
around the resort looking for the best slopes. In Val d’Isére
we came across a slope that was used in the ‘92 winter
Olympics. Unfortunately, no matter how comfortable you are
on skis the slope will always win in a fight, as Sgt Lisa
Hutchinson reluctantly found out. Despite the ups and
downs, pardon the pun, it was a thoroughly enjoyable week
that I would recommend to anyone.
After the first week’s group had torn up the slopes in one part
of the French Alps, it was the turn of the second group to
return to last years resort, Les Deux Alpes.
For SSgt (FofS) John ‘been here before’ Shambrook it was a
welcome return to the resort, that quickly saw him become
exercise organiser turned tour guide for the rest of us. After
he led us to our accommodation at the UCPA at a speed a PTI
would struggle to keep up with, he then showed us the town
much to Sig Scotty ‘where is my hotel?’ Nolson’s peril.
After the game the Seniors hosted some of the Juniors at
MOD Corsham Sgts Mess for a drink as the Christmas spirit
was in the air; it proved a fitting end to a long year for the
Maj K Larsen
WO2 (SSM) A Raby
Exercise TIGER PISTE 11-25 Jan 14 – by Sigs Howarth and Nolson
As is the norm with all exercises, the 2am start on a not too
mild January morning did not surprise us. With a few pickups
Grabbing a quick breather at 3200m
Day 1 of skiing consisted of two groups breaking off, those
that could ski and those that couldn’t. Capt (TOT(IS)) Kerr
‘dancing on tables’ Laye and LCpl Dan ‘Franz Klammer’ Atkins
being the more experienced of the outfit, headed up the
mountain. The majority of us got on the baby slopes under
the watchful eye of SSgt ‘Spike’ Forbes.
251 Signal Squadron was deployed on Ex HOT SANDS on 3 Feb
14 to Nesscliff Camp in Shropshire, after managing both
exercise turnaround from Ex BRITANNIA TROOP and preexercise preparation for Ex HOT SANDS 14. The exercise was
designed to focus on 251 Signal Squadrons main role so that
soldiers can deliver their job efficiently and confidently.
As the week progressed, so too did the groups, some at
different rates than others. The ‘pros’ were soon joined by
Sgt John ‘don’t tell my wife’ Connor and eventually by SSgt
(YofS) Matt ‘snow plough’ McGinn, LCpl Danny ‘I’ll quit when
I’m home’ Munetsi and Sig Scotty ‘High Roller’ Nolson.
By the end of the week wipeouts became far less frequent
and the entire group managed to navigate some of the more
difficult runs; even in more inclement weather conditions.
Thankfully the entire group made it back in one piece despite
a few aches, pains and dents in wallets along the way.
The first week of the exercise was divided into
communications training and military exercise. This overview
consisted of a brief on the roles and responsibilities of the
Squadron so that everyone had an understanding of 251. It
also consisted of a ConOps brief which included operations
that we are currently involved with. The military phase
consisted of CBRN theory and practical which included a brief
exercise scenario, based on the theory we learnt. The second
part of military phase was navigation. During this part of the
exercise we learnt theory which was put into practice with a
20 km check-pointed orienteering navigational exercise.
On a more serious note the Ex succeeded in giving 22
individuals across 3 Sqns an introduction to the rigours of
alpine skiing and also allowed them to complete Skiing
Foundation 1; qualifying them to ski in groups, under indirect
supervision from an instructor, and potentially to gain further
ski touring qualifications in the future.
Finally, the first week of the exercise ended with an
interesting cultural visiting to the Imperial War Museum in
Manchester, followed by ‘251’s Got Talent’ in the evening. The
good food, warm accommodation and these extra activities
are maintaining the soldiers high level of morale, despite the
cold and wet weather.
A thank you must be given to the instructors from both
weeks, Capt Dobson, SSgt Forbes and Sgt McGuire for their
patience and instruction, and also to SSgt (FofS) Shambrook
for his organisation of the exercise.
Exercise TIGER PISTE BRAVO – by LCpl Munetsi
Maj J Squires
WO2 (SSM) L Watts
Exercise BRITANNIA SNAP – 251 Signal Squadron Photo
– by LCpl Guest
In January 2014, 251 Signal Squadron took part in a Squadron
photo at Horse Guards’ Parade in London. This is quite a big
event for the Squadron because it reflected our role as the
Royal Signals’ ceremonial unit, and puts us in the public eye.
There are many ceremonial events that the Sqn supports, but
this event gave everyone the opportunity to be involved.
We set off at 0500hrs on Wednesday to Wellington Barracks
to have some early breakfast and to get changed. Depending
on what uniform people owned, we got changed into our
Blues, FADs or PCS. From there we made sure that we
checked each other over, to make sure we were smartly and
correctly dressed. We then all congregated outside the
barracks waiting for transport into London and because of
the time we travelled we hit all the morning rush hour traffic.
When we actually got to Horse Guards Parade we got into
height order and separated into different ranks of people in
different uniforms. Finally after already being up for about 5
hours we had our photo taken. After that we got back onto
the transport to Wellington Barracks to get changed back into
smart civilian attire and headed back to camp.
After this event we are all ready for the ceremonial season in
the summer, to once again put the Squadron in the public eye
and to make everyone proud to be at such an honoured and
specialist unit in the Royal Signals.
Exercise HOT SANDS – by LCpl Menyangbo
It was a cold, wet, windy Monday morning in Aldershot at
0700hrs with members of 251 Signal Squadron moaning/
groaning as it was the beginning of the 2 week long exercise
straight after a week long military exercise (Ex BRITANNIA
TROOP). The exercise was held mainly in Nesscliff Trg Camp.
Ex TIGER PISTE BRAVO took place over a week commencing
18 January 14 in Les 2 Alps France. The exercise was
coordinated by SSgt (FofS) John Shambrook with the
assistance of skiing instructor SSgt Michael Forbes, and was
designed to bring everyone up to the standard of achieving
Skiing Foundation Level 1 (SF1). There was a nice mix of
abilities in the group with very competent skiers, complete
beginners and intermediate skiers just getting used to the
slopes after years with no practice.
Day 1 was kit issue and teaching of the basics, which most of
the group picked up quite quickly except LCpl Munetsi, who
could not turn right! My excuse was too much football
growing up which led to too much reliance on my right leg.
Days 2 and 3 saw most of the students progress onto the
various green slopes along the bottom of the mountain and
then to trickier red and blue routes as the days progressed.
The weather on day 3 was glorious, sun beaming through the
peaks and not a cloud in sight; sun cream weather.
Day 4, the nice weather had passed and the thick fog meant
that you could hardly see 5m in-front of you. LCpl Munetsi
and SSgt (YofS) McGinn, led by loyal instructor SSgt Michael
Forbes headed to the top of the mountain with the promise:
“Don’t worry, most of the time with thick fog like this it’s
quite low so you can get above it, and it will be clear up top!”
It was soon apparent that this was not the case as there was
less visibility up at the top. Soon enough the fog became a
positive, as it was so thick you could not see the steepness of
the red and black routes we were skiing down. By the end of
day 4, everybody had qualified for the SF1 qualification and
YofS Matt McGinn had won the best fall award, blaming
borrowed salopettes for his trip.
Joining the Royal Signals Motorcycle Display Team (White
Helmets) – by Cpl ‘Jags’ Rai
On Mon 20 Jan 14, Cpl Rai from 251 Sig Sqn, Aldershot
presented himself along with a squad of 5 soldiers at The
Royal Signals Motorcycle Display Team (RSMDT) on Blandford
Camp. This is a group of serving soldiers from the Royal Corps
of Signals, British Army. Cpl Rai, being a hill boy from Nepal,
the only experience of bike riding was having a couple of near
misses and crashes. This was going to be very tricky.
On the first day of course, the duty rumour was that there
was going to be an inspection first thing in the morning.
Wanting to impress, everyone spent quite a few hours into
the night getting ready. To be a ‘White Helmet’, one has to be
smart and disciplined. After an initial brief, we were taken to
Blandford Air Field for further lessons. The first lesson was a
demonstration of the controls and how to do first works on
bikes, then straight onto the bikes for riding. It was scary to
ride the Triumph 750 because it looked heavy and completely
different compared to others, with lots of leaks and the
untrustworthy braking system. In the afternoon we were
taught tricks on the bikes and some got to practise them.
When we started learning the tricks, there was some fun and
crashes, guys start coming out with some burns and bruises.
Cpl Rai tried to put himself out of trouble until he crashed
practising the double angel; it was not too bad, just a little
On the second day of the course, we were given a proper
show format, tricks and building a team. Then on 22 Jan 14, it
was the show day. The team had the morning to practise and
make any final adjustments. Members of the team were
looking more confident on the tricks that they had been
learning since the course started but some of the tricks were
not much of a success. However the time had come. The
show started at 1400hrs, and everything went well. There
were no crashes or injuries. The show ended within 30
minutes and after the show, CO 11 Sig Regt talked to the
course and wished us all good luck.
On 24 Friday Jan 14, we had our interviews and final selection
result. There were five people all fighting for four vacancies;
the reality was that one of the team had to leave with
nothing. After sweating on the results, I received the news I
was waiting for, I had passed the course and am now looking
forward to the Annual Training Camp and riding for the Royal
Signals Motorcycle Display Team.
CO’s Cup Cross Country Competition – by Lt McGraw
The 10 Signal Regiment inter-Squadron cross country
competition for 2014 was hosted by 225 Signal Squadron,
based at Thiepval barracks in Northern Ireland. It was an
early start for team 251, which saw us travelling from
Aldershot on the morning of the race, onboard the 0740hrs
flight from Heathrow to Belfast International. On arrival at
Thiepval Barracks, the event organiser, Capt Emma Allen, and
the members of 225 made our team feel at home.
The race took place at Randalstown Forest country park. The
route was a flat, fast course through woodland with a total
distance of 10.9km for the male competitors and 6.6km for
the female runners. Points were scored for the fastest 4 men
and 1 woman from each team. Having brought a strong team
of 7 male and 3 female runners, we were confident of doing
Maj M Arscott
Capt T Rai
Member of 81 Signal Squadron on Exercise BRUNO ROCK
with 10 Signal Regiment
During October and November two detachments from 81
Signal Squadron deployed on Exercise BRUNO ROCK with 10
Signal Regiment. This was the first time that the Squadron
had deployed on Ex as part of the Regiment. As reservists we
tried to blend in and play the grey man but with an average
age of 42 people were starting to ask who they old men in
uniform were, was it the Home Service force or Dads Army?
We took part in the mil training and adventure training
phases. Some of us where tasked with being enemy and
having Phil ‘rat up a drain pipe’ Welch, ex Grenadier
Guardsman and SF gunner, to hand, we were soon putting the
troops under sustained pressure, whilst Jonny ‘Big-Un’ Helm
employed his not so long lost infantry tactics from his Kings
Own Border days. Unfortunately ‘Bobby’ Sands, our chisel
chinned soon to be 5 year old LCpl didn’t have any artillery
pieces to practice on, so he just shouted boom boom boom a
lot. Luckily all of the fighting 81st miraculously avoided the
highly contagious D+V to fight another day.
Adventure Training Gib Style. We had a day of culture with
one of the local historians. This involved a 12km walk through
the city over the rock and back through the tunnels. This was
excellent and I think the highlight of everyone’s deployment,
taking in just about everything you could wish to see on the
We brought our very own idiot abroad Andy ‘Karl’ Pilkinton
complete with the optimism to match. Day two saw ‘Pilkers’
on the sea kayaks; “Cr#p this, why would you wanna do that,
look at it just gonna get cold and wet, it wants me to fall in on
purpose, B%[email protected] man” etc etc…... Johnny Thain our very
own Private Pike was little more enthusiastic about the
kayaking. At first he looked promising but started to make
ever poorer excuses for falling in, he still maintains that the
pedals weren’t working.
During the rock climbing Phil Welch was like a rat up a
drainpipe. He claimed he’d never done this before but
straight off managed to climb the hardest route (pink for
some reason). I don’t think anyone else managed this. An
excellent effort was put in by our new Sqn member Dan
Hoggard, who was suitably mentored by Cpl Stevie ‘Nice Guy’
In cool and overcast conditions, SSgt Brendan Torode and Sig
‘Elmo’ Elkington took up the early pace at the front of the
pack and managed to stay there for the duration of the race,
coming in 1st and 2nd respectively within the Regiment. Had
Capt Benjy Brown not been entranced by his own reflection
in a puddle, he might have improved upon his 3rd place. In
the end, all 7 male runners finished in the top 10 in the
Regiment, which was a fantastic achievement.
In the female race, from 251; LCpl Jade Girt finished 2nd, Lt
Charlie Robins came 3rd and FofS Bev Cadogan completed
the race in 4th. Following the event, the teams returned to
Thiepval Barracks for an enjoyable evening consisting of a
curry dinner and several drinks. The overall results were in
order; 251, 225, 241 and 243 Signal Squadrons.
SSgt Jon 'Big-Un' Helm demonstrated his 5 min breath hold
technique after capsizing
Reservists from 81 Sig Sqn Deployed on Hybrid Task in
Northern Ireland with Their Regular Counterpart 241 Sig Sqn
Eight members of 81 Signal Squadron (Almond, Willocks,
Williams, Maxwell, Tomblin, Wheeler, Brittain and Dodson)
deployed to NI in November and December, in order to
conduct a survey of all the telephony circuits. Since the end
of OP BANNER in 2007 many units have moved out; however
systems were still being installed on an adhoc basis. In
addition, much of the Military estate has become unoccupied
or mothballed. The Brigade realised there was a saving to be
made and ordered a complete review of every site.
The Squadron worked in conjunction with 241 Signal Squadron
with the objective of identifying every working telephone
circuit in every room and ascertain whether it was in use.
Last known photo of 857 Tp on their day trip into the Abyss
So far it is estimated that the project has saved over £7000
per month.
Lt Col Mark Purves
WO1 (RSM) Gaz Rhoades
Maj Miles Nettleship
WO2 (SSM) Dave Corcoran
Thursday: 2 weeks to event.
Armed with absolutely no info what so ever, I thought this
would be a good time to select the team. I paraded the
troops: “Who wants to take part in the Regimental March and
Shoot?” I said.
1. When was the event? – How long would we
have to train?
2. How many people to a team? Can we enter
an A and B team?
3. What equipment / weight will be required?
4. How far will the route be?
5. What are the details of the shoot?” they
The CO’s Cup March and Shoot – by Sgt Tim Burrows
Tuesday afternoon: 2 weeks to event.
A young lieutenant walks into the Troop office grinning like a
Cheshire cat:
“Good news Sgt B, from a cast of literally 2 or 3 people,
you have been selected to organise the Squadrons
march and shoot team. The event will take place some
time between now and Xmas leave. Unfortunately I’m
on leave, so I’ll leave it all in your capable hands,” he
“Brilliant” I replied.
As with any project/event you are tasked with organising,
the first port of call is collating all the information. Once
armed with this critical information I would be able to sit
down, conduct an estimate and come up with a detailed
training plan to best prepare myself and the team members
for the upcoming event. A number of questions came to the
forefront of my head, the answers to which would be essential
in producing the training programme:
1. When was the event? – How long would we
have to train?
2. How many people to a team? Can we enter
an A and B team?
3. What equipment / weight will be required?
4. How far will the route be?
5. What are the details of the shoot?
2 days, 20 phone calls, and 10 emails later I was still none the
Despite the encyclopaedic information available, I still
managed to get 5 volunteers and was confident that a number
of absent Squadron members would increase my numbers to
12 (working on the assumption the teams would be between
6-12 people). That afternoon we donned our boots and went
on a 12 mile run up the coastal path.
Monday: 1 week to event.
Still armed with zero information I briefed the team that I
would be away until Thursday, and they should concentrate
on long distance boot runs.
I said.
“Don’t worry about the weight, just get the miles in”
On my return on Thursday I was delighted to hear that the
team had done no phys all week, as they had been busy with
mandatory equality and diversity briefs, unit health fairs, and
Workplace Induction packages. At this point all I could think
of was how lucky I was to avoid all the above.
Monday: the week of the event.
Finally an admin instruction with all the information I required!
Of particular note was the news that the event had been
pushed back by a week. The event will now be taking place
in the last week of work before Christmas leave. I couldn’t
be happier; in no way would a 10 mile weighted team event
interfere with the busy drinking diary of the Sgts’ Mess.
Luckily the event was placed in the one gap between the
living-in Xmas dinner, Xmas function, Mess staff drinks, Sgts
and Officers’ drinks, Sgts and Officers breakfast and the
Squadron Xmas Doo.
embarked on Ex DRAGONS ROCK, an AT week in sunny
Pembrokeshire in November for a good bit of team cohesion
and bonding between the new faces and old. The week
consisted of 5 activities: hill walking, mountain biking, sea
kayaking, climbing and coasteering.
Armed with some details I re-paraded the troops. One of the
previous 5 volunteers was available, so I started from scratch.
I needed 10 for the team and got a total of 12 volunteers
including myself. That afternoon we made an attempt to run
the route. We missed a turn at the 1 mile point and so cracked
on with a 10 mile loop, none of which was on the route
card. On our return I handed out the equipment list. The list
included the usual items (water bottle, warm/wet kit etc) as
well as a number of completely random items that I still to this
day am confused as to how and why they would be useful on
a march and shoot competition. I can only assume that the
event planners envisaged some kind of massive road traffic
collision (RTC) involving a military vehicle which miraculously
escapes with little damage despite the driver being completely
incapacitated. In this scenario 10 soldiers walking by with indate driving licences and FMTs could jump in said vehicle, fill
out the works ticket with any of the blue, red or green lumo
colour pens, replace the broken headlight with cylumes, place
all the broken glass in one of the 20 sand bags, tie the broken
door shut with 20m of green string, send the MIST report up
via the safety comms we didn’t have, and drive the casualty to
Highlights from the week included LCpl Jack Rimmer
squeaking like a frightened adolescent girl whilst coasteering,
having spotted a group of ‘ferocious looking’ seals - yes that’s
right, seals! On the same activity on a separate day Sig Gary
Greenwood who, despite wearing a life jacket and only
needing to swim or float for a short period of time, found
even this too much of a physical burden.
Tuesday sees another attempt to run the route, and ends
in the team missing another turning. Another 10 mile boot
run covering 2 miles of the actually route!!! Wednesday and
Thursday sees half the team taking part in 2 more attempts to
run the route, finally getting it right on Thursday. The other
half of the team are unable to train due to Det inspections
taking place that week.
Day of the event.
We arrive at the gym at 0800 and go through the inspection.
All our equipment is checked: “Bring on the RTC, we are
prepared!!” We step off at 0900 and 2 hours later, and not
so much as an FFR in sight, we finish the route and make our
way to the range for the shoot. I’ll be honest, this part has
been largely over looked, mostly due to the wealth of detail
available on what the shoot will consist of. Two of the team
are not trained on the Sig Sauer pistol...... oops.
The 10 man team splits into 2: half shoot and half take the log
for a run - we will swap at half time. The Training Wing had
kindly produced 5 long drop holsters for the pistols, all of
which had seen better days. In addition to having to holster
the pistol half way down my calf, I was also informed that
due to safety we were not allowed to cock the pistol before
holstering. The transition between primary and secondary
weapons systems would not also involve pulling the top slide
A successful conclusion…
Despite our extensive training programme and attention to
detail in all aspects of preparation, we still won the event by a
clear 20 minutes: clear victory for those who enjoy “winging”
the occasional event.
Maj Issy Bangurah
WO2 (SSM) Barrington Harvey
After the completion of POTL, having returned from Op
HERRICK 18, the Squadron has a completely new look to it,
with a lot of the personalities having changed. So we
Whilst mountain biking Jonny ‘good at most sport’ Lodowski
attempted a wall ride, forgot to turn at the top and slid down
embarrassingly in front of his new peers: lesson on how to
make friends and influence people required. The week threw
up plenty more funny anecdotes that the Squadron still laugh
about as this goes to print. A good week was had by all and it
was a welcome return to life at work after tour.
It was then off to Penally camp for the mandatory week of
MATTS. Take aways from the week include LCpl ‘PTI’ Gill
doing a recce of the PFA route on Google Earth map with no
contours, resulting in the first mile and half being straight up
hill on an incline which a mountain goat would struggle with.
Another highlight of the week was the females nearly getting
hyperthermia in their room and the lads nearly getting heat
stroke in theirs, with an acclimatising week becoming a strong
possibility for future trips to Penally.
Our final “highlight” before Christmas leave was our
Squadron function. The Sqn was greeted with the best
decoration of a function room ever, that is to say the most
Christmassy things in the room were LCpl Alan ‘old man’
Witts and SSgt ‘Lord’ Rich Simpson sporting fabulous
Christmas jumpers. The night ran smoothly with welcome
drinks for the new guys who said the next day they had a
great time with the exception of the social hand grenade that
is LCpl Tim ‘top cat’ Jackson who had no recollection of the
nights events.
The Squadron would like to welcome the new OC Maj
Bangurah, 2IC Capt Gutierrez, WO2 (SSM) Harvey and a load
of new sprogs: LCpl Barry, LCpl Burch, LCpl Glenn, LCpl
Jackson, LCpl Lodowski, Sig Miller and Sig McLelland (for a
2nd go around at 226).
The Squadron would like to say thank you and goodbye to
Maj Davenport, Capt Sargeant, Capt Brazier, Capt Munn,
WO2 (SSM) Witham, SSgt (YofS) Curtis, SSgt (FofS) Reade,
Sgt Pauley, Cpl Musto, Cpl Munro and LCpl Taylor.
Maj Jane Ellis
WO2 (SSM) Bruce Morrison
When we were told we were going on exercise, a few faces
dropped, but when it was explained to us that this exercise
involved us kicking off and shouting abuse at Officer Cadets
everyone was more than happy to be a part of it. After our
fantastic 5 hour journey from the remotest part of Wales to
Longmoor Camp, sponsored by the preferred fast food chains
of course, we arrived at the camp and quickly squared
ourselves away with some accommodation (a lovely, fragrant,
15-man penthouse room). Later on the evening we were
given a brief on what to expect during the exercise and what
roles we would have.
The first part of the exercise was the rural phase which ran
from Tuesday to Friday. For this phase of the exercise we
were to act as the local populace in our own separate villages.
We were given the role of the Cefo tribe, a moderate
populace who seemed to not want to kick off, much against
our own feelings. During this time at our village (some 12x12
tents and a fire barrel) we had to act some serials out. These
ranged from hiding insurgents in our village to going to bridge
openings with the Mayor. Most of the time consisted of
acting as normal villagers, which we did by playing cards and
pine cone fights, a popular Cefo pastime; LCpl Kidson
displayed his skills in the game with his beautiful welt on the
side of his face.
metres opposite, with hot showers and under-floor heating
(winner!). A quick trip to the local bar for a few Leffes and a
kebab, aptly named ‘le monstre’, was the perfect way to meet
our French counterparts and had us all ready for bed by 2300.
The next day was spent getting to grips with the French
FAMAS rifle. With its bull-pup design it was very similar to our
own SA80, which the French kept referring to as ‘the Lee
Enfield’ to the mild annoyance of SSgt (YofS(EW)) Hemming.
Despite its central cocking handle and oversized carry handle/
iron sight, the skills and drills were practically identical and we
had all ‘mastered’ it within a couple of hours.
The second part of the exercise was the urban phase; this was
split up into two 3 day stretches. One company of Officer
Cadets were exercised as the ISAF forces whilst the other
Company joined us as the local populace - this was then
switched over at the end of the 3 days. During the first phase,
we acted as local people who had to go to the FOB and speak
to the ISAF forces. Topics under discussion ranged from
demanding that ISAF reimburse us due to a prize-winning
goat being killed to more complex scenarios where ISAF had
to arrange meetings between UN officials and charity
The main back story to the urban phase was the election of a
new governor; this story line slowly progressed through a
couple of events starting from people campaigning to the
voting and finally the results of the elections. The results on
the new governor were given on the second night of the
phase, leading to the eruption of a full blown riot with the
civilian populace moving on the ISAF FOB. This is what we
had been waiting for, a chance to get a little angry and kick
off! However, whilst most of the soldiers were adept at
shouting the normal abusive words, the officer cadets
amongst us were pitifully polite, giving the feeblest, cringeworthy “abuse”: at that point we knew we would have to
make it up for them. As this was going on, the DS moved in
with fire bombs and threw them at the gates which brought a
smile to all our faces. Then the ISAF force came out all geared
up for a riot, this being the signal to start throwing all the
baton rounds we could hold.
As they advanced we were sent in as small groups to attack
the front lines, quickly leading to the realisation that the
hollow sticks they were hitting us with hurt quite a bit. After
we were hit a couple of times we moved to the back whilst a
new group was sent in charging, trying to knock them down.
The DS then threw fire bombs right at the officer cadets’ feet
and their dance to put the fire out brought a cheer from us
all. As the night progressed and the injuries mounted we
finally dispersed.
The next morning we had another full scale riot, though this
time we split up in 3 groups and rioted against a Platoon and
not a Company. This day was different as we were all very
much worse for wear from the day before, but after a while
the cobwebs were gone and we were in full swing again,
shouting and jeering. Once that riot was complete the
companies were changed over and we went through the
phase all over again! By the end of the exercise we had all
taken a thorough beating and returned to Brawdy with a lot
of good memories to talk about.
The following day we were shown the French P4 and we
couldn’t help but laugh at its ‘Barbie car’ appearance.
However despite only having four forward gears it soon
proved its metal on some cross-country routes which we all
got the pleasure of driving. We then jumped at the
opportunity to drive the PVP armoured vehicle, which was
comparable in weight and size to a Foxhound and a lot less
Barbie car. However, LCpl Fleming (aka Panzer Knacker)
managed to completely destroy the front axle of one which
led to us being chauffeured around for the rest of the
Exercise FRENCH FOX – by LCpl Coates
The long drive to Mailly le Camp began early Sunday morning
and, following an overnight stay in Folkestone, a Eurotunnel
trip and a detour through Paris, ended Monday evening.
Upon arrival we were glad that our French hosts had been
kind enough to accommodate us in the new officers’
accommodation and not the tented village only one hundred
exercise. After showcasing our ‘light’ EW equipment, the
French in turn showed us around their vehicle-fitted EW
system as part of our interoperability work. The French were
impressed with how our system functioned with regards to
multiple elements, whilst we saw how the French kit had
been developed to be better suited to armoured mobile
On Friday night after a few whiskies in the bar and a few
handshakes later, SSgt Hemming had managed to organise an
early morning tank ride. Standing in the commander’s
position on a main battle tank tearing up muddy French
countryside is certainly a good hangover cure and had
brought out the inner ‘Monty’ inside us all. With the first
week over it was time to spend the weekend visiting the local
area and taking in some of the local culture which was very
much to our taste. Cathedrals, wine and local cuisine was the
ideal preparation for our next week in the field.
The exercise was similar in parts to our training in BATUS with
lots of armour, infantry and support elements all equipped
with a laser-tag system. We split into two teams and were
attached to two separate companies operating on opposite
sides of the battlefield. As soon as exercise play started we
were intercepting enemy communications using the French to
interpret, providing them with situational awareness and
bringing them onto enemy targets. The cooperation between
us and our French counterparts helped save a few lives after
intercepting coordinates for an enemy artillery strike. But
some things were out of our hands: one French soldier on
stag, looking through his night vision, saw enemy soldiers
planting a minefield and woke up his platoon commander.
The Lieutenant rolled over and said “Are they
“Yes” replied the soldier,
“Then kill them” said the Lieutenant.
So the solider fired off his anti-tank missile right into the
middle off the group, only to later find out it was a friendly
call-sign trying to deny the ground to the enemy (good job
that it was just a laser and not a real missile)!
The temperatures at night would drop close to zero and the
French had a lovely way of warming themselves up in the
morning; wine. Oh yes, a quick tipple of Pinot Noir at 0600 to
warm the soul and followed by a ham salad for lunch and
some veal or duck for dinner was the norm. The French
rations left a lot to be desired with a meat paste made from
boar being particularly memorable. That said the French were
like seagulls at a bag of chips when trying to fight for our own
British rations, even if they did think of beans for breakfast as
bizarre. All in all it was a great exercise which set out what it
aimed to achieve: liaising with our French counterparts and
allowing each other to see how we do business. We look
forward to the French being able to visit sunny Brawdy
(sideways rain) and sample the local cuisine Pembrokeshire
has to offer (a pint of Carling and a packet of salt and vinegar
Maj Tony Barry
WO1 (RSM) Mark Collins
Capt Andy McGrane
The first batch of promotions have yet again proven
successful for the Regiment, with a total of 6 SSgts selected
for promotion to WO2. The Regiment congratulates SSgts
Beckett, Blackwood, Brewington, Jones, McConnell and
Tucker on their promotion.
Commanding Officer’s Farewell
31 January 2014 marked the end of an era as Lt Col Paul
Pearce handed over the reigns of Command to 2IC Maj Tony
Barry. 15 Sig Regt (IS) has completed a lot of significant work
during the CO’s tenure, one of which being the creation of the
Regimental Pipe Tune “From Aden to Afghanistan” by our
Pipe Major RQMS WO2 Martin Huxter. It was therefore only
fitting that following the obligatory handshake, the CO was
piped out of the Headquarters.
The CO hands over command to the 2IC before being Piped away
Getting personnel from a dispersed Regiment such as 15 Sig
Regt (IS) is always a challenge, but it was no surprise that
members from Corsham, Blandford and our National Reserves
were able to line the route of the CO’s exit. The Guard of
Honour complete and the immortal words of the RSM “Sir! It
is time to get on your bike”, the CO was presented to two
White Helmets who had kindly agreed to speed the CO away
into the horizon.
IP John Walker briefing members of RHQ
The Yeoman Warder gave us a tour and brief history of the
Tower of London, and then we had the privilege to visit the
Yeoman Warder’s Club. The club was filled with memorabilia
from nearly every unit in the armed forces.
It was then time for the Ceremony of the Keys. This is the
traditional locking up of the Tower of London that has taken
place every night, without fail, for over 700 years. The
Yeoman Warder who escorted us was very theatrical and
entertaining. He gave us a talk about the Tower of London
and its history, as well as what would happen in the
ceremony. We stood outside Traitor’s Gate (which kept us all
quiet) and waited for the Yeoman Wader and the escort to
approach the sentry.
Sentry: “Halt, who comes there?”
Chief Yeoman Warder: “The Keys!”
Sentry: “Whose Keys?”
Warder: “Queen Elizabeth’s Keys.”
Sentry: “Pass Queen Elizabeth’s Keys and all’s well.”
He then takes the keys to the Queen’s House for safekeeping,
while the Last Post is sounded.
All ranks of 15 Sig Regt (IS) wish Lt Col Paul Pearce the best of
luck as he moved onto his new role as a civilian IT consultant,
and we look forward to dragging back a long haired,
unshaven civilian for the Regimental Birthday Dinner in April.
Attending the Ceremony of the Keys was a great way to finish
our cultural visit to London. Ex MAU HOMAGE was an
enlightening experience and gave us an insight into some of
the history of the armed forces.
Exercise MAU HOMAGE - by 2Lt Sam Miskelly
Ex MAU HOMAGE was a RHQ cultural visit to London, which
would consist of a tour of the Royal Hospital Chelsea and
attending the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London.
The day began with a tour of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. We
arrived slightly ahead of schedule which allowed us to have
look around the Chelsea Clubhouse and some members of
RHQ were quick to spot that the evening’s entertainment
would include Miss England. We were met by our tour guide,
Mr John Walker, who had served in the Suez Canal Zone with
the in the Royal Tank Regiment. We were given an insight
into the history of the hospital and the lives of the Chelsea
Pensioners. The tour was very enjoyable and interesting. We
were invited back to the Clubhouse to join the pensioners for
a drink, where we happened to meet one of the Yeoman
Warders from the Tower of London, who invited us for a quick
tour of the Tower of London and a drink in the Yeoman
Warder’s Club prior to the Ceremony of the Keys. This was an
offer we could not refuse so we said our goodbyes and left
the Royal Hospital Chelsea, but not before getting a glimpse
of the entertainment.
“The Chelsea Pensioner”
Exercise MAU SLOPE - by 2Lt Lumby
Late in the evening of Friday 17 January fifteen members of 15
Sig Regt (IS) embarked on a journey of epic proportions to
reach the high peaks of Val d’Isere in the south of France for a
week of alpine skiing. The 18 hour journey tested the
patience of all involved but at 1700 on the 18th we arrived in
the snow ridden ski town. We booked into our
accommodation and had a game of human Tetris as we tried
to fit four people in each of the sardine can like chalets.
The next morning we paraded outside the ski hire shop,
rented out our skis and headed for the slopes. The group was
split between the two instructors, one a beginner group and
the other advanced. Both groups got straight into the lessons
and by lunch time on the first day all had their skiing legs on.
Christmas is a distant memory, 21 Sig Regt are now firmly in
their stride and the Ops Hub and Level 3 support activity has
returned to normal jogging. Planning is, however, in full flow
to get a new Network Equipment Room built, move the
Corsham Falcon hub into Net Ops, lead the Falcon Integration
Task Force and establish the new RSIT Capability Assurance
programme. We don’t do bored!
The Sqn welcomes Cpl Levitt from 1 LANCS and bids farewell
and good luck to SSgt Adi Williams and Sgt Si Kidd who both
move on to their new jobs in Civ Div and Cpl Jay Smith who
has been promoted and posted to 11 Sig Regt where he will
no doubt put his excellent knowledge of Falcon to great use.
Ex MERCURY GLACIER is the Corps Alpine Race Camp held in
Zell am See, Austria. 15 Sig Regt (IS) were asked to release
Sgt Aitchison and Sgt Shepherd as part of the instructor
team, admin and race committee for the full 4-week duration
of the camp.
The beginner group
For some, the next few days involved travelling all over the
peaks of the area and some challenging skiing. For others,
namely LCpl Whitfield and I, the next few days involved
getting large amounts of face-time with the snow.
Both groups progressed throughout the week under the
instruction of Sgt Halley and Cpl Houghton and completed
some of the harder, more exciting routes the mountains had
to offer. One of the highlights and real tests of the week was
a route called Santons which consisted of a very steep 2km
long, icy half pipe with a long runoff at the bottom into town.
Cpl Houghton told us that if we wanted to make it into town
without poling for 800m we had to ‘egg’ from fairly high up.
This resulted in some members of the group reaching speeds
of 120Kmph according to a GPS.
After an assessment on the fifth day the entire group had
gained their SF1 qualification and went onto the free skiing
phase of the exercise. WO1 (RSM) Collins, Cpl Hyde and I
decided to ski one of the longer green runs, only to find that
the bottom half of the run was closed due to the European
Cup FIS Men’s Downhill Ski race, leaving our only route off the
mountain a black run. After a brief panic we embraced the
Adventurous Training spirit of pushing ourselves out of our
comfort zones and successfully attacked the slope with the
only casualties being our burning thighs.
At the end of the week everybody had improved their skiing,
pushed themselves out of their comfort zone and most of all
enjoyed the expedition both on and off the slopes.
OC Net Ops Tp
OC Net Sp Tp
Maj (TOT) Martin Flather
Capt Tom Howley
WO2 (SSM) Jules Dolan
Capt (TOT) Bob Pace
Capt (TOT) Paddy Ferguson
WO1 (FofS) Carl Gaber
Sgt Sheppard
Sgt Aitchison
Sgts Aitchison and Shepherd met the Chief Instructor and the
OC camp in Blandford on the Wednesday prior to the camp
commencing to start the epic 18hr journey to Zell am See.
Both vehicles left at the same time, but due to the OCs
navigation skills Sgts Aitchison and Shepherd arrived at the
accommodation 2hrs before them, with Patina waiting at the
entrance with an appreciated bottle of ice cold beer!
The first three days were set aside to organise the admin for
the forthcoming teams that would arrive on the Saturday/
Sunday. Due to the hostel being refurbished for the new
season and not finished we all had to step in and help out
completing the furnishing of the rooms. On arrival of the
teams (at ungodly hours!) Sgt Aitchison was given the task of
distributing the keys to the team members; a task that proved
more difficult than first thought – admin not being his
strongest point!
Monday was the first day of skiing for the students. They
were all given the morning to get their legs back in and then
in the afternoon took part in a ski off to determine what
group they would be in for the next three weeks. Sgt
Aitchison was given group five and Sgt Shepherd was blessed
with group three.
Throughout the next three weeks the weather conditions
varied so the instruction had to be tapered to suit. The first
week was more progressive focussing on students using their
edges to carve, weight distribution and familiarisation with
varied terrain. During the second weekend the weather
closed in dramatically and the snow came down. This was the
green light for powder skiing which everyone couldn’t get
enough of!! During the final race week Sgts Aitchison and
Shepherd were given the responsibilities of start judge and
assistant start, which ran as smoothly with no major incidents.
order to deliver the guided walk. All material collated for the
guided walk will be given to The Royal Signals Museum.
Helicopter Extraction
Sgt Aitchison’s instructional techniques were questionable as
two of his students were air lifted off the mountain, one with
a broken nose and the other with a deep gash across his knee.
The final duty that the admin committee had to undertake
was the retrieval of all Corps equipment back to the UK. This
went surprisingly well as the journey only took 18hrs and
everyone arrived home safely by the Sunday morning.
Exercise GLOBAL REMEMBRANCE - by Sgt Taylor
Early on 3 December, eleven members of the Squadron made
the 2½ hr journey north to the National Memorial Arboretum
in Staffordshire. The day began with the Act of Remembrance
in The Millennium Chapel of Peace and Forgiveness. A time
for all to stop and remember the sacrifice made by those who
have gone before and being made today by friends, family and
colleagues, all of whom have been affected by conflict.
The guided walk began at the Corps Memorial and was to
concentrate on post World War 2 (WW2), to recognize just
how much the British Army has been deployed in that time.
Evident that during this period only one year, 1968, has passed
without any British fatalities. Around the Corps Memorial
there are a number of smaller personal tributes to Corps
members. The personal nature of the smaller tributes was
brought home to some individuals having known and worked
with them closely.
Following a quick detour via the grand airborne memorial
the group moved to the Iraq Wall. The Iraq Wall was again
another humbling moment as almost everyone present knew
names on the Wall personally. The five fatalities from our
Corps were highlighted and the story of their death explained.
Experiences and knowledge of the individuals concerned and
Operation TELIC were shared.
At the impressive Armed Forces Memorial, a chronological
history of the fatalities from our Corps from specific conflicts
was given. This began with Palestine 1946-48 where 40
Corps men were killed. Dhofar 1969-76 1 Corps death (264 Sig
Sqn), Nothern Ireland 1971-2007 27 Corps deaths, Falklands
1982 8 Corps deaths and Afghanistan 2001 - present where
currently 8 members of the Corps have died. Again the
sharing of experiences and knowledge of names on the walls,
in particular from Afghanistan, added realism and sadness
that these young men and women lives have been cut short to
allow us to enjoy the freedoms that we have.
The day was humbling, tranquil and calm, a day to reflect, a
day to understand and appreciate the sacrifice that has been
made and that all members of the Armed Forces make on a
daily basis.
A note of thanks to Mr Tim Stankus the Corps Museum
Archivist and Mr James Kellard Museum Curator Aassistant
for their help and assistance during the research of material in
We will remember them
Falcon Support - by Capt Ferguson and SSgt Grimshaw
Networks Support Troop provides Level 3 support to the
Falcon user community in two different ways; Hub support
and Deployed support. The Hub provides connectivity to the
wider communications networks and services such as RLI and
SLI, whereas the Deployed support is the Falcon SME’s out on
the ground providing that extra level of knowledge and
expertise to exercising Troops.
Falcon Hub – In the last few months the Falcon Hub has seen
the demand for its services increase dramatically; a trend that
will continue as more regiments and units receive Falcon and
start exercising with it. The Falcon Hub itself is currently a
stand alone entity in the Sqn and is manned by Net Sp Tp.
Plans are in place to refurbish the building, build a new
Network Equipment Room (NER), and then migrate the Hub
into the main Operational Hub. Net Ops Tp will gradually take
on more responsibility for managing its services as the
transition takes place from HERRICK support to Contingent
type tasks.
SSgt Steve Baulch and LCpl Jade Walker continue to keep the
Hub up and functioning and provide key support to exercising
troops. Unfortunately we have had to say farewell to Cpls
Gav Davies and Adam Sawyer as they leave the Corps and
move to civilian life. Both were instrumental in the
development of the Falcon Hub and without their efforts and
expertise we would not be in such a good position today.
However, we have SSgt Andy Ward, Sgt Richie Salter and Sgt
Grieg Taylor in training to join the Hub support team, in
preparation for what is expected to be a busy year.
Deployed Support – The last few months have been busy for
the Falcon Level 3 deployed support team. Tasks have seen
SSgt (FofS) Mark O’Donovan, SSgt (FofS) Prem Gurung and
Cpl Andy Maidment deploy to 16 Sig Regt and 1 (UK) Div & Sig
Regt, supporting the Falcon Training Advisory Team (FALTAT)
as the Regiments receive and implement Falcon. SSgts Jay Bates and ‘Grimmy’ Grimshaw deployed to RAF St
Mawgan, Newquay in support of Ex ARRCADE FUSION, where
they had some interesting nights in an 18x24 tent in almost
typhoon like weather. They were joined by the Tp OC, Capt
Paddy Ferguson as one of the staff in EXCON, (no tent for the
Augmentee!!) where he single handedly managed the enemy
forces to a resounding DEFEAT!
Sgt ‘Tosh’ McIntosh drew the short straw and deployed to
sunny Cyprus for Ex JOINT VISION with 30 Sig Regt. This
followed a brief and ‘not so sunny’ visit to Bramcote to help
prepare the equipment before deploying. THE WIRE, APRIL 2014
Falcon has worked well on all exercises, with the Level 3
Engineers acting mainly in an advisory role. The biggest issue
whilst deployed in Cyprus was a syndrome known as ‘otherend-itus’; when other agencies in the UK ask us to check links
that we have been trying to establish for 48hrs and then are
suddenly working. We ask the question “what did you do?”
The typical response was “nothing”, (really!!!). Looking to the near future we have a busy schedule with guys
going back to Germany and the Midlands before starting the
FALTAT process anew with 2 Sig Regt. There will also be a lot
of system integration work to get our teeth into. All this as
well as sending people away on their obligatory Adventurous
Training in Val d’Isere (it’s not all work, work, work after all!).
We said goodbye to Cpl Jay Smith who has been promoted
and posted to 11 Sig Regt where he will no doubt put his
excellent knowledge Falcon to great use.
OC IS Tp (G)
enduring commitments. By its very nature IS Tp personnel are
technically very advanced and experienced in order to provide
the best possible support to the end user.
The Tactical Network-Layer Gateway (TNG) section delivered a
technical presentation explaining how TNG is currently
supported in Theatre and how it could be deployed post Op
HERRICK during contingent Operations. Over and above
delivering support to TNG customers, the section also briefed
on its investigation for further utilising the TNG with VoIP and
IPv6 traffic with some interesting results.
The Close Support and Reachback teams, headed up by
members of the RLC explained how they provide incident and
problem management support to the Tactical Services and
BCIP community via the Remedy application in line with an
ITIL framework. The Close Support team are also briefed on
their role in assisting with the BCIP 5.5 uplift of the Naval
Maj T Woods RA
W02 S Bowles RE
Capt Pete Asplen
Capt Adi Watts
Mr Martin Shenton
15 Signal Regiment (Information Support) is charged with
providing specialist technical support and assurance to the
armed forces beyond just that of the Royal Corps of Signals.
259 (Global Information Systems) Signal Squadron is unique in
that it is a tri-service, multi-cap badge team working in
synergy to provide cross-service support. With each
department and team focusing on specific systems, the OC,
Maj Trev Wood (RA), decided that an interdepartmental
presentation was needed in order to improve awareness and
cohesion across the Squadron.
In a true democratic fashion the young speakers who had
previously been ‘voluntold’ set to work delivering a series of
very informative presentations. SSgt (YofS) Geoff
Rotherham-Bone opened the proceedings from the
perspective of Sqn Ops outlining the enduring commitments
and high level future vision of the Sqn.
Sgt Adam Kayles and Cpl Grant Roberson of Information
Services Troop (IS Tp) delivered an interesting presentation
highlighting the trends, difficulties and pressure of supporting
operations, whilst conversely highlighting the areas of
strength including training and working with civilian
contactors. Currently IS Tp are heavily involved with
supporting Housekeeper, which in itself has numerous
Cpl Cross briefing the complexity of TNG
Sgt Bond briefing how TST utilise ITIL and REMEDY
Last but by no means least was the motivational speech by
OC IST(G), Martin ‘Shaggy’ Shenton. IST(G) for the most part
are a Germany based mirror of the support structure
established within Blandford. It is easy to believe that the
smaller team in Germany have it easy but however many
views were altered after the ‘enduring commitments’ and
taskings were revealed. In true military fashion the ‘work
hard, play hard’ attitude is greatly promoted by Shaggy and
his team and they are regimentally renowned as the leaders
of cultural activities and adventure training.
All in all, Ex APHRODITE KNOWLEDGE proved to be a very
informative and educational day which has provided a
foundation for a more united and informed Squadron.
Martin ‘Shaggy’ Shenton adds some passion
Flt Lt Jason Foster RAF
Flt Lt Mike Summers RAF
WO1 Chez Chester RLC
It is has been another busy period for 262 (LSS) Sqn in
Bicester. The Systems Analysts have recently been deployed
to the following locations, Op HERRICK, Op KIPION, Brunei,
Belize, Gibraltar and Germany. The team are also due to
deploy to BATUK to complete the MJDI rollout in Mar 14.
The two man team that deployed to Gibraltar went out to set
up a VITAL Training suite for LEC and RAF Personnel.
Following the training period the team then removed the
suite for transport back to UK. A second two-man team
deployed to Germany to complete client build upgrades and
to inspect LogIS DK Kits in order to ensure that the Supply
Training Facility (STF) had the equipment fit and ready for
training Suppliers. This training could be Pre Class 1 training
or Pre deployment training.
Contingency Operations continue to be a hot topic with a
strong focus on future operations, now that OP HERRICK is
drawing to a close. How the Sqn deploys to support these
deployments is under the spotlight as the purse strings draw
tighter, with a greater emphasis on a more cost effective
supply chain that still achieves its aim. It is perceivable that
the loading of accounts to Primary Equipment Packs and
Deployable Logistical Information Systems shortly before the
equipment deploys overseas is one way of creating a more
robust supply chain.
Test exercises for DMJDI (deployed MJDI) are beginning to
ramp up as Logistical Units are becoming increasingly keen to
gain hands-on experience with the deployable MJDI stores
solution. There are plans early this year to exercise from
cradle to grave the deployment of the equipment and its
(Level 3) 262 (LSS) Sqn and (Level 4) HP/STERIA support
Of note, three SSgts have recently been selected for
promotion, which is rewarding for the individuals and the Sqn
alike. It is encouraging to see the System Analysts holding
their own against their peers.
Lt Col SW Whittley
WO1 (RSM) T Woodall
Maj J Higginson
WO2 (SSM) Orr
Bowman Pacex – by Lt Budden
The recent upgrade of Bowman communication systems
arrived at 16 Signal Regiment late last year and in January we
were able to field test our new capability for the first time. As
we move ever closer towards becoming the first Multi Role
Signal Regiment (MRSR), 230 Signal Squadron has taken on
new equipment including OTES, MAGPIE and DII (LD). We are
also leading the way on the Bowman uplift before all these
capabilities are distributed to the rest of the Regiment.
time, a challenge which everyone accepted and set about
with vigour and determination; a test of trade skills as much
as the equipment.
After a long period of hybrid foundation training and
uncertainty it was obvious that everyone was glad to be out
of the hanger and assuming their new role. We had prepared
for this exercise with two build up training programmes; Ex
MALAYA I and Ex MALAYA II. These allowed us to brush the
cobwebs aside and get straight into the Pacex.
Our Detachments were spread out across the local area
around Javelin Barracks and further afield to simulate
headquarter elements and rebroadcast detachments. The
plan was to establish communications in the shortest possible
The equipment was assessed through a number of cunning
serials devised by SSgt (YofS) McDuff, testing the full
spectrum of Bowman capabilities; old and new.
Unfortunately we were denied a trip to Sennelager to set up a
Detachment, a disappointment displayed overtly by the
dejected look on Sig Pelans face. The high point of the
exercise was being able to see a significant increase in the
expertise and confidence of the Detachment crew. It also
taught us a key lesson, the dangers of skill fade and how
easily it happens. Above all the chief beneficiary from this
exercise, and the person awarded “The Most Beasted
Individual”, was LCpl Allen who was relied upon heavily in
A Bowman Det in the field
Lt Hollingsworth and Cpl Hazell
preparation for his Class 1 course. I am glad to say he
performed admirably and we wish himwell on his course.
After a slick weekend-motivated turn around the Squadron
hanger was left in its new state of normality. As a Squadron
we had taken our first steps as a MRSR and we had done it
well. By the time you read this article we will have a partial
compliment of tactical network gateway capabilities to test
and train on and will be working towards full operational
capability. Goodbye CSR, the future is MRSR.
To finish off the busy week, Vampire Tp organised the gun
run, night navigation, a “bunker buster” military skills stand,
particularly taxing command tasks and a mast construction
race…with blacked out respirators!
Exercise MALAYA CHALLENGE - by Lt Mahoney
In February the Sqn deployed on Ex MALAYA CHALLENGE; an
exercise designed as a ‘back to basics’ refresher in
preparation for the Regiment’s return to contingency
operations. The exercise was the first event of 230 Signal
Squadron OC’s Challenge – organised and controlled by the
Signallers and JNCO’s from within the Troops. The four
Troops of the Squadron (Tornado, Vampire, Phantom and SHQ
Tp’s) were each tasked to plan, organise and run 5 stands or
serials over a given 24 hour period, allowing junior soldiers the
rare opportunity to dictate the battle rhythm of the exercise.
These stands centred on themes of leadership, military skills,
physical training, trade and cognitive ability. As all the Troops
rotated through each others’ stands they were scored against
each other allowing for the development of some healthy
inter-Troop rivalry, with a trophy as prize for the best Troop.
Phantom Tp were the first to run their stands, which over the
first 24 hours included timed casualty extraction under fire,
blindfolded rifle assembly and quiz, blindfolded boxing,
detachment cam and concealment and a minefield command
task. All of which was thoroughly enjoyed by the Squadron
and some of which was visited by Commander 11 Signal
Brigade, Brig Wilson, on his visit to the Regiment.
The Burden Command Task
All in all a very different week for the Squadron, getting
everyone out in the field and living and working from their
shell scrapes - something some of the soldiers had not done in
years. It was also great to see the high levels of
competitiveness from all the Troops, despite a bit of rain
towards the end. However, there can only ever be one
winner and for this year that title goes to Vampire Tp who
clinched victory from Phantom Tp by the smallest of margins.
To the others… better luck next year!
The inaugural MALAYA CHALLENGE trophy may have been
won by Vampire Tp however there were two other
presentations made by Maj Higginson prior to the main prize.
Sig Connolly was presented with the ‘Malaya Grenadier’
trophy when his efforts to post his grenade from over 30
metres on the section attack ended up 2 metres away to his
front in a tree instead. The ‘Golden Blanket’ award went to
Sig ‘Harry’ Potter who if he was not eating or taking part in a
stand was safely ensconced in his sleeping bag.
Maj A Biggs
WO2 (SSM) Steers
Exercise PARBAT TIGER Preparation – by Lt Levens
Late last year, seven members of the Regiment’s Climbing and
Mountaineering Team travelled to Capel Curig in Snowdonia
for a long weekend of intensive climbing and mountaineering
instruction. It was organised by the Army Mountaineering
Association (AMA) in preparation for Ex PARBAT TIGER; a
Himalayan expedition planned for late summer 2014.
Cpl Raloka enjoys the ‘Blindfold Boxing’
SHQ Tp followed with an equally enjoyable range of stands
including command tasks, section attacks, a treasure hunt, a
survival stand and a particularly challenging trade stand
entitled “going backwards”!
Tornado Tp took over following SHQ’s success. Included was
a quiz on physical training (with typical PTI punishments for
errors or gaps in knowledge), a leader appointed command
task, an IED observation lane, blindfolded 9x9 tent build and a
competitive shoot on the clay pigeon ranges.
Led by Lt Marcus Levens (OIC of Elmpt Station Climbing and
Mountaineering Club, and the 16 Signal Regiment Climbing
Team), the participants faced a long drive and ferry crossing
from Germany to Wales. The journey was thankfully broken
by a stop at Go Outdoors in Milton Keynes; an opportunity for
some of the team to buy some last minute climbing
equipment and waterproof clothing.
The team set off from Capel Curig to the Ogwen Valley and
completed a committing and interesting ridge line walk along
the top of the alpine like Amphitheatre Buttress, a fantastic
opportunity to practice navigation and route finding away
from tracks and paths. In addition the Welsh mountain
weather was kind enough to provide the opportunity to test
newly acquired waterproofs thoroughly. The day concluded
with an interesting brief from the AMA regarding the aims of
Ex PARBAT TIGER and a few well earned beers.
Splitting down into smaller groups the next day gave us the
chance to experience multi-pitch rock climbing, mainly on the
East Face of Tryfan, in walking boots with day sacks on, again
in the rain but this time with strong winds. Sgt Nat Brown
(the team 2IC), made the most of the opportunity to rib the
team with Sig Alan Heslop in it. He was on the adjacent route
and abseiled off after completing only two-thirds due to the
poor weather; that was until Sgt Brown managed to fall flat
on his rear from a stable standing position whilst attempting
his abseil, then the banter was definitely directed in his
direction! The day finished with a brief about The Nepalese
people and culture, all found this very informative, possibly
with the exception of Cpl Hasta Tamang (ex QGS).
The final day saw LCpl Jake Miller, second a hard multi-pitch
route led by Maj Al Mason, a senior AMA instructor. It also
gave LCpl John Dickson and Lt Marcus Levens the chance to
instruct the team on the Tryfan Bach crag in single-pitch
climbing techniques before finally escaping the weather to
make the most of HMS Indefatigables indoor climbing wall.
Sig Callum Langdale proved his keenness for sport climbing
by making some bold moves, as well as taking a couple of big
falls, to successfully lead his first F6b route. Sig Alan Heslop
led his first ever sports route without drama; definitely no
mean feat of bravery after witnessing Sig Langdale’s lemming
like antics. The successful trip concluded with a hard earned
pub meal and a couple of pints before getting heads down for
the 0400 reveille to start the long drive home to the sadly
very flat Elmpt Station on the Dutch/German boarder.
Maj P Williams
WO2 (SSM) Dunnachie
Saint Eligius Day – by Cfn Benson
The first week of December 2013 saw the LAD celebrating
Saint Eligius day, the Patron Saint of the Royal Electrical and
Mechanical Engineers
The day started off with a LAD strongest man competition,
most of which details were kept quiet by the organisers, Cpl
Fannon and LCpl Popple. The competition kicked off with a
warm-up session which was lead by LCpl Apimeleki and
consisted of a surprise Land Rover run. The vehicle had to be
pulled by ropes with the OC LAD Capt Stokes and the Artificer
SSgt Bower leading from the front, much to the delight of the
younger members of the LAD. The competition then began
with a Land Rover pull which entailed a tug of war rope and a
1.6 tonne Land Rover. Competitors had to pull the vehicle 30
metres and the quickest timed competitor got the maximum
points. The smallest competitor, Cfn Morgan, surprised
everyone by producing an astonishing performance, out
pulling most of the other competitors, with LCpl Bolam
getting a lot of flak for being in last place.
Capt Stokes leads from the front
As the competition moved on Cpl Fannon, LCpl Popple and
LCpl Apimeleki started to emerge as favourites to win with
Cfn Scott constantly voicing his opinions to try and justify not
being able to keep up with the big three. LCpl Popple started
to break away on points with Cfn Benson in hot pursuit as the
competition moved onto the 60kg bench press and the 50kg
dumbbells farmers walk.
The grand finale was an equipment run, which apart from
being the most entertaining was also the hardest event of
them all. It started with a range of kit that had to be carried
in a certain order and hauled into the back of a MAN SV;
power bags, jerry cans full of water, VM basic Toolbox and
then the 50kg casualty dummy. LCpl McLernon had the
whole LAD in stitches trying to get the dummy onto the back
of the vehicle, attempting to carry out a never before
recorded type of casualty lift.
The end of the strongest men competition saw LCpl Popple
the victor with LCpl Apimeleki in close second place. Both
junior NCO’s as a result went on to be selected for Support
Sqn’s tug-of-war team which won the Regimental Christmas
The afternoon service saw ASM WO1 Blanks turn Padre to
conduct our carol service and some quality singing from the
whole LAD. The day concluded with a quiz and a Chinese
meal thoroughly enjoyed by all after a hugely successful St
Eligius Day.
Driving for the Jungle Warfare Instructors Course
– by Sig Roberts
After only eight weeks in the Regiment I was offered an
opportunity of a lifetime, a six week exercise supporting the
Dutch Marines in Belize. My role was to be a driver
supporting the Jungle Warfare Instructors Course (JWIC)
providing transport in my six tonne TCV for both Dutch
Marines and the Belize Defence Force (BDF). I was one of six
lucky individuals who were trawled from across the Army to
leave my normal working life to carry out my trade as a
Communications Logistics Specialist all whilst being able to
sunbathe in 40 degrees plus. The roads were a real
experience and as they were only made of clay and sand they
put my driving skills to the test.
As if a six week exercise in Belize wasn’t enough a two day
R&R package in a luxury lodge awaited the whole course and
supporting staff. This allowed us to spend time in the pool,
propping up the bar whilst trying to convince the Dutch that
Everton FC are better than Ajax. The whole experience of
working with other armies in the extreme climate of Central
America was unforgettable and I would advise everyone given
the same chance to volunteer!
OC ROG Maj C S Budding
WO1 (RSM) G Tiplady
Capt D Taylor
WO2 (SSM) Stedman
With all the vehicles back onto hard standing there was just
time for a quick wash down before getting back on the road
to Colerne. With a drama free return journey we were home
in time for tea and medals. Not only was this an enjoyable
couple of days out for the LAD, it covered all the basics of
recovery required to ensure that future breakdowns and
recovery tasks will run as smoothly as possible.
LAD Recovery Exercise – by LCpl Smith
Bristol Aquarium Visit – by LCpl Cairney
Just as the weather got really, really bad the 21 Sig Regt LAD
under took an arduous recovery training package on Salisbury
Plain Training Area (SPTA). Under the instruction of LCpl
Smith (Recovery Mechanic), the LAD was put through its
paces in the theory and practical side of basic recovery
techniques. This should have been a simple task, however
the LAD being a slightly motley crew of Vehicle Mechanics,
they found this a demanding experience. Even more so under
the watchful eye of our new OC LAD, Capt Heaney.
As the hardworking Welfare Team continue on their
endeavours to provide support for the families of those
deployed on Op HERRICK 19, we descended upon Bristol
Aquarium for a day trip. After battling through the 7.30am
Sunday alarm, the wind, the rain and the hail, we gathered the
families up and set off. After a short journey, which included
feeding the kids with loads of e-numbers from the lucky bags
we provided, we arrived at our destination. Still pouring
down with rain, we made a mad dash with kids, wives and
prams and the adventure began.
It all started with a theory package on the Monday afternoon
including a brutal SPTA safety video which everybody seemed
to enjoy. The next morning it was an early start for the lads
first parading and making sure their vehicles were ready to
depart. Despite a few hiccups with Cpl Evans having to
change a spare wheel on his Land Rover that he had
inspected only a few days prior, we were ready to go with Cfn
Seruvatu leading the packet.
Once on the area things were going well with a lesson on
how to recover vehicles using the Tirfor winch, and with Cfn
Gilleys extensive knowledge on how to roll Land Rovers we
were in a good position. The only thing slowing down the
exercise was Sgt Ramseys ability to hammer anchor spikes
into ground. (Apparently it was his gloves!) After this
exercise we moved onto some driver training, with the aim
being to get the Man SV stuck in order to create another
recovery scenario. With LCpl Deans at the wheel of the Man
SV, this occurred sooner than expected. He made the
mistake of trying to follow the SV(R) through a dry lake bed
and found himself bogged in a deep clay/water mixture.
LCpls Wagstaff, Gould and Cpl Derham were quickly to the
scene and proceeded to recover the SV. This real life scenario
led to the team having to go deeper into the water and mud
than they had originally hoped, much to the delight of the
Recovery Mechanic.
The families went off exploring what the aquarium had to
offer, and the Welfare team did the same, catching up with
the families on the way round for a few photos. The displays
were fabulous and consisted of a giant squid, tropical fish,
sharks, and a remarkable looking giant lobster that was over
50 years old. The Welfare Officer, Capt Phil Jenkinson, was in
his element being a big fish fan, and even wanted to go
around again! However, lunch was calling and it was time to
move on to part 2 of the day.
We gathered up the troops and made our way to a local
restaurant called Za Za Bazaar, an all you can eat buffet of
different foods from around the world, situated just 10 meters
from the Aquarium. This was an added bonus when it was
time to crawl out of the restaurant because it wasn’t too far
to the coach! The Welfare Officer and Welfare SNCO, Sgt
Mick Case cleared the place out, I was sensible and only had 5
plates of food! The families looked to be having a fantastic
time and the kiddies we’re making the most of the all you can
eat ice-cream! Sgt Case was made a mockery of by the kids
on his poor efforts in making his own ice cream cone!
Maj S Bennett
WO2 (SSM) McDiarmid
The exercise started under a fine canopy of rain on Mon 3 Feb
14. The morning consisted of a kit inspection carried out by
the Detachment Commanders and was followed by all the
Dets being lined up ready to deploy. At 1100hrs, the vehicles
deployed onto the local area where Cpl LJ ‘possibly the oldest
Det Comd in the Army’ Murray carried out lessons on how to
site your det. He then showed everyone how to survive on
exercise as he pulled out two large plastic containers stuffed
with fresh food and his personal cooker with three hobs.
Following the lesson, the Dets were to shown how to apply
camouflage to their vehicles. This, for one of the Dets proved
difficult as they forgot to peg their 12x12 down. British
weather as it is at the moment picked up and blew their 12x12
across the field, taking all of their personal kit with it.
After everybody weighed twice their original bodyweight, and
the kids were in space with more e-numbers, it was time to
head back to Colerne. The Welfare team tried to walk off the
amount of food consumed and took a little detour along the
river. This resulted in a small boat ride, after some poor
judgement in distance from me, and the Welfare Officer
complaining about being too cold and wet!
Everybody piled back on to the coach, and the singing started
from the kids, there’s nothing like a bit of classic “the wheels
on the bus”! An absolutely fantastic day was had by all and
the feedback was immense. As a department, we look
forward to supporting the families on future events!
Support Command (UK South) X-Country Championships
- by SSgt Hamilton MPGS
The Regimental X Country team continues to fly the 21 Signal
Regiment flag albeit as a minor unit whilst the majority of the
Regiment is deployed. On 27 Nov 13, a team entered the
championships held at Minley Manor. With the going
extremely arduous underfoot the team acquitted themselves
admirably. The male team consisted of Capt Creek, SSgt
Hamilton, SSgt Green, SSgt Deans, Cpl Bamford, Cpl Derham
and LCpl Seed; and completed the 10km route in excellent
spirits as winners of the Minor Unit event. Sig Gill put in an
outstanding performance over the 6km female course and
was the female junior winner.
In the early hours of the following morning, the Dets
deployed to different training areas, Cpl Bishoprick and his
crew which consisted of Sig Hadley, Sig Pomfret, Sig
‘Lambert and’ Butler and Sig Kennedy deployed to Strensall
Training Area, kindly situated right next to a sewage works.
LCpl Learmonth with her Det crew of Sig Barker-Mcgowan,
Sig ‘Smiler’ Winters, Sig Wylde and Sig Smith 644 deployed
to Shaiba Bivouac Area (Catterick Garrison). Cpl Murray with
his crew of Sig Price and Sig ‘Head’ Thomas deployed onto
the back fields of Imphal Barracks as a Control station. Most
of the Dets were slow initially and seemed to have left their
brains back on camp as they had temporarily forgotten the
basics of setting up. After a few ‘educational’ tips, the old
memories were jolted back into action and the machine was
back into full flow.
The Dets asked for a resupply the following morning so Sgt
Norton and I went out to the Strensall Det first. As we arrived
at the location, we dropped off the supplies at the agreed
drop off site and moved back to watch what happened next.
Slowly but surely Sig Winters emerged like a well trained
sniper from the camouflage, moved towards the supplies
which were neatly wrapped up in a bin liner and continued to
stare at it. We were lost for words so made our way round to
the detachment to wait for his return. Twenty minutes had
passed before Sig Winters returned empty handed with a
confused look on his face. We quickly asked him “why didn’t
you pick up your resupply?” Sig Winters replied “I thought
you were fly tipping”. That’s right “fly tipping”. For his
stupidity and his accusations towards a SNCO of littering with
intent both Sig Winters and Sig Wylde were rewarded the
task of collecting their resupply from its new location. A Six
figure grid was given and later that day they returned (very
tired) with enough rations and water to see them through the
On Wednesday 5 Feb all crews had an early start due to
executing a night move. There were training serials to be
carried out but there was also a little bit of fun in-between,
such as bingo, quizzes and battleships. The winner had to
decide a forfeit for the losing Det. Inevitably the losing Det
had to clean everyone’s weapons on return to camp. During
the last night Cpl Murray’s Det experienced a slight
malfunction as their 12x12 angles broke due to the wind being
very strong. On the evening of the 6th all Dets left their
locations and returned to Imphal Barracks. After a long
turnaround all equipment used on the exercise was ready for
a Troop Commanders inspection. Once all the work had been
completed the Squadron enjoyed a smoker. The next
morning the Dets were prepared for and inspected by 2Lt
Dale. Once they had been given the thumbs up they were
packed away and the lads were to be rewarded with a
deserved weekend. Or so we thought! In between the
inspection and the knock off was a sneaky little trade test
thrown in by WO2 (YofS) ‘fell over and came back from tour
early’ Green to test what we had learnt over the past week.
a 10 second time penalty for Sgt Vaughan’s, absence which
knocked us off the top spot.
March and Shoot Competition – by LCpl Learmonth
On Thursday 9 January, 2 Signal Regiment ran a March and
Shoot competition, as part of the CO’s Cup, on Strensall
ranges. It was an inter-Squadron competition which included
214 Sig Sqn, 246 Gurkha Sqn, 219 Sig Sqn and 2 Signal
Regiment Support Sqn. Each Squadron team consisted of 1
Officer, 1 Senior, 1 Female and 7 others. The competition
comprised a 2.5 mile weighted run carrying weapons and
wearing helmet and webbing. This was followed immediately
by a series of different shooting practices from the 300, 200
and 100m points. In addition to the March and Shoot aspect
of the competition there were BCD and CBRN stands, each
consisting of a theory and a practical test. Each team took it
in turns to rotate through the 4 events and were then scored
relative to their placing in each.
219 Squadron began the competition and set the first time on
the run of 29mins 43secs. 214 were up next on the 2.5 mile
weighted run, and determined to smash 219 we completed it
in 24mins 50secs. We then moved onto the shoot, which
proved to us that although we could tab well, our shooting
left much to be desired! The shoot started in the prone at
400m, then on seeing the target we had to sprint to the 300m
point and take up the prone position where we were exposed
to 9 figure 11 targets which would fall when hit. We continued
to dash forward and shoot our way through further practices
at the 200 and 100m points. After finishing the shoot we
moved on to do the BCDT stand. At this point, Sgt Vaughn
had to nip away and so we had to call in Sig O’Hara from the
fatigues party to make up our numbers for the last 2 stands.
The BCD was a 10 question theory test followed by a practical.
Though we all had to lend our knowledge to the theory, only
our three finest team medics needed to step forward for the
practical test. They performed extremely well and secured a
win for 214 in the BCD practical.
Once the March and Shoot was over, 2 Signal Regiment held a
small parade in the gymnasium back on Imphal Barracks. As a
result, each Squadron had come first in at least one event.
214 Sig Sqn had come first in the 2.5 mile run and the BCD
practical, 246 Gurkha Sqn won the shoot BCD theory, 219 Sig
Sqn won the practical CBRN test and Support Sqn won the
theory CBRN test. Overall, 246 Gurkha Sqn won the March
and Shoot competition, with 214 coming in a close second.
Maj Stowell MBE
WO2 (SSM) Robertson
ROG Introduction - by Lt Geo Maas
It might not have been a thousand moons ago when the last
tale of the kingdom of 220 Signal Squadron ROG was spun.
But in the great hall made of metal, mortar and glass, also
known as “the hanger”, where the great leaders and warriors
of the kingdom of 220 ROG resides, beasts that breed legends
and tales of the impossible. The Squadron might not have
seen many an epic quest since the last passing of the moon, in
fact, the Squadron has had its belly low to the ground, like a
mighty lion that is about to pounce on a young defenceless
Since the last tales of fearless conquests were told, the
mighty 220 ROG has defended the sanctity of South Wales, on
the border of the valleys, at a place called Caerwent. Such
was the ferociousness of the Squadron’s commitment, that
not even the brutal storms summoned by Zeus himself could
deter the Squadron’s determination for victory. The
formidable Squadron, makers of legends, have even taken on
a young apprentice. 2Lt ‘Kiwi’ Kuizinas has joined the ranks
before being transformed into a young leader himself, a
journey known as Troop Commanders Course. But for those
who still have a sandbag left, gather around the lantern
before the fuel runs out and hear two more stories of the
mighty 220 ROG.
Last but definitely not least, we were treated to the CBRN
test, consisting of another 10 question theory test for all to
complete followed by a timed effort to get into the full CBRN
suit, not including boots and gloves. Once all our kit was on,
2Lt Dale, the troop commander of Viking Troop, asked me to
check him over to make sure his kit was on properly.
However I was unable to help him because I was laughing so
hard when I realised that he had his helmet on underneath his
hood, like an absolute legend! All in all we were able to get
our kit on in the fastest time of the day, but we were awarded
It was a cold, dark and rainy day when the Squadron was told
that they would be deploying on yet another exercise. The
clerks started shuddering in anticipation of leave applications
coming in and soldiers started writing draft requests to
transfer. But with the evil and cunning plan already set in
motion, most of the soldiers in the Squadron got coaxed into
deploying on exercise, bar those who managed to find a
course to go on.
All seemed to be going well when the fearless leader, Lt
Maas, and his batman, SSgt Hensell, did their rounds to check
on all the Dets. All went well until they reached Cpl
Antcliffe’s Det. The one location where there was no flex in
choosing a location due to the trip wire threat, they were
located in one of the areas previously pointed out by the RAF
as being a high threat area for trip wire. This was rectified by
everyone getting very religious very fast and being very
careful when leaving the Det.
The rest of the exercise went near enough without any
problems, if you disregard the gale force winds and constant
rain. Due to some very nifty and careful planning, all Dets bar
one had a nice dry building to hide away in. The only question
being raised, did we bring enough kero heaters to heat the
whole building?
220 ROG poised and ready to deploy
It was a mild, windy day when the Squadron deployed to
Caerwent training area on 3 February 2014. The soldiers were
getting restless as they waited for the final piece of the jigsaw
data puzzle to be found. After a much panicked couple of
hours, Cpl Garrett managed to reassure the Squadron
hierarchy that data will be functional and working on the
exercise. And with that bit of good fortune, the advance
party set off to go and book onto the training area.
The days came and went like the seasons in the year. Dets
moved locations on a frequent basis in order to give everyone
a chance to experience not having a building near enough to
live in 5 star accommodation. Data was eventually established
after SSgt Hensell and Cpl Garrett did numerous runs
between the Dets in order to load mapping and work out the
final kinks.
Having seen LCpl Bohin and LCpl Dixon’s Det, LCpl Blake might
have gone one step to far to hide his Det away
LCpl Dixon’s valiant effort to hide his Det away. Only to be
compromised by the Portaloo
The rather big convoy of FFRs’, GS Land Rovers and Man SV
trucks pulled up to the West gate of Caerwent training area
shortly before 1600. After a quick brief on their final locations
and the fact that the training area is bursting at the seams
with the amount of other units on it, including one of the
locations being in the middle of an RAF FOB and that they
need to go to the exact location in order to miss the trip
wires, the Dets launched onto the training area.
Having seen LCpl Dixon’s Det, LCpl Bohin took hiding his Det
away one step further
Endex could not have come quick enough for some of the
Dets, including the LAD, who did their own serials throughout,
including getting their MAN SV stuck after Endex was called.
But as luck would have it, their Recovery Mechanic turned up
just in time to pull out their vehicle. But alas, one MAN SV
was not enough, so 220 provided a second MAN SV to get
roped in to help pull out the stranded LAD.
Overall the exercise went well. Every Det had the opportunity
to utilise their brand new Det cookers to full effect. Some
even prepared 5 star cuisine every evening as they sat down
to dinner around the candle light, or Det light, depending on
fuel state. For some this would have been their first exercise
in the field Army, while for others it is yet another one they
LAD always keen to train, even after ENDEX has been called
can add to their notch. But regardless of experience, all
walked away from the exercise having learned something,
including the LAD.
A Young Attached Troopies Perspective – by 2Lt Kuizinas
I was thrilled to learn of my attachment posting to 220 Sqn, 21
Signal Regiment as I knew this was a busy Regiment with
many ongoing commitments including Op HERRICK 19, and
this would be the perfect opportunity to see how a Campaign
Signal Regiment operates in full swing.
With the majority of the Squadron deployed, the remainder
were certainly not sitting idly. As I arrived it was in full gear
preparing for the next exercise, SCORPION HERMES 3 whilst
juggling numerous other commitments including Op FORTIFY
and also planning for its change in role to a MRSR where it is
due to convert fully to Falcon in July.
My attachment to 220 Sqn has given me an invaluable insight
into the Royal Corps of Signals, learning how a Signal
Squadron really operates, albeit with a skeleton crew, and
learning those important things they don’t teach you in
RMAS, i.e. who were the key players among the Regiment to
keep on side (which I learnt was practically everybody as they
all played a vital role) and how the appraisal system and
grading boards worked. The attachment also provided an
excellent introduction to the Bowman FFR system, as I had
plenty of opportunities to “get amongst it” and learn directly
from experienced operators, and even got to have some
hands on experience helping to set up and operate a
detachment on exercise.
As my attachment draws to a close I feel I have come a long
way from my limited knowledge of Signals when I believed
Bowman was simply an extra burden the DS handed out to
add to a command appointment at RMAS.
Lt Col LC Westerman
WO1 (RSM) A Fraser
Maj KM Biggins
WO2 (SSM) JB Stephenson
Squadron Overview - by Lt Owens
family arrived followed by the SSM’s family and other invited
guests. They were all welcomed and offered drinks and
starters. A few moments after all the guests arrived at last
we could have something to eat. All were entertained by
participating in a simple, yet amusing, game organised by LCpl
Karna. No doubt everyone would have loved to go on playing
as long as possible, but it had to be cut short due to the
limited time frame.
The past few months in 217 Sig Sqn have been very busy.
After returning from a long deployment in support of ARRC
exercises and some well deserved Christmas leave, the Sqn
was faced with RSIT, ECI and Board of Officers preparations,
in addition to a change of OCs. Maj Schurmann leaves 217 Sig
Sqn to return to Australia, replaced by Maj Biggins RA
SIGNALS. The next few months will continue along the same
trend, with the Sqn completing two Sqn level military skills
exercises, followed closely by a Regt level deployment.
A Troop Bids Farewell to OC 217 Signal Squadron
- by Sig Rueben Limbu
I guess all good things come to an end at some point and it is
with regret that we had to say goodbye to Maj Schurmann,
OC 217 Sig Sqn, who left the Regt on 19 Dec 13.
All the way from Australia, Maj Schurmann and his family
arrived in 22SR as part of an Officer exchange on 6 Feb 12 to
assume the post of OC 217 Sig Sqn. He was an officer of great
personality, dedicated and a perfectionist at the post he was
assigned to.
In thinking about how we might offer a fond farewell to the
OC, A Tp (the Gurkha Tp within 217 Sig Sqn) organised a
function accompanied with fun games and, of course, a Khusi
ko Natch (free style dance) at the end. It was on 11 Dec 13 and
Cpl Thaman was appointed the OIC for the event. As I
remember it, it was quite a busy day; in the morning going
through the Sqn OC’s HOTO programme, whilst in the
meantime preparing everything for the function. To make
matters worst, we had limited manpower for getting the
event prepared. Despite the difficulties with preparing for the
programme, everything was set and ready well before time.
A variety of food was prepared by LCpl Bikash and his team.
All A Tp personnel were at the venue, eagerly awaiting the
arrival of the OC and his family. Finally, he along with his
Farewell to OC 217
Soon after the games, SSgt Sim grabbed everyone’s
attention, before handing over to OC A Tp, Capt Dhir. He
went through several presentations to other members of the
Tp, a welcome and congratulations to those recently
promoted. Finally it was time for Capt Dhir, on behalf of all
GURTAM personnel in the Sqn, to bid farewell to the Sqn OC.
After a speech by Capt Dhir, the Sqn OC and his family were
called forward to receive Khata and a Khukri as a memento for
his time in the Sqn. The OC then expressed his gratitude and
delivered a brief but very inspiring speech. By the time his
speech was over, food was ready to be served. Children were
served first followed by Ladies and finally the Gents. As a
result of hard work, everyone appreciated the food prepared
by local master chef, LCpl Bikash, which was delicious.
And so this is how we bid farewell to Maj Schurmann. We
thank you for all that you have done for us over the two years
of your tenure.
217 Signal Sqn Christmas Function 2013 - by Sig Abbott
So it was that time of year again, for some at least to let their
hair down and enjoy a good knees-up before some well
deserved Christmas leave.
The Christmas function committee spoke long and hard about
not doing the same old boring old do; a meal, a raffle (with
prizes no one wants, and everyone going in town by 2200hrs).
It was decided to book a venue with a bit more class than
most were used to, so we decided on ‘The Moat House’ hotel.
This confused a few, especially Sig Rogerson, as there were
far too many knife and forks than he was used to.
The committee decided to lay on some entertainment during
the evening consisting of Stand Up comedy, a take on ‘Deal or
No Deal’ for the raffle, plus a surprise piece from SSM
chance to win one of the top 3 prizes. He was heard on
several occasions saying, ‘This will look good on my SJAR’,
making sure he was in earshot of the senior ranks. Cpl
‘Skippy’ Cameron did an excellent job in prising money from
the Sqn and purchasing the prizes for the raffle. They
consisted of: a TomTom, Raleigh Mountain Bike, Soundafreq
Wireless Speakers, Driving Experience Red Letter Day, Alcohol
Hamper, Male and Female Hamper, George Forman Grill plus
His and Hers Perfumes. The top 3 prizes consisted of a HDX
Fir Kindle Tablet, 42” Smart TV and a big cash prize.
So after a meet and greet with a complimentary glass of
bubbly, all the guests sat to a well awaited 3 course meal,
which was enjoyed by one and all. Once pudding was
consumed it was a quick rest break before the night’s
So as Sig Jimmy Anderson worked his magic on the lighting,
sound and visual effects on the giant screen the stage was
set. Sig ‘Lee Evans’ Abbott was greeted on stage by a
rapturous applause from the crowd, which would diminish
once he started his stand up! Most jokes went down well
with loud laughter, but there was the odd tumble weed
moment. Abbott was given free reign on some good old
humoured banter with guests, but was mainly aiming at the
senior ranks, especially Sgt ‘I’m Getting Married In The
Morning’ Cunington, who took it in her stride.
Once the stand up had finished it was onto the ‘Deal or No
Deal raffle’, as when the guests came up to collect the prize
they had to choose a box to determine there prize. Most
were happy with what they won, apart from Cpl Daniel who
was not impressed with his hair curlers, mainly due to his lack
of hair. Once the last prizes had been won, it moved onto the
SSM ‘Michael Aspel’ Stephenson did a fantastic cover of the
old TV series ‘This Is Your Life’, in honour of the Sqn OC. This
to me was the highlight of the evening, with some rather
random pictures of the OC from basic training, to his wedding
day to the present day. There was even some special guests
flown in just for the evening with ‘Skippy’, ‘Dame Edna
Everage’ and ‘Shane Warne’ all making an appearance. Once
the SSM wrapped up, it was handed over to the OC for the
traditional Christmas speech. This years, however, was more
poignant as this will be the last time he would be able to
‘Schurminate’ all of us! Once the customary glass raising and
toasts had been completed it was over to the disco. Most did
find their dancing shoes and danced away till the early hours.
The 217 Christmas Function
Pte ‘SPS Guru’ Thomson was tasked on producing the
invitations to be handed out to all 217 personnel, which I must
say, were well worth the 3 months wait. No one else could
have produced that quality of workmanship in a shorter
period of time. They were given a green and yellow theme
instead of the traditional red and white, as it was the last
function our current Sqn OC, Maj ‘How Tall Is He?’
Schurmann, would be attending. He was off back to his
homeland of Australia in late December, after a 2 year stint at
the Sqn.
So with the invitations eventually sent out, it was on to the
big night! The committee arrived early to begin the set up for
the evening before the coach loads of guests arrived. Sig ‘I’m
A Real Boy’ De Silva was quick to sort out the place settings
on getting the balance just right. He was also at hand to meet
and greet plus to hand out the raffle tickets for the guests
This is your life
I must take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended,
as over 120 from the Sqn, including loved ones, made this a
night to remember, one that will go down as one of the best
Christmas functions ever. Some even said it was better than
what they get in the Sgts Mess. I would also like to thank the
SSM and committee for your help on the night.
Also we wish Maj Schurmann and his family a safe trip, and all
the best in the future back in Australia.
different weapon systems we would be using. A quick
weapon-handling test and a chance to fire some of the
weapons followed. The rest of the day was spent playing
various roles in an advanced medical scenario with some
people from Amputees in Action.
Maj H Frost
SSgt Finn
Exercise Mercury Glacier - by LCpl Locke
We arrived in Austria in the early hours of Sunday morning for
the start of the alpine skiing season. Within team ‘22 Sigs’ we
had three members with previous race experience, LCpl
Glasgow made sure that everybody was aware of his accolade
of ‘novice individual slalom runner up 2008’. The morning of
departure involved a detour to pick up the final member of
the team, Sgt Houghton, followed by a stop off at 252 Sqn
Innsworth so LCpl Adeoti (Mr issued kit) could get some non
issued footwear. Then we set of to Dover for the ferry
crossing. The journey had taken its toll on the team, most
significantly the loss of Lt Holmstrom’s purse, along with all
her money.
Sig McPhillips and Sig Lewis acting the part
On the Tuesday we spent the day rehearsing 15 different
scenarios which would be carried out the following day with
the guys from 299 Sig Sqn. The day started off slowly before
escalating quickly. As the day went on, we were put into
different scenarios. Although I managed to avoid being shot
with simuniton, I couldn’t avoid Sig McPhillips’ right hand
when he smacked me in the nose in a scenario where I was a
prisoner being beaten up by Sig Irving and Sig McPhillips.
The highlight of the day though was Sig ‘Dan’ Lewis getting
picked to do a scenario where he had to conduct some heavy
petty on one of the other lads. His reaction was priceless. Sig
McPhillps was also tasked to try to hijack a car off two of the
lads, which he did in an extremely convincing manner. We
ended up finishing quite late but once all the scenarios were
finished, we just had to pack all the kit up and we were done.
The course turned out to be a good laugh and a great
experience, offering a useful insight into 299 Sig Sqn.
LCpl Locke and Sgt Houghton striking a pose
The first week of skiing, race training, was done in perfect
conditions but unfortunately, was cut short on the Friday as
poor weather conditions shut the mountain. Race week saw
Sgt Houghton, with no race experience, excel in the giant
slalom discipline but both LCpl Adeoti and LCpl Glasgow
taking some heavy falls. The slalom discipline also had its own
share of falls with Sgt Houghton taking a terrific tumble.
Lt Holmstrom took the female combination bronze medal at
the awards night, which is an award taking in both the slalom
and the giant slalom results into consideration. Throughout
the two weeks the team held several evening competitions
where Sgt Houghton took the honours at ice skating, LCpl
Locke on a trampoline and LCpl Glasgow at Skittles.
Maj S Smith
WO2 (SSM) Autar
Inter-Squadron Swimming Competition – by Sig Bachan
In order to maintain a competitive environment between the
5 Squadrons of the Regiment, there are different events such
as athletics, swimming, and a march and shoot in order to
declare the best Squadron in 22 Signal Regiment for the year,
making up the CO’s competition. The upcoming event for this
CO’s competition was swimming which was being held in at a
local Stafford leisure centre.
299 Signal Squadron CivPop - by Sig Hepworth
On Sunday 19 January, myself and 11 others from 22 Signal
Regiment travelled to Lydd camp to assist with 299 Signal
Squadron’s tri annual PDT training, which would take place
between the Monday and Thursday.
On the Monday morning Sgt Frost, who told us what to
expect for the next 3 days and briefed us on what we would
each be doing. After this, we were taken to the village where
the training would be conducted, and we were shown the
Cpl Raj in lane 4
The event was held on 14 January 2014 and 252 Signal
Squadron, based in Innsworth, was tasked with organising the
event. The aim of the competition was to motivate soldiers
to be physically fit and develop competitive team spirits
among the Squadrons. On the day everyone was hoping that
their Squadron would win, especially as the points from this
event had the ability to change the overall positions on the
leader board. Though the environment seemed to be calm, all
of the participants looked determined to give their best so
that they could put their Squadron at the top.
High spirits before the race
The participants from different squadrons (217, 222, 248, 252
and Support Squadron) were taken to the leisure centre from
Regimental MT at 0810. As soon as we get there, we were
briefed about fire safety in the building. At about 0845, the
participants were asked to get into the pool and warm-up for
the upcoming events. After half an hour, the first event brief
was given and competitors told to get ready for the event.
There were 13 events in the competition with the first starting
at around 0930. As soon as it started, the respective
Squadron personnel began supporting their participants. The
swimming pool environment was heating up with the
supporter’s noises and slogans to cheer their team. This
lasted until the last event.
All of the events were completed at around 1150. Now, it was
time for the result and everyone seemed to be curious about
their position. About 15 minutes later, one of the members
from 252 Sqn, announced the result - 222 Sqn came first and
the organising Sqn, 252, were announced as the runner up.
After the results, the event was wrapped up with the prize
giving by the CO of 22 Signal Regiment.
simple carelessness could cost the MOD thousands of pounds.
A simple mistake could be something such as not following
the proper close down procedure on a comms exercise.
After the GOSCC visit, the next destination was ASTRIUM
Hawthorn where we were warmly welcomed. We got the
chance to see the operator room where we normally ask for
help if we have any problems on our equipment. The
operators were very pleased to inform us that they are being
able to maintain a 5 second phone pick up rate. We also saw
the satellite monitoring room where we got the chance to get
an idea about the satellites. The staff were very nice to us –
they were ready to welcome us with some broken Nepali
words and a rectangle shaped flag of Nepal! Although they
were not perfect I personally think that was some of the best
hospitality I have ever received in my career up until now.
From there we headed for our final destination which was
SGS Colerne. When we reached SGS it was roughly 1400. We
were divided into three small groups. Each group was
accompanied by a member of staff who showed us around.
We got the chance to see all of the satellite discs and
understand their function. We were also taken to different
equipment rooms where we were shown how things work.
Since most of the members in our team were Reacher trained
we got more detailed information on the way that Reacher
After learning a lot from the SGS we left for camp. We all had
a wonderful day and the aim of the visit was met. We got a
chance to see what goes on behind the scenes and I think the
visit was very useful for us. Such a visit should be organised in
future because it enhances our knowledge and it’s something
we all found very interesting.
Station Commanders Christmas Fun Competition 2013
– by Sig Bhuwaneshwor
What better way is there to ease into the Christmas mood
than taking part in a challenging and fun team game? On 12
December 2013, the COs Fun Challenge was held in 22 Signal
Regiments site 5 by 22SR Gym personnel. All of the Stafford
based soldiers, along with a few civilian workers, directly or
indirectly participated in the event. The event itself was
mixed with excitement, team work and will power in order to
win the competition. The event’s main aim was to allow
soldiers to have fun, encourage team spirit and make the
event more challenging and exciting by wearing different
types of fancy dress.
Visit to the GOSCC and Paradigm – by Sig Manoj
On 15 January 2014, members from 248 GSS went on a visit to
the Global Operations and Security Control Centre (GOSCC)
followed by a visit to ASTRIUM and SGS Colerne. The visit
was directed by Capt Surendra (OC O Troop) and coordinated
by Cpl Paras. The main aim of the visit was to educate
detachment crews from all trades on the GOSCC and satellite
ground station (SGS) by physically taking them to the location
and letting them see what goes on behind the scenes whilst
they are trying to establish communication on the ground.
The visit was also designed to develop team bonding and
experience an educational day out outside of normal work.
The team of 14 people arrived at the GOSCC at roughly 0945.
We were received by YofS Graham Curtis who then led us to
the main working area. There he talked us through what goes
on a daily basis and their role. The seniors from our group
had many questions for him, mostly relating to Reacher.
Although the YofS informed us about many important facts,
the most important thing that I took away was how our
Father Christmas and his helpers
All of MoD Staffords personnel gathered inside the hanger of
site 5 at 0840. There was laughter and a lot of jokes being
banded around when people began turning up in different
styles of fancy dress. Soon after, Staff Pun (SSI) briefed all
the team members about the rules and the points system of
the event. There were 16 teams in total and there were 4
stations with 4 teams at each station. At each station there
were different events: potted sports, Santa rescue, mini
obstacle course and the fun relay.
I was representing 248, ‘Team 2’. The event kicked off at
January 2014. All five Squadrons took part and competed in
over the thirteen events for some vital additional points for
the CO’s Cup competition. The events ranged from the usual
individual and team events you may associate with an Olympic
swimming competition, to the odd. One event required the
team to compete in a relay dressed in MTP that was then
handed over at the end of each stage. Unfortunately for the
smaller competitors the uniform belonged to the largest
member of the team! The excitement was high due to a close
competition throughout, and excitement grew thanks to LCpl
‘Evo’ Evans on the mic, showing off his natural talent as a
sports commentator, even if more suited towards a chess
222 Signal Squadron were the overall champions of the day.
The competition was planned by Sgt ‘Camel Back’ Grice and
was hugely successful.
The SSM having his lunch
0900. Our first station was the fun relay and we competed
against 222(2), and the RHQ team among others. Our team
came in 10th position overall. The event was fun but it was
challenging to get points. Our second event was the gruelling
session or mini obstacle relay. The event itself was
challenging as well as being a bit risky in terms of safety. We
were not too concerned about the risk because more
importantly we wanted to be victorious! We managed to
finish in quite a good time, giving us 4th position. The next
station was potted sports, which was fun but again it was
hard to score points. We came in 4th position in this event as
well. Finally we were on the last stand, Santa’s rescue. We
managed to come 5th this time. Overall the winner was 248
‘Team 1’ and ‘Team 2’ came in 3rd position, although we tried
our best.
Everyone thought the event was challenging, fun and best of
all, everyone enjoyed it. Overall, the event was successful and
everyone got into the Christmas mood having taken part in
the fun and games.
Maj AB Arthurton
WO2 (SSM) AP Williams
RMAS Arms and Services Display day - by Sig Ray
On 22 January 2014, a small group from 252 Signal Squadron
deployed to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to
represent 22 Signal Regiment at the Arms and Services
Display. This day was aimed at the junior intake at RMAS,
with the aim of educating them in exactly what each
Regiment, and the Royal Signals in general, were responsible
for. The Officer Cadets were presented with a variety of
photo boards and equipment to demonstrate the varying
trades and opportunities the Corps has to offer. The day was
led by Lt Cutting who was keen to share his new experiences
with the Officer Cadets and informing them about his role
within 252 Signal Squadron, supporting ARRC PHQ. It was a
very successful day, and hopefully the junior intake of RMAS
will be better informed for their choice of arms.
22 Signal Regiment CO’s Swimming Competition - by Sig Ray
22 Signal Regiment held their annual inter-Squadron
swimming competition at Stafford Leisure Centre on 14
Maj J Renshaw
WO2 (SSM) N Marshall
This last period has seen the Sqn wind down after a
challenging and busy exercise season. The Regiment
participated in the usual festivities, giving the Sqn some time
to consolidate and close down in the proper manner before
enjoying some much needed and hard earned rest over the
Christmas break. Upon returning from the stand-down the
Sqn found itself back up to normal running pace by NAAFI
break with a push on ECI and Board of Officers preparations,
in conjunction with RSIT and the BOWMAN 5.5 uplift, to name
but a few tasks that have been tackled head on.
With the Sqn well and truly back at normal operating level we
now look ahead to the next set of challenges consisting of
MATTs training, Pre-CLM as well as some basic soldiering and
AT. This next period will offer the Sqn a good opportunity to
develop our soldiers and provide some first-rate preparation
for forthcoming career courses. On on!
Exercise SPARTAN HIKE 14 – by Sgt CS Parry
After a month of intense physical training during the ARRC
exercises, and individual training over the Christmas period,
six members of 22 Signal Regiment made the long haul to
Serre Chevalier which is located in south east France. After
finally arriving after a very long drive, there was no time to
rest. As we hit the slopes those who had skied before and
those who hadn’t became evident. After a few hours of
eating snow and having the cold white stuff go in places that
it really shouldn’t, the team started to get to grips with the
different techniques that we had practised on roller skis
during the previous months.
As one of only 3 teams with no preparation on snow prior to
arriving for the competition, we knew we had our work cut
out. After a days training we went straight into the ‘classic’
events; the 5km cross country relay and the 15km individual.
The 5km was fast and intense. LCpl Glasgow did well to stay
on his feet in the Mass Start, which saw over 40 teams
compete for just 2 tracks. Following this shake out, we set
our sights on the 15km race the following day. The conditions
were ideal and now we’d got to grips with ski waxing, we
were prepared for the 432m total climb. With a collective
team time of 3hrs 54mins, we beat our 2 main rivals, who had
as little experience as us on snow.
With a day turnaround before moving onto the Biathlon
events, we made the most of the opportunity, covering a fair
distance in the morning before spending the afternoon on the
range. Our preparation paid off and in the 10km Biathlon
sprint, despite icy conditions, we beat both our rivals and only
just lost out to SUOTC by a matter of minutes on the 7.5km
relay the day after.
The final event in the competition was the Military Patrol
Race. This was a gruelling 20km tactical patrol/ski carrying
SA80s consisting of two shoots. Our race preparation proved
to be better than most teams, and we only just missed out on
the maximum bonus during the GOCs inspection. This is
where he tested the patrol’s knowledge of the scenario and
scrutinised its turnout. The outward loop proved to be more
of a tab than a ski at times, where our only option was to
carry our skis along a narrow track in amongst waist high
snow. Following this arduous ascent we appreciated the
descent even more. Our joy was short lived as once we left
the range we found that a combination of the snow warming
up and the kick wax wearing off resulted in no grip left for the
remaining 15km! Nonetheless we battled on, and on our
second visit to the range, we shot 5th best out of 44 teams
before skiing the last descent to the finish. A combination of
our good preparation, good shooting and a more even playing
field meant that we came 29th out of 46 teams. This meant
we beat a handful of experienced teams, including 1 RIFLES,
24 Cdo Engr Regt and 47 Regt RA!
Military patrol race
Considering the lack of time on the snow and the novice level
of our team, we made a considerable effort towards our first
season at the divisional championships and look forward to
making a greater impact next season.
Lt Col NM Stokoe OBE
WO1 (RSM) K Dade
– by Capt TM Collins
For most the Div and Army Level Alpine Race Competitions
mark the culmination of the Alpine Ski Race Season, save
those who go on to the Combined Services Championships.
For 30 Signal Regiment, our travels started a day earlier than
usual so that we could get out onto the snow for an extra
couple of days training before the competition started. So
under the watchful eye of the seasoned Combivan-Tetris
Champion, LCpl Aaron Rouget, the van was packed up and we
left for Serre Chevalier, France on 10 Jan 14.
Having implemented our driver rotation plan, we drove
through the night and arrived at 0730, unpacked and got our
heads down ready to hit the slopes at 1100. It was then that
we found that out of the 4 members of the team, 3 of us had
brought along GoPro cameras and a plan was hatched to
make a Royal Signals Alpine Racing Promo Video. Those first
LCpl Aaron Rouget pushing himself down the Giant Slalom at
the Div Champs
couple of training days did not provide a great deal of
footage, apart from for the blooper reel as they were mainly
spent getting our ski legs back and falling over…. A lot!
After our 2 days training and registering the team, it was time
for the competition to start and Ex SPARTAN HIKE 14 kicked
off with the Seeding Giant Slalom. This race is designed to
ensure that a correct starting order, based on merit, is
established prior to the competition races starting.
The weather conditions brought mixed emotions, the sight of
heavy snowfall would usually fill us all with joy at the thought
of masses of snow on and off the piste leading to some gnarly
skiing conditions and plenty of fun to be had. However heavy
snowfall is not conducive to great racing conditions. Each
morning an extended period of course preparation had to be
done and the 150 or so racers slid the top layers of snow from
not only the racing line but from either side of the line so the
later runners would not find themselves powder skiing if they
strayed off the line.
30 Signal Regiment achieved unprecedented success at Ex
SPARTAN HIKE with Capt Tom Collins achieving a 2nd
30 Signal Regiment Ski Team at the Ex SPARTAN HIKE Prize
Giving Ceremony
Individual Combination result and the team, made up of the
above named, 2Lt Jonny Gillespie, LCpl Aaron Rouget and Sig
Kyle Wheddon achieving a 2nd in the Midlands Region and a
3rd in the overall competition, a fantastic result.
The Regimental team went on to qualify for the Army
Championships, Ex LIONS CHALLENGE, the only Royal Signals
Unit to do so this year. This is where the competition level
increased even further and the selection was made for the R
SIGNALS Corps Squad. Every member of the 30 Signal
Regiment team made it into a Corps Cat Suit and that is
something that they should all be very proud of.
14. Whilst not everybody deployed to Catterick, during the
exercise there was plenty to do back in camp in the way of G1
and G4 (ECH) support. The lads were seen to work hard and
enjoy themselves by the OC Maj Gaz Greaves and WO2 (SSM)
Jim Womble who enjoyed a trip out of the office to visit the
troops; indeed it was good for many of the soldiers to enjoy
some time out of camp and experience the delights of some
typical Catterick weather!
We say a number of farewells to Sqn members. The QM(A)
Maj Sean Kielty MBE leaves us on promotion to Lt Col and
heads to Blandford where he assumes command of HQ BGSU.
We wish him all the very best and thank him for a job well
done here in Bramcote. WO2 (RQMS) Martin Cope leaves us
to enjoy a stint as SSM in Aldershot and the RAO Capt Jim
Hicks MBE following a successful SPSI with greens across the
board, leaves us for a sunshine tour in Gibraltar. Posted in,
we welcome the new RQMS (T) WO2 (RQMS) McDougall –
we wish you a pleasant and busy tour!
MSPGH Deployment on Exercise SWAN CONNECTION 14
– by WO1 (FofS) J Sigston
Capt Tom Collins making his way down the Slalom course to
finish 8th at the Army Champs
The Army Championships is always a fantastic experience,
especially the Downhill event, there is nothing quite like
throwing yourself down the Luc Alphand, a former Olympic
Downhill course, at speeds in excess of 70mph to get your
adrenalin pumping… not to mention a few 50p/5p moments!
When the Regiment deployed on Ex SWAN CONNECTION they
took the newly issued DII-LD equipment to put it through its
paces. The TOT Capt Jim Healy decided that it might be a
good idea if subject matter experts deployed with the
Squadrons to give them some in-depth support, this being the
first time anyone from Military Service Provider Group Home
(MSPGH) had deployed outside of our warm, comfy purpose
built building.
The names that were put in the frame to deploy were Cpl
Max Sila and LCpl Parminder Singh. The exercise went
without a hitch and both JNCOs hurriedly returned to their
warm cosy hanger none the worse but slightly battle
If you are interested in Alpine Ski Racing in the Corps then I
would suggest logging onto the Jimmys in Sport page on
FaceBook for information, updates and some good photos.
Also please approach your unit Alpine Skiing OIC and find the
Corps Alpine Racing video on YouTube, just search for Royal
Signals Alpine Promo.
The Royal Signals Alpine Ski Race Team 2014, consisting of 4
members of 30 Signal Regiment
Maj G Greaves
WO2 (SSM) J Womble
Following a busy LSI and ECI period prior to Christmas,
Support Squadron have been kept busy providing support to
the Field Squadrons, most recently on Ex SWAN CONNECTION
Cpl Sila helping LCpl Singh locate his keyboard
MT Deployment on Exercise SWAN CONNECTION 14
– by Cpl R Calladine
It’s been a while since 30 Signal Regiment MT organised a
road move of 73 military vehicles to a distant exercise
location, but during Ex SWAN CONNECTION we enjoyed the
challenge of organising a Command Group vehicle line up and
inspection on the Regimental Parade Square before releasing
the various convoys led by their Packet Commanders. The
MTWO SSgt ‘Ash’ Jackson was a little anxious from StartEx to
EndEx, but it was clear to see that the knowledge and training
given to the MT Dept, especially our new lads, was well
invested as we got progressively better throughout the
exercise ensuring we achieved our missions and tasks to the
best of our ability. After the initial road moves, we were kept
busy with resups and fuel replens. Sgt Rabin Gurung, Sgt
Ratna Tamang, Cpl Olly Myles and Cpl Richie Calladine
enjoyed the opportunity to introduce some of our young
soldiers to their roles and responsibilities in the field. A big
well done to Sig John Cunliffe, Sig John Shore and Sig Jake
Applegate who all very recently arrived from RSS, as well as
Sig Dan Steele who has recently arrived from 16 Signal
Regiment and Sig Greg Dawes from 101 Logistic Brigade.
Cpl Brett Hughes recovers a Landrover to the adoration of the
passing public
Bramcote Swans’ Cycling Club – by Cpl R Calladine
The mission of Bramcote Swans’ Cycling Club is to promote
healthy living and enjoyment through cycling. We enjoy a
large following of both road and mountain bikers. The road
bikers are led by Cpl Richie Calladine and Sig Mathew Thorpe
who enjoy local 30-70 mile routes. The mountain bikers are
led by WO2 (RQMS) Scott Tomblin and SSgt Tony Ingoe and
regularly train at local trial centres. Both groups enjoy a
variety of civilian and military races, as well as taking
opportunities to raise money for charity on occasions. A
number of our riders have recently attended courses that
offer cycling coaching qualifications which benefits all our
riders, especially the young talent that we see as future Corps
and Army cycling champions. Following on from last year’s
successful Inter Corps Road Race Series (ICRRS), hosted by
Bramcote Swans’ Cycling Club, we look forward to hosting
the event again, after a special request by the Head of British
Army Cycling, and it is hoped that we remain competitive and
achieve some credible results after some enjoyable training.
30 Sig Regt MT soldiers conducting replen duties
LAD Detachment on Exercise SWAN CONNECTION 14
– by SSgt (Art) J Marks
During Ex SWAN CONNECTION the LAD provided a Fitter
Section to both 256 and 258 Signal Squadrons, with a ‘flying’
Fitter Section located at Wathgill Camp with ES Ops and
Recovery. The Gods of mechanical engineering were smiling
on us as only two vehicles broke down on the move between
Bramcote to Catterick, both of which actually made it to
Catterick Garrison and only fell short of getting to the training
The next two weeks provided a steady stream of work for the
LAD and despite the adverse weather conditions only one
vehicle needed recovering when it slipped into a ditch on a
narrow track. The road move back proved equally fortuitous
as only one vehicle needed to be recovered after a charging
fault. Cpl Brett Hughes, the Regiment’s Recy Mech, sprang
into action on the side of the M1 and was overwhelmed by
the adoration of the passing public. As he hitched up the
Landrover, he worked to a backdrop of whistling females and
tooting horns. Overall the exercise was a success, and a great
experience builder for some of our junior ranks.
Back in camp, the LAD is enjoying success in the Minor and
Major Units’ Craftsmen Cup tournaments after reaching the
quarter finals in both.
The Bramcote Swans pose for a quick photo prior to setting off
into the Warwickshire countryside
Maj J Snelgrove
WO2 (SSM) D Seymour
Exercise PASHTUN VORTEX - by LCpl P Dobson
A select few members on Alpha Troop touched down in the
sun soaked land of Jordan for Ex PASHTUN VORTEX
commanded by Lt Becky Parkinson. The aim of the exercise
was to provide CH47 both Mk 2 and Mk 4 pilots with
environmental training and PDT in preparation for Op
HERRICK. 244 Signal Squadron (Air Support) deployed
providing G2G and G2A communications across the training
area, as well as providing restricted data back to the UK by
means of Housekeeper equipment.
On arrival at Jordan we were stripped of all military clothing
and equipment before being whisked to the hotel via a
heavily armed military convoy. Despite this unnerving start,
the accommodation was excellent; Aqabas Moevenpick was a
fantastic hotel. PT sessions on the beach were a firm
favourite; including diving off the jetty into a school of
jellyfish and then frantically attempting to swim back to the
beach. The food was superb and the service at the hotel was
faultless, if only every Army exercise was like this.
A Chinook ride over the Wadi Rum desert
Our rotations during the detachment revolved around
Headquarters day and night shifts and the Rebro detachment
just over an hour’s drive away in the middle of the Wadi Rum
desert. The hours were long and as you may imagine there’s
not much to do in a desert besides sunbathing, building
sandcastles, working out, sleeping, fighting off the swarms of
flies and complaining how cold the solar shower is. One
week’s worth of American MRPs meant the hotel food was a
welcome treat and being able to choose from one of its three
pools, jacuzzis and the sea meant we were never short of a
good soak session.
Jordan is a fantastic place to visit if selected to go on Ex
PASHTUN VORTEX, there is some fantastic scenery, excellent
hotels and the work is interesting and to anyone wishing to
come to 244 Signal Squadron, 30 Signal Regiment, this is just
some of the stuff on offer as well as deployments to Tampa,
Kenya (BATUK) and Op HERRICK. Other attractions to Jordan
are the Wadi Rum desert if you fancy taking a horse/camel
trek, and then there’s Petra, made famous by Indiana Jones as
the final resting place of the Holy Grail. At the moment
Jordan and Ex PASHTUN VORTEX remains a standing
commitment of 244 Signal Squadron (Air Support) and
hopefully I will have the chance to deploy again.
SIGNALS Trainees of Intake 2013 took place on Friday, 13
December 2013 at Gamecock Barracks, Bramcote.
We were lucky to have reasonable weather in comparison to
the previous full rehearsal day where we were soaked
through by the rain. All the VIPs, spectators, soldiers and
their families across the Regiment were waiting eagerly to
witness the parade which commenced at 1045. The parade
RSM, WO2 (SSM) Khagendrakumar Pun reported to the
parade commander, Capt Ganeshbahadur Gurung, Gurkha
Adjutant who than waited for the arrival of the Colonel of the
Upon arrival, the Colonel of the Regiment Maj Gen N A W
Pope CBE, took the salute from the parade commander. The
trainees then march smartly forward in groups of three and
took the oath by placing their hands on the Regimental Flag in
the presence of the Colonel of Regiment, Commander QG
SIGNALS, Lt Col N Stokoe and Gurkha Major, Maj Yambahadur
Rana. This year Long Service and Good Conduct medals were
presented to Sgt Nirakal Gurung and Sgt Netra Rai for their 15
years of loyal service. The Colonel of the Regiment and
Gurkha Major then officially commissioned Capt Vishal Pun
and Capt Rupkumar Gurung.
Although small in size, the QG SIGNALS Pipes and Drums put
on an excellent display and kept everyone entertained
throughout the parade. The Colonel of the Regiment gave an
inspiring speech and welcomed all the new Trainees into the
Regiment and congratulated them as well. He also wished
them all the best for their new careers and said that they are
the future of QG SIGNALS. The parade then concluded with
the March Past in column of route by the attestation party
who were later praised by all for their smart, swift and
outstanding drill.
After a group photograph, Commander QG SIGNALS, Lt Col N
Stokoe, announced the trade allocation result to the Trainees.
The trade allocation was carried out purely on the basis of
individuals’ best performance and potential identified during
Induction Training. This year, out of 22 Trainees, 9 were
selected as Communication System Engineers, 9 as
Communication System Operators and 4 as Royal Signals
Electricians. The day ended with delicious Gurkha Curry lunch
in the Regimental gymnasium hall.
At the beginning of 2014, the Trainees will go to the Defence
School of Communications and Information Systems (DSCIS)
Blandford for their respective trade courses. All of us here at
QG SIGNALS Pariwar wish them all the best for their future
Maj J Malcolm
WO2 (SSM) Sureshkumar Limbu
Attestation, LSGC Medal and Commissioning Parade 2013
– by Sgt Rajkumar Gurung
After successful completion of 9 months hard and arduous
basic military training, followed by another 2 months Basic
Signalling Skills Phase the attestation parade for the 22 QG
Capt Rupkumar Gurung being commissioned by the Colonel of
the Regt and the Gurkha Major
Falcon Training Advisory Team (FALTAT) Arnhem Battlefield
Tour – by WO2 (YofS) Smith
On Saturday 1 February 2014 the FALTAT took time out of their
hectic training schedule to visit Arnhem on a Battlefield Tour.
After an early start the team arrived in Arnhem and met up
with the tour guide Nick Kelso, a History and Philosophy
graduate from Lancaster University who now lives with his
family in Holland. Nick has led many tours for guests all over
the world including veterans and their families and lectured
for the British Army. Typically the weather prior to the tour
had been glorious and on the day of the tour the heavens
opened. Luckily the team had come prepared less SSgt (FofS(
IS)) Jim Elkin who kept trying to steal the OC’s jacket and
Nick who, as a seasoned tour guide, turned up with a crisp
packet for a coat.
The tour began at the initial DZs where the paratroopers were
dropped off to secure the bridges and towns along the Allied
axis of advance. Despite the horrendous weather, and being
chased by bulls, our tour guide soldiered on and told us the
story in chronological order from 17 September 1944 onwards.
We stopped off at key sites around Arnhem and Oosterbeek
including the memorial, bridges, the Commonwealth War
Graves Cemetery, the Westerbauwing, finishing at the little
church with the tree of hope.
We managed to take a break for lunch at the Schoonord cafe,
the number 1 Airborne pub in Oosterbeek, where we tasted
the culinary delights of aptly named menu. The OC Capt Mick
O’Hara, had a ‘Red Devil’ sandwich and Sgt Pramod Gurung
had an ‘Urquart’ sandwich. We were able to spend an hour at
the Hartenstein museum which was a bonus, as they have just
recently extended and added an extra floor. A poignant
moment was seeing the Military Cross awarded to the Brigade
Major Tony Hibbert of the 1st Parachute Brigade that he had
given to the museum in commemoration of the countless
Dutch civilians and military colleagues that had risked or given
their lives to help him escape. This was all articulated in a
very emotional letter that is also on display in the museum.
As the rain thankfully relented in the afternoon and we were
able to enjoy the scenery and the rest of the tour without
getting completely soaked, especially Sgt Wood’s blue suede
shoes! Nick, our tour guide, was extremely good at adding
the personal touch to the tour by adding relevant stories that
he had collected from veterans in addition to his extensive
research. Knowing we were Royal Signals he also did a good
job of promoting Esprit de Corps by ending his site briefs with
“and this is where the Royal Signals played a vital role in the
battle”. This was usually quickly followed by “If the QGS had
of been here…...” from SSgt Chandra Gurung. The guide’s
The FALTAT on the Arnhem Bridge
briefs were captivating, with much of the detail enhanced
with fascinating facts and stories which either dispelled myths
or provided an alternative perspective.
The occasion was typically marked by a traditional team photo
on the Arnhem bridge even though we were risking life and
limb dodging the speeding cyclists and mopeds (which seem
to be everywhere in Arnhem)! I think everyone on the FALTAT
gained something from the tour, it was a good experience
and very educational and I am sure SSgt (FofS) Matt Griffiths
will have written a song about it by now.
Maj J King
WO2 (SSM) J McMahon
Six Months in the Life of Bravo Troop – by Sig Smith
We have enjoyed a frantic 6 month period in Bravo Troop,
throughout which the Troop’s role has been to provide secure
communications for JTFHQ (Joint Task Force Headquarters)
as part of an OLRT (Operational Liaison and Reconnaissance
Team). An OLRT can sustain anything from 5-12 personnel,
including up to 3 J6 Staff and 2 CS Ops from the Troop.
The Regiment recently deployed on Ex SWAN CONNECTION
14 to Catterick. This saw the Troop deliver the initial CIS
footprint for EEHQ (Early Entry Headquarters) and JTFHQ
(Joint Task Force Headquarters). Extra tasks included
conducting Recce’s alongside delivering IET (Initial Entry
Training) to our new sister Troop from 258 Sig Sqn.
Recently, the team deployed to the Philippines to assist with
humanitarian aid after the devastating typhoon Yolanda hit.
Here the 3 Operators worked alongside a large OLRT Team
from PJHQ. Furthermore, LCpl John Randall deployed to
Bangkok, Thailand for just over a week after deploying
alongside Sig Harling on Op NEWCOMBE.
Sig Hobson deployed to Tunisia for a week, thoroughly
enjoying his first Bravo Troop deployment, (as did I on my first
deployment alongside Sig Meade). Sig Small and Cpl Walton
have both been heavily involved in deployments related to
the situation in Syria.
Throughout the year, the Troop has seen a plethora of
deployments and certainly gained valuable experience and
training benefit that are rarely seen outside of the Special
Forces environment.
Now that Bravo Troop is under the Command of its new
Troop Commander, 2Lt Will Thorogood, 299 veteran SSgt
Sig Harling in the OLRT Ops Room in the role of OC’s Tac
Osborn and veteran Sgt Snoz Davies, we are moving forward
in our role as communications support to the OLRT capability.
Maj L Kelly
WO2 (SSM) S Watson
Re-subordination from 3 (UK) Division Headquarters and
Signal Regiment to 30 Signal Regiment – by Maj L Kelly
The Squadron has seen a number of busy and turbulent years
during which it has belonged to 30 Signal Regiment, 52
Brigade Headquarters and 3 (UK) Division Headquarters and
Signal Regiment. On 1 January 2014 the Squadron rejoined 30
Signal Regiment, now co-locating it with the Regimental
Headquarters in Gamecock Barracks, Bramcote.
The Squadron have recently returned from POTL after a
successful tour in Afghanistan. Revitalised from this leave,
they now prepare to assume the role of JTFHQ2, delivered, at
readiness, by 2015.
As expected, there has been a turnaround of manpower
following the tour. The OC, Maj Alex Senneck has departed,
and he is wished all the best at Army Headquarters. He has
been replaced by Maj Lyndsey Kelly. Also new to the team is
the Squadron Ops Officer, Capt Rich Wall. Good luck to Lt
Stuart Keenan who has departed for Blandford to head up
the recently re-established Corps Recruiting Team.
There are a number of challenges facing the Squadron in 2014,
namely re-adjusting from training and operating in the Souter
Force Protection and Transport Company role to accepting
and training on emerging ICS capabilities in our new
contingent role. Busy lives ahead, with a few “look forwards
to” including a March Skiing expedition, a summer sailing
opportunity and CT1 and CT2 training in the UK and Cyprus.
Kabul ICS Troop Return from Op HERRICK – by LCpl Watson
After LCpl Steven Jackson had said his final goodbyes to the
Staff of HQ ISAF, it was left to Sgt Scott Randall and Cpl
Michelle Watson to find a way home for the 24 soldiers who
had to patiently wait around in Kabul international Airport.
Eventually we arrived back at Bramcote for a hectic week of
“get outside we have medals parade at the end of the week
which we need to practice for” brrrr – welcome home Kabul
ICS Troop! The rain held off for the parade and the official
adoption of 258 Signal Squadron from 3 (UK) Division
Headquarters and Signal Regiment to 30 Signal Regiment
took place. 258 Signal Squadron are now to take on the role
Lt Gen Baxter inspects the troops on parade
of very high readiness alongside 256 Signal Squadron. With
the Squadron having a new role it was only right that with
that came a new OC Sqn, and it was yet another goodbye to
Maj Alex Senneck and welcome to Maj Lyndsey Kelly.
The new year came around faster than anyone would have
liked and all of a sudden it was as if we were never away.
SSgt Tracey Fairbairn’s head was on fire as she rapidily
attempted to get her new Troop ready to roll out of the door
on exercise in the Operational Liaison and Reconnaisance
Team role. Everyone had hit the ground running for 2014 as
admin orders, exercises, AT and courses were being flung
around in every office.
Lt Col Rennie-Smith
WO1 (RSM) King
Exercise NORTHERN GEO IV - by Pte Jane Davies
As a first time skier, the week was a plethora of emotions.
We started off Day 1 on a nursery slope at St Jakob in Tyrol,
Austria. The first hour was spent mostly horizontal, and the
only skiing going on was backwards. The first day ended well
though, as I was still relatively in one piece despite having
crashed through a fence and into a bench. I was just glad to
have the protection of the helmet, as it prevented some
serious injuries that day. I never thought that standing up in a
pair of skis could be so difficult.
Day 2 we went to Kirchdorf. Here we advanced to the blue
slopes which were more challenging as they were
considerably steeper; although there were nursery aged
children racing past us down the slopes who seemed fearless.
I was not convinced and felt like I was on the summit of
Mount Everest. Luckily I had our instructor, Cpl Andy Cole, to
help me down and he introduced me to tandem skiing.
Days 3 and 4 gave us the opportunity to improve even further
on Steinplatze which was higher, beautiful and there was lots
of fresh snow to cushion the falls. The entire group became
more confident during the two days there. We received
excellent instruction and the nice wide pistes helped us to
feel more confident and competent by the end of Day 4. Cpl
Shantel Doyle joined our group too and was also very helpful
to myself. Stuart Kimsey was very helpful in translating the
menus too.
received helped to improve my technique and my confidence.
By the last day I was happy to ski down red and black runs in
deep snow with fresh snow falling all the time to make
navigation and route planning difficult. Hard work, but great
fun, and I am looking forward to returning next year to
develop further and attempt some cross country skiing.
We spent Days 5 and 6 at Fieberbrunn, consolidating what we
had learnt. We also joined up with the Intermediate group
during this time, and WO2 Andy Medley gave us some more
instruction. Capt Paul Knight and the rest of the Intermediate
group, who were Ghurkhas from 2 Sig Regt, were off skiing,
who were all fearless. By now we had all mastered the
chairlifts, and on Day 6 we had a free ski, were the more
confident went off in their own groups.
We also enjoyed some varied après ski with Phil Fluck taking
us to a karaoke bar where all the instructors took their turn
on the mic. The accommodation was great too. The training
was hard and we were all pushed hard and out of the comfort
zone. The group bonded well and there was many laughs,
with everyone treated the same no matter what their rank.
By the end of the week I was skiing down red slopes and had
learnt how to stop without hitting a tree, fence or another
skier. This was a major achievement for me. I also didn’t
want to go home. The week was really well organised and
everyone looked out for one another. The week taught me a
lot about myself and was an invaluable character building
experience that I hope to repeat soon.
Final MATTS Sweep Up 17- 19 Jan 14
Despite the cold chill from the north coast onto Magilligan
Training area, the first training weekend in Jan 14 saw a large
attendance from the Squadron at the annual scramble to
complete MATTs training before the end of the training year.
40 Signal Squadron members rocked up with full CEFO on the
weekend of 17 Jan in order to face a jam packed weekend of
training organised by SSgt Ricky George.
Maj R Paterson
WO2 (SSM) Jolliffe
Exercise NORTHERN GEO IV - the Intermediate Skiier
When asked if I could ski, I replied that I have skis, and I have
skied, but not for about 6 years when I spent a few winters in
Canada and New England. When we were sorted out into
groups, I was placed in the Intermediate group, which
consisted of those who had skied in the past, but did not have
advanced abilities. The group ability ranged from doing a one
week AT expedition last year, to those who had been able to
ski but a long time ago. We all needed a day or two to find
our feet. Unfortunately, the conditions were not ideal for the
first two days. There was very little snow cover which made
skiing difficult and falling painful. This knocked the
confidence of some, but we persevered. At the end of Day 2,
as we were leaving the piste, it started to snow and continued
snowing fairly consistently for the remainder of the exped.
With the improved snow conditions, I saw marked
improvements in my own abilities and confidence. I was
certainly not the fastest in the group, but I concentrated on
improving my technique. We skied on three resorts over six
days which prevented anyone from gaining familiarity with
the runs. I also realised that a red or black run on one resort
was not the same as a red or black run on another. Just as I
thought I was getting to grips with these runs, we changed
location and the red runs became more difficult! Everyday
saw higher and steeper runs which pushed me further than I
would have attempted had I been on a skiing holiday. Every
time I got of a ski lift and saw the stunning scenery with the
clouds below me and clear blue skies above, I was also aware
that there was a long, steep way down again. Once I set off,
though, all that intrepidation disappeared.
By the end of the week, I was skiing at a much higher
standard than I was six years before. The instruction I
The Intermediates Group
Maj Sam Burgess
WO2 (SSM) Glenn Campbell
The Padre delivered MATT6 (Equality and Diversity) shortly
after arriving at the centre. Obligatory test sheets were
passed out and kicked off an interesting debate probing many
diverse issues affecting the Army today. Some of the ideas
being suggested were not exactly out of the text book of the
E&D. However the complex analysis of ethics was well
discussed amongst all.
The main day of activities began on Saturday with BCD MATTs
update brief and a somewhat old fashioned video looking at
CIED training, which brought the message home of the threat
pretty well using a montage of explosions from various
theatres of operations.
Then the fun really started, a chilly wind greeted us for the
PFA. For 2LT Dan Cognolato, as the new subaltern in the
Squadron, this was not the time to look bad in front of the
troops....Luckily he fared well in both push ups and sit ups
tests and came in third in his run assessment. One of the
things he took away from his time at Sandhurst was very
simple - don’t do poorly on a PFA with your troops!
The afternoon was rounded off with 3 stands; BCDT with Sgt
Glenn Adair, CBRN with LCpl Duke Hazard and live firing (for
the first time RCO) WO2 (SSM) Glenn Campbell. Coming up
to live firing 2Lt Cognolato said he was nervous. It had been a
while since he had shot, even though he used to be a good
shot and wasn’t sure if it was like riding a bike. Thankfully
after the SSM’s reminder brief on marksmanship principles, it
all came flooding back and his grouping was fairly good.
which was conducted in the Ripon local area organised and
controlled by the Sqn ops team.
Friday night’s pre-deployment preparation proved to be a
battle against the elements as the Darlington ARC (ARC being
the word), was battered by high winds and a relentless
pounding by heavy rain. Un-phased, the troops loaded up and
embarked on the hour long journey to Ripon’s Deverall
Barracks, however, SSgt Fletcher seized the opportunity to
conduct a driver conversion with LCpl Walton. Suddenly the
trip seemed like the slowest journey in the world…..ever.
Once arrived, the troops were issued their accommodation;
Sig Cocker won the enthusiasm prize due to his extremely
excited response to having a sink in his room, for reasons
unknown to us.
2Lt Dan Cognolato on magazine filling
On Saturday, having attended a 38 (I) Bde Comd meeting that
morning, the OC Maj Gordon Stevenson ended the day with a
“straight off the press” update regarding the future of the
Reserves in Northern Ireland – more change!, With the days
training finished, the Magilligan DCCT was provided for the
soldiers to conduct up to date scenarios and Operational
Theatre shoots.
Sunday was rounded off with an AFT, taken by the Sqns PTI’s
Cpl Artie Holland, Cpl John Colgan and LCpl Serena Murray.
Everyone put in a superb effort, with some great team spirit
and encouragement. Law of Armed Conflict lesson followed
taken by the Squadron’s 2IC Capt Derek Irvine. Again there
was some interesting takes on the Geneva Convention with
good interaction from the troops. The final MATT navigation
of the weekend was taken by SSgt Ian Palmer and then it was
time for the Squadron’s fantastic G4 team to get stuck in and
turn it all around, led by SQMS SSgt Dave Thomas and his
team Cpl James Smart and LCpl Barry Kelly.
A very tiring but productive weekend and a lot of grit and
determination shown in the physical events. A note of thanks
to our chef LCpl Danna Jamision who was missing her mucker
and thanks to Sgt Wendy Cush whom readily volunteered for
a job not relished by many in support of our chef.
Saturday’s sunny but windy start proved perfect conditions to
conduct the pre-exercise PACEX. Two of our newly qualified
advanced signallers, Cpl Copeland and Sig ‘Sniffer’ Roberts
proved their worth by guiding the troops through the testing
of Bowman equipment to ensure all in working order.
The troops deployed into the surrounding countryside
practising mobile communications and map reading. Their
main aim was to recce an area that would accommodate a
Bowman detachment. Once they had found a suitable area
the operators sent the details to one of the other
detachments which would occupy the found area. Each
operator was assessed on voice procedure and their siting
considerations and then supplied with the ‘DS’ solution. Once
all of the sites had been visited, the crews made their way
back to camp. The less experienced crew members then
received a lesson on maintenance of the detachment log
book. Safe to say that all training objectives were achieved
until Sig ‘Obelix’ Shield unwittingly demonstrated his strength
by pulling the lock off the accommodation door, whilst trying
to turn it.
Sunday’s miserable dawn was the backdrop to the camp clean
up prior to travelling back to Darlington. Vehicles washed by
the crews and later inspected by our newly promoted Troop
Commander Capt Hunter then off to Cpl Copeland’s space
wave lesson, which included a few slight of hand magic tricks
capped the weekend off nicely.
Maj Penny Mell
WO2 (SSM) Andy Tochel
Recruiting Activities – by LCpl Sinclair
“The thin orange line”
Maj Brad Hogg
WO2 (SSM) Paul Standing
Exercise TEES TROT 2014 - by Sgt Jonathon Millington
Exercise TEES TROT was a Squadron training weekend which
consolidated CIS skills, deployment drills and radio recces
2Lt Dave MacDonald, LCpl Marc Carr and LCpl Peter Sinclair
are the recruiters for 51 Signal Squadron HQ based in
Edinburgh with SSgt Davie Mackenzie and Sgt Vidya
Nursimiloo carrying out this role at our Troop location in East
Kilbride. They are responsible for planning and organising
recruitment events for their respective locations and taking
an active role in recruiting with other Reserve and Regular
colleagues during Op FORTIFY in the Edinburgh and South
Lanarkshire areas. They have been ably assisted by the
Regular Recruiting Support Team (RST) from 2 Signal
Regiment in York.
On Tuesday 11 Feb the team held their second open evening in
Edinburgh where they invite anyone showing an interest in
joining the Sqn to come along. These evenings are proving
very successful with a total of 15 people attending both
events. The drill hall is set up with various stands showing
equipment, weapons, rations, PT and adventure training
activities. There are also a variety of presentations given by
both the Squadron recruiting team and the ROSWO, WO2
Billy Henderson. The feedback from members attending the
events has been very positive with most being impressed by
the positive way in which we promote the Army Reserve.
Recruiting has taken a really high priority over the last few
months as we attempt to increase our numbers to meet the
requirements of the new Reserve Forces structure. It will
continue to do so for the foreseeable future and hopefully
this current trend will continue. We have recently updated
our picture boards and displays with LCpl Marc Carr becoming
the new “Face” of the Sqn.
made the walking conditions hazardous, so only a few hardy
individuals continued with their summit attempt of Breariach the weather so bad we went man down within the first few
meters of the walk when 2Lt McDonald took a tumble
seconds after leaving the accommodation! The rest of us
used this as an opportunity to practice our navigation skills,
which for some of us were a little rusty. That being said,
collectively we managed to navigate ourselves into Aviemore
town centre for a quick dram in the name of the great Bard.
The evening’s activities were dominated by the Burns Supper.
After SSgt MacKenzie piped in the haggis, SSgt Forbes gave
his “Address to a Haggis,” where there were a lot of confused
facial expressions from our southern colleagues who couldn’t
understand our native Scots tongue. Cpl MacDonald then
gave his rendition of the “immortal memory,” which lasted an
eternal lifetime! That being said, I think everyone learned
something new about the life of Burns – his military career,
for example where he enlisted in the Army as a volunteer. A
comical “A Toast to the Lassies” was given by Sgt
McLaughlin, before a witty reply was given by Sig Behrendt,
ending the formality of the Burns Supper. We spent the
remainder or the evening socialising in the Mess and laughing
at the antics of LCpl Rodger, who managed to squeeze
himself inside a Christmas tree. This was a great weekend,
and I look forward to next year.
LCpl Carr - ‘the Face’
Exercise NORTHERN FROLIC, 31 Jan to 02 Feb 14
– by Sgt Nursimiloo
This was a field deployment exercise in Dechmont Trg Area at
the end of January 14. FROLIC is a low level exercise which
validates the core functionality of the Sqn and improves
operator knowledge.
This was a excellent training package which gave the
opportunity for those newly joined the unit to learn about the
equipment to get more in depth training, and those already
trained to refresh their own skills.
The Ex included working with CST detachments and Bowman
platforms, from detachment loading, deployment,
establishing communications, SOPs, closedown/movement
and detachment maintenance. The weather was miserable,
but this did not dampen spirits and morale was high.
On Saturday night the females were treated by Capt Jane
Chisholm to a pamper session, in which a few got nails
painted and beauty packages carried out. The boys were
entertained by a “not so quiet” games night
SaBRE attended on the Sunday to give a brief on employer
engagement and what they can do to assist both the reservist
and the employer. This event had a really good attendance
and a lot learned by all. We look forward to the next
instalment/deployment which will be Ex NORTHERN TROT.
Adventure Training Weekend – by LCpl Aitken
The winter adventure training (AT) weekend is always one of
the highlights of the training year - as well as a packed AT
package, the Squadron holds an annual Burns Supper in
memory of the great Bard. In addition, this year the Squadron
was joined by Glasgow University Officer Training Corps
(UOTC) providing fresh faces and an opportunity to mingle.
The planned AT package consisted of a walking a gruelling 13
mile stretch of the Lairig Ghru, which is situated near
Rothiemurchus lodge in Aviemore – our home for the
weekend. However the weather on the Saturday morning
Winter AT at Aviemore
SPSI Farewell
The Squadron would like to wish SSgt Mark Reay every
success for the future on his departure to 50 Signal Squadron,
also part of our Regiment, to allow him to work within
commutable distance of his home and family. SSgt Stu Reid
our PSI (T) will be filling both posts until a replacement is sent
to us by Glasgow.
Maj Jim McNaught
WO2 (SSM) Sam Parke
When SSgt Smith suggested that water gorging would be
good AT I wasn’t really convinced. As this was supposed to
be a team building event I was told it would be a rewarding
On Sat 8 February we set off from Carlisle castle, each person
with their own expectations. On arrival somewhere in the
Lake District with snow on the ground and high winds I lost
my sense of humour. As we suited up into our safety
equipment, checking to make sure it was all secure we looked
over the bridge to see where our first challenge would be.
The first of our tasks was to abseil down the side of a fast
flowing waterfall. For some this proved a difficult task as they
had never attempted anything like this before and at just over
a 100ft it was quite tasty. In true signallers spirit though all
those taking part rose to the challenge. This task was
completed although some looked more professional than
others. This was quickly followed by a short swim then a
small descent ending in a backwards fall into a cold pool of
fast flowing water. All the participants now thoroughly
soaked, were reminded to keep moving to ensure they kept
warm, although WO2 Brown didn’t seem to find this the case
as he enjoyed swimming in the pool a little too much.
The next task set sent laughter around the troops as Pte
Davies lost one of her trainers and our instructor Dan from
Northern Outdoors had to grab it as it continued down the
river without her. As much as we tried to be professional
doing this we just looked like upside down turtles! Jumping
from a tree branch about 10 feet high into the rocky waters
below or sitting backwards and falling from this position was
a challenge. We continued downstream till our last challenge,
the stepping off of a ragged edge to a 15 foot drop into a
deep pool below; this proved too much for one of our group.
All of the challenges set tested our courage and ability to step
out of our comfort zone and face some of our fears to which
we did everyone showed what they were made of.
A motley crew led by the OC Maj Jim McNaught walked along
Hadrians Wall from Housesteads Roman Fort to Birdoswald in
very windy conditions which made the walk all the more
interesting. The heavy rain had made many stretches of the
walk hazardous under foot with every member of the team
testing the padding in their walking trousers at some stage.
WO2 Colin Richie kept everyone amused by somehow being
the butt of most jokes whilst SSgt Jim Gillan soon realised
that maybe the decision to wear trainers was not a good one.
Everyone was surprised to see just how steep the terrain was
on the Scottish Side, especially when a media crew from O2
wanted the largely Scottish contingent to stand on the wall,
The motley crew stroll on
holding a flag of St George for the England-Scotland Rugby
match later that day. For some reason they all said no and
threatened to throw Capt Steve Erskine over the wall instead.
Overall a very successful weekend.
Lt Col Cairns TD
WO1 (RSM) Moore
2014 has started extremely well and the Regt remains as busy
as ever. The Regt has maintained a high level of support to
UK Ops, with Defence Resilience Training at Lynton-on-Ouse
and more recently, the flooding situation which has seen
Reservists mobilised on HRR. Whilst military training has been
ongoing with MATTs weekends and Trade Camps; the Regt
has managed to fit in skiing in the Alps and participation in
Corps Cross Country and Football competitions.
Congratulations to the Cross Country team who finished in
the medals and to Maj Graham Smith on promotion and
assumption of command at 53 Sqn, Cardiff.
Beasley-Wood, Sig Alderson, Sig Lennon, Sig Hussain and for
the females: Capt Sewell, SSgt Smith, LCpl Hughes and LCpl
Royal Corps of Signals Cross Country Championships
- by LCpl Hughes
On Wednesday 22 Jan 14, members from 37 Sig Regt arrived at
Bulford Camp to take part in the Corps Cross Country
The recent weather made for a muddy, slippery course, up
and over the Kiwi and Beacon Hill; the course consisted of a
combination of grass, mud and gravel tracks. The
competitors: SSgt Brooks, SSgt Milton, Sgt Gilbert, LCpl
37 Signal Regiment Cross Country Team
The race started with the females all lined up on the running
track of Picton Barracks for a once round, before we headed
out onto the hills of the surrounding area. Five minutes later
the males lined up on the track for their turn. The females
had 4 miles and the males 6 miles ahead of them and after
40ish minutes of everyone running through muddy puddles
and some cheeky hills, we were back at the finish line before
we knew it.
We all took turns to cook for each other throughout the stay
and safe to say that the higher the rank, the worse the cook!!
One of the days, which came as a surprise to many, was fancy
dress on the slopes! This ranged from a leprechaun, a red
power ranger, sumo wrestler, a priest, a rein deer, a polar
bear, an emu, to name just a few.
Everyone enjoyed themselves as the skiing, social and team
building elements worked extremely well. This was WO2
(YofS) Scouse Lloyds last days skiing in the Regular Army, his
posing, style and jolly japes will be missed for a short time
until he joins the Corps as a veteran Reservist.
The sun shone throughout our stay, and the snow stayed in
good condition, a great time was had and a few bruises were
gained. Roll on next year.
37 Signal Regiment Female Team: Minor Unit Winners
All competitors did well, with Sig Lennon of 48 Sig Sqn
picking up the runners up award for the junior males and the
Female Team who won the Minor Units Team Award;
congratulations to Capt Sewell, SSgt Smith, LCpl Hughes and
LCpl Bellamy.
Exercise DRAGON SORBET – Skiing in the French Alps
- by SSgt Abbot
The Regtl Skiing trip was an experience not to be forgotten;
whilst we we’re all different levels of skiers and ranks, we all
mixed in together and got stuck in. There were 16 of us
staying in the chalet in the village of Nancroix, in the French
Alps, where we skied on the massive ski area of Les Arcs.
36 Signal Squadron Colchester Open Evening 11 Feb 14
- by LCpl Hughes (RRMT)
The group was split into 2 teams at the start and sent all over
the mountain to improve their skiing techniques, however this
ended up in many failed attempts and crashes it must be said.
The Ski Foundation 2 group smiled while going downhill, but
made some choice comments when having to go up hill!
Fancy Dress day at Les Arcs
WO2 (YofS) Scouse Lloyd (Front) on top of the mountain
Maj K Humphries
WO2 (SSM) WO2 K Elliott
36 Sig Sqn held an Open Evening at their Army Reserve Centre
(ARC), with a good turnout of interested people and lots that
wanted to join by the end of the night. Multiple stands were
on offer for all to view and all the way over from Germany, we
had the Op FORTIFY Regular Support Team (RST) from 16 Sig
Regt who were here for the week to assist our recruiting
The choice of stands ranged from 1914 war period to our
modern equipment. Colchester Town Watch, who provide
Colchester town with a ceremonial guard unit (a re-enactment
team), Weapons, Communication Equipment, .22 Range and
on the big screen with a PowerPoint movie of all 36 Sig Sqn
exercises over the past few years. All finished off with a
Ghurkha curry provided by LCpl Sunuwar (36 Signal Squadron
RLC Chef).
16 Sig Regt RST supported the evening by mixing with the
public and potential recruits, talking about their own
experiences from Harrogate through to Op HERRICK
deployments. During their time here at Colchester the RST
has canvassed the local catchment area, advertising the Open
Evening and raising the profile of the Sqn ARC.
against us, we eventually gained the necessary permission to
setup and under the cover of darkness we erected all our
tentage ready for the Comms Ex in the morning. We all then
moved to our accommodation, where I discovered that the
RAF transit rooms were bigger and better than my SSSA.
The next morning we moved out to the Dets and set up the
Bantam and REEBOK equipment ready for the groups of Staff
Officers that streamed through steadily all morning and the
demo seemed to be a success. At around 1500hrs we were
given the all clear to tear down and with the speed of a
startled gazelle, we managed to get the kit packed and lined
up ready for our return to Birmingham. The return journey
was uneventful apart from discovering Krispy Kreme mince
pie doughnuts!
The event went well despite a few hiccups and the Staff
Officers learnt more about our capability which was our aim,
so overall on our part we were successful.
WW1 Weapon Display courtesy of Colchester Town Watch
Other 36 Sig Sqn News
Recent attestations have included Sig Fox who has just
completed his Alpha Cse and Pte Shenbote as a re-joiner,
having only recently left the Regulars as an AGC clerk. We
have also seen Sig Creasey, Sig Gibbs, and Sig Vigor recently
complete their Class 3 Trade Training which is great news.
A good start to 2014 with 6 recent applications looking to join
the Army Reserve; taking our total that attend the nurturing
evenings on a Tuesday, to 18 individuals.
Maj S Cherry
WO2 (SSM) Potts
Defence Commitment to Resilience (Demo at Lynton-onOuse) - by SSgt Cooper SPSI
48 Sig Sqn were tasked with deploying its REEBOK
detachment to RAF Linton-on-Ouse on 10 Dec 13, to
demonstrate the comms capability that the Army Reserve in
our Regt could provide in support of UK Ops. As the
deployment was midweek, finding a crew for the detachment
was proving to be as difficult a task as ever, but in the end, a
combination of Reserve and Regular staff were corralled. We
rolled out of our picture postcard location (Army Reserve
Centre of Sparkbrook) at 1100hrs, and were immediately faced
with the prospect of negotiating a Man SV and Daf with FEPS
through central Birmingham traffic at lunch time (the drivers
needed Jedi like reflexes). The drive was slow and long as our
destination was virtually in Scotland and noticeably, the
further north we went, the colder it got.
We arrived at RAF Linton-on-Ouse where we met up with
members from 36 Sig Sqn and 10 Sig Regt. We then
announced our arrival at the guardroom where nobody had
any idea who we were or even why we were there!
Fortunately WO2 (YofS) Scottie Wilson arrived and through
the magic of Vodafone, managed to discover where the
briefings were taking place and after discussion with the
briefing team we were given our location to setup. Despite
the fact that a recce had been done the week before and
things agreed, there was no clearance to use the piece of land
we were on and our vehicles churned up the nice soft grass
(insert angry RAF Officer here). Despite the many factors
Maj G Smith
Global MATTs 03 - by SSgt James
The 3rd of four MATT weekends was run by 53 Sig Sqn in
Cardiff, over the period 10-12 Jan 14. There was a good turn
out from all 4 Squadrons within the Regt with a total of 48
Army Reserves taking their annual tests.
The weekend was supported by the use of 1 Rifles 25m range
at Beachley Barracks and Bdr Williams from 104 RA as a CBRN
instructor. Saturday morning saw the testing of BCD, LF3 and
CBRN with a round robin session. Once this was complete,
we stopped for a spot of light lunch (delivered by SQMS Ali
Nash MBE), and enjoyed the very rare sunshine that was
booked for the weekend. After lunch we moved to Cearwent
Trg area for an enjoyable walk around the perimeter fence,
before moving back to the Army Reserve Centre in Cardiff for
the evening meal. A spot of Map Reading and CIED followed
and once the testing was completed for the day, we all
enjoyed a soft drink or two in the Sqn bar.
Sunday morning V&S was delivered by the SVWO WO1 Proffitt
and LOAC by Maj Cherry which was a refreshing change from
leaving the CFT until Sunday morning. Once all the testing
was complete, all departed for their respective Army Reserve
Centres. The weekend went well and was enjoyed by
everyone that took part.
The 25m range at Beachley Barracks
Bike Challenge - by SSgt Ali Nash MBE
On 2 Feb 14 SSgt Ali Nash MBE from 53 (Wales and Western)
Signal Squadron started his 890 mile Bike Challenge around
Wales, in Aid of “Papyrus - Prevention of Young Suicide.”
It started a few months prior to the challenge. I was thinking
how I could celebrate my ½ century. A few years ago, with
others in the Sqn I organised a charity walk for Papyrus and
saw the outstanding work done for the “Prevention of Young
Suicide”. So I decided to combine them both to raise money
and awareness of Papyrus and to celebrate my birthday.
Day 1 The Bike Challenge started at 2200hrs on Sunday 2 Feb
14 with a 6 hour drive to my start point in Chester. I got my
bike out of the van, sorted myself out, warm kit on, lights on
and off I set, heading for Caernarfon via Rhyl, Llandudo and
Bangor. After 12 hours in the saddle and 115 miles behind me I
was at my B&B and still dry!
If you would like to donate to this charity please go to www.
Day 7 The Final Push – Cardiff to Chepstow and an 0500hrs
start with only 106 miles between me and the finish. The
heavens had opened up again, so back on with the
waterproofs and off I headed to Chepstow, with a real spring
in my step now as I knew I had only half of a day of riding and
my challenge was completed. Chepstow was getting closer
by the hour and surprisingly I started to feel a bit low, as I did
not want it to end. There had been so many highs and lows,
but like all good things they must come to the end sooner or
later. Just after 1300hrs I was at Chepstow Castle with my
transport waiting for me to take me back to Cardiff to
celebrate my 50th birthday.
Day 2 0500hrs start and the heavens opened with rain and
gales of up to 100 mph forecast. I put on my waterproofs and
off I went, around Anglesey and Holly Head with the weather
so harsh that the sightseeing was limited to say the least.
Back on the mainland I was heading around the Lleyn
Peninsula towards Porthmadog. Fourteen hours and 130
miles later, I have never been so happy to see a Travel Lodge.
Day 3 A late start as I set off at 0800hrs (which I regretted
later), heading to Aberystwyth via Dolgellau, Machynlleth (135
miles). Dolgellau to Machynlleth is only 9 miles, yet it took
me over 3 ½ hours as the wind and rain were horrendous. I
was averaging less than 3 mph, blown off my bike, not once,
but twice, followed by a puncture and a snapped bike
pannier. To add to more frustration, I found out my bike
computer was not waterproof, so most of the day I was
pedalling with no record of how far I had travelled; so it was
back to basic’s with map out and guesstermation. I finally got
to Aberystwyth at 2215hrs and had learnt again, that the only
thing that is waterproof is your skin!!!!
Day 4 The longest day both in distance and time in the
saddle. Learning from yesterday’s experience, I set off at
0400hrs on another wet and windy day, wearing wet and cold
kit from yesterdays Jolly’s. Today I was heading to Tenby via
Fishguard, St David’s Head, Haverfordwest, and Milford
Haven. The weather was against me for much of the morning
and fatigue started to kick in, so around 11 am I decided to
stop for a good rest and had a full “Welsh Breakfast”. I
departed St David’s Head just after lunch and the wind had
changed direction. It felt good that the wind was pushing me
along for a change and I was soon at Haverfordwest, so I
decided to push onto Milford Haven. I arrived just before
1700hrs, a quick caffeine stop and off I peddled for Tenby,
arriving at 2130hrs; a total 178 miles in 17.5 hours.
SSgt Ali Nash MBE at the Finish in Chepstow
Maj C Quincey
WO2 (SSM) M Evans
The festive season bought in plenty of cheer for 54 Sqn.
December started with a “James Bond” themed social event
planned and executed in style by the function’s committee.
The Squadron managed a good turn out for a Christmas CO’s
challenge; a series of competitive command tasks followed a
Christmas lunch and a festive games competition. The
Day 5 An 0700hrs start and 120 miles to Swansea, but for
some strange reason I was looking forward to the ride as it
had stopped raining. I had found my second breath and was
pedalling for “Wales”; the hours and miles were soon passing,
the rain and wind was good to me and there were only
scatted showers as I arrived in Swansea at 1700hrs.
Day 6 Swansea to Cardiff (International Day – Wales v
Ireland). Another leisurely start at 0600hrs and the weather
had changed yet again for the worst. So full waterproofs on,
before I set for the Capital via Bridgend. The wind and rain
were blowing in from the South and as I was heading South
the going was pretty slow with the head wind in my face all
day long. I kept peddling and looking at my watch as I knew
KO was at 1430hrs so had no time to hang around if I wanted
to watch the match. 96 miles and 8 ½ hours later I was in the
Capital watching.
The Permanent Staff Christmas Lunch
Squadron only came second in the Karaoke dance off, despite
an impromptu and entirely unrehearsed break dancing display
from Sig Dan Webster.
We hosted a Christmas lunch for all Regimental permanent
staff which was preceded by a tour of the historic town of
Redditch. Cpl Russ Taylor, who organised the tour, took
those in attendance through a most informative journey in
time which included sites of significant interest that are
hidden amongst the new town buildings.
Members of the Squadron also took part in a fund raising
effort for the Redditch Branch of the Royal British Legion in
partnership with Lloyds bank, Redditch. The event involved a
mammoth step machine relay covering 255 miles, the
equivalent of the distance between Redditch and the site of
the Normandy D-day landings.
Looking forward, 54 Squadron is preparing for the Second
phase of the OP FORTIFY recruiting drive, where we will be
hosting members of 16 Signal Regiment as we put on
recruiting events around the Redditch and Bromsgrove area.
Lt Col Cosgrove MBE
WO1 (RSM) W Scarrott
Maj Nixon
WO2 (SSM) Donnelly
After arriving at the ARC on Friday evening, we settled down
to the usual pre-exercise routine of having weapons,
equipment and rations issued. We split into two sections,
with those going on CLM’s and PNCO courses taking on the
role of Section 2ic. For the first stage of Ex WESSEX
WARRIOR, the current Corporals were tasked with showing
the potential JNCO’s their role within the section. After
receiving our first set of orders for a relief in place, we set off
to Caerwent Training Area to start the exercise phase.
Our first tasking was to locate and occupy a FOB, so we set
off and patrolled into the designated Training area. On arrival
at the FOB, the first job for the section 2ic’s was to set up a
stag rota for the night. After briefing the sections on the
taskings for the next day, we settled down in to FOB routine
and began our first night in the field.
Day two began with a short tab to the DS location where we
received details of the days events. There followed a round
robin of lessons designed to refresh, and in some cases teach,
the green skills that we would put in to place throughout the
final exercise. The stands included contact drills, casualty
evacuation under fire, fight through and re-group and finally
harbour area location and routine. After these lessons had
finished the final exercise phase began and we were tasked to
occupy a particular harbour area. Once we had identified an
area on the map we set off to the location and established a
triangle harbour area. We began normal harbour routine for
about an hour, at which point we received orders to conduct
two close target recces on possible enemy locations.
We set off in a four-man team in order to recce an enemy
force thought to be operating an illegal vehicle control
checkpoint. The weather conditions were not the best for a
CTR as the moon was full, there were no clouds and it was icy
underfoot. Nevertheless we managed to get within about
50m of the position and succeeded in covering the checkpoint
from three different angles. We identified two enemy
personnel and possible routes in and out of the position for
our assault. Once back at the harbour area we settled into
our routine whilst the section ic’s and myself went through
the details for the morning’s assault.
The final day started early with a quick set of orders given by
myself before embarking on a tab towards the enemy
position. Cpl Keill took the fire support section and LCpl
Simpson led the assaulting section. At 0730hrs fire support
began and the assault started. After a brief fight through the
position was cleared and we began to search for enemy dead
and to assess the situation. After about 15 minutes,
information came in over the net of a friendly patrol in the
area who we had lost contact with after a possible contact.
We moved out from the position and patrolled to the last
known location of the friendly patrol. While patrolling to the
location we came across a friendly Spartan vehicle, which
appeared to have crashed, although there was no sign of
enemy persons. We split down in to sections, with 2 section
flanking the position on the left and 1 section advancing up
the middle. We were within about 20m of the position before
1 section were contacted by an enemy force to their left. 2
section were already in a position to assault the enemy while 1
section provided FSP. Once the position was clear our final
task was to extract a casualty to a location for MEDEVAC.
After a 15-minute slog, with everyone putting in maximum
effort, we made it to the location only to be told we had to
extract ourselves from the area by foot. What followed was
an hours tab around Caerwent. Although everyone was
exhausted from the day’s events we had a 100% success rate
on the tab, with nobody ‘crashing out’. Overall, the Squadron
had a successful weekend, with everyone putting in maximum
effort throughout.
Maj S L Trevelion
WO2 (SSM) R Vincent
56 Signal Squadron Freedom Parade – 18 January 2014
In July 2013, the FR2020 announcement directed that 56
Signal Squadron would be removed from the Order of Battle
and replaced in the Eastbourne Army Reserve Centre by a
platoon from 3 PWRR. As part of 56’s drawdown, it was
decided that a fitting way to celebrate the Squadrons proud
history would be to exercise the Squadrons Freedom of
After several months of negotiation between the PSAO, Capt
Gary Jennion, Eastbourne Council and the Lord Lieutenant of
East Sussex’s office, the date for the parade was finally fixed
for Saturday 18 January 2014. 56 Signal Squadron was first
awarded the Freedom of Eastbourne in April 2000 and it has
only been exercised once since, so it was a great honour for
the Council to approve our request to exercise our Freedom
through the town for one final time.
Thanks to several weekends of drill practice and hard graft
under the supervision of the RSM, WO1 (RSM) ‘Jaspar’
Scarrott and the SPSI, SSgt ‘Taff’ Langley, the Squadron
managed to turn out a marching squad of over 40 on the day,
including several recruits. Despite concerns that the weather
would be unkind on the day, we were blessed with sunshine
which made all the difference. In addition to the marching
contingent from the current members of 56, we were
supported by the Corps Band and joined by nearly 30 former
members of the Squadron, including no less than 5 former
OCs; Maj (Retd) Brian Howe, Lt Col Sarah Streete, Lt Col
Anthony Lamb, Maj ‘Dutch’ Holland and Maj Keiron Francis.
Beachy Head Marathon and in particular, Sig Kerrie Edmonds
and Sig Rosie Twomey from 56.
Following press interviews from the BBC at the Army Reserve
Centre and Squadron photographs, the parade formed up at
Eastbourne Pier for the inspection by the Lord Lieutenant of
East Sussex, the Mayor of Eastbourne and the Corps Colonel,
Col Norton. The inspection went without a hitch and at
1130hrs sharp, the parade stepped off and marched through
Eastbourne to the Council offices for the salute, arriving only
3 minutes after the civic party! We were extremely well
supported by the public as we marched through the town and
much to some of the Squadron members surprise, everyone
managed to stay in step throughout! Despite the horror
stories regaled before the parade by the Corps Colonel and
the Squadron Honorary Colonel, Maj Gen (Retd) John MooreBick, the OC, Maj Sarah Trevelion, managed to get all the
words of command right, albeit that some of them did come
out in a rather uncharacteristically squeaky fashion!
Although it is likely that the Freedom Parade will have been
our last formal occasion to parade collectively as 56 Signal
Squadron, I know that the ethos of the Squadron, the
Regiment and the Corps will continue to shine through
wherever our officers and soldiers find new homes in the
Army Reserve. I know that all the soldiers were immensely
proud to exercise 56’s Freedom through their home town and
it has been an immense honour for me to have been selected
to command them. Thank you to everyone who helped
organised the parade, marched with us, turned up to support
us and partied with us in the evening – it was truly a day to
In an effort to round off the day in a befitting fashion, 56
Signal Squadron, former Squadron members, partners and
invited guests attended a black tie function at the 5* Grand
Hotel on Eastbourne seafront. It was a fantastic night and my
particular thanks go to the Squadron 2IC, Capt Steph Barron,
for her hard work and dedication in making the dinner night
such a resounding success. It was a particular highlight to be
joined by the very first OC 56 Signal Squadron from 1969, Maj
(Retd) Trevor Boocock.
Maj AW Morris
WO2 (SSM) K Butcher
The Sqn’s final MATT’s training weekend took place over the
weekend of the 7 – 9 February, offering a last gasp
opportunity for personnel from across the Regiment to
qualify for the CO’s Certificate of Efficiency, and the
associated and much vaunted annual bounty payment. This
years event saw a total of 71 officers and soldiers taking part
in proceedings, with the training requirement varying
between those requiring only a couple of the ‘classroom’
based MATT 6’s to those needing to reach the necessary
competence level across the full range of activities.
56 Sqn formed up ready for inspection
After the parade, the Squadron were invited into the Council
offices for a civic reception where the Mayor presented each
member of the Squadron with a pennant in commemoration
of the occasion. Following lots of photographs, a few drinks
and some canapés, everyone returned back to the Army
Reserve Centre where our friends and family were waiting for
us for a more informal reception. The CO, Lt Col Marcus
Cosgrove, used this occasion to present a cheque to the
Corps Colonel for the Royal Signals Benevolent Fund, raised
by members of the Regiment who recently competed in the
Saturday morning heralded an early start for all, with those
needing to pass anything other than the classroom based
MATT 6’s taken down the road to Colerne to our sister
Regiment, 21 Sig Regt, to make use of their extensive
facilities. Suffice to say that the forecasted storms and
torrential rains did not fail to materialise, leaving those who
hadn’t heeded the advice to bring waterproofs feeling
somewhat sorry for themselves!
Needless to say, morale and spirits were lifted following the
return to Horfield ARC and the eventual tucking into a hearty
evening meal prepared by Cpl Andy Badman, followed by the
time honoured adjournment to the Jimmy Club bar.
Maj Harris
WO2 (SSM) Hearn
Exercise COLD START – by Sig Willis
Not long after the stroke of midnight on a cold Friday night in
January, I kicked off my first exercise with the Army Reserve
alongside personnel representing 10 other cap badges,
including 3 Military Intelligence Regt and the Honorary
Artillery Company, plus of course elements from my own Unit
- 39 (Skinners) Signal Regiment.
During the initial brief we learned that we were to act the
part of a UN peacekeeping force located near a Middle
Eastern border hotspot, through which refugees could
attempt to pass. Saturday was split into 4 training elements;
Guard Duty, Admin, Quick Reaction Force (playing Enemy) and
Patrolling, with each ‘stand’ lasting around 6 hours.
My Section were initially on Guard Duty and message running
on the FOB’s main gate. The night passed without major
incident, interrupted at intervals by various groups of people
entering and leaving, helping us to brush up on our stop and
search drills. After 19 hours of being awake and working, I
have rarely been so glad to see my bed for the night. When
the time came to play enemy, we in 1 Section changed into
our ‘civvies’ and deployed into the nearby FIBUA village to
harass the troops and attempt to escalate tensions in the
area. Whilst in stark contrast to the professional way in which
we go about our work as Army Reservists, we found that
going ‘native’ and ramping up the tension was utterly thrilling.
When our turn came to undertake the Patrolling ‘stand’, we
proved ourselves to be well and truly stealthy, as after 90
minutes of CTR and patrolling in the enemy’s backyard, we
were never spotted or even suspected of being out there!
Exercise MERCURY GLACIER XVII - by Cpl Graeme Tait
The Royal Signals Alpine Ski Championships were held in Zell
am See and Kaprun, Austria in November and December.
Representing 39 and 71 Signal Regiments were Capt Dave
Murphy, Lt Val O’Regan, SSgt Sonja McCoy, SSgt Gareth
Nicholas, Cpl Graeme Tait, Sig Kerrie Edmonds and Sig Kirstie
Jackson with 2Lt Aimee Morris attending as an instructor for
the 3rd week.
The format of the exercise is 3 weeks of ski training
culminating in a week of racing. As not all of the troops were
able to attend the entire 4 week exercise we arrived in 3
tranches with Capt Murphy, SSgt McCoy and Sig Jackson
forming the advance party. The initial morning on the slopes
is all about rediscovering ski legs and having a team ski
around the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier.
The afternoon of the first day on the slopes entails a “ski-off”
which sees the prospective competitors demonstrating their
skills or lack thereof to the instructor team and being
allocated to groups of similar ability. Capt Murphy and Sig
Jackson performed well and were placed in the top group
who are provided with a local civilian race instructor “Risto”,
a dedicated and intense instructor. The Top group received
an intensive 3 week course focussing on race technique for
both slalom and giant slalom while the other groups built up
to this training by perfecting the basics first under their
military instructors. As the weeks progressed, more team
members arrived and were allocated into their respective
ability groups.
Troops at the ready to storm a compound...
Being woken by gunfire and explosions is certainly a strange
thing, and something that no doubt I will have to get used to
over the course of my career. 3MI soon saw off the militants
making all the noise, and orders came to us that we needed
to find and arrest ringleaders as quickly as possible. Early on
Sunday, bombed up and with the reassuring weight of
grenades in our pockets, we moved up to assault the village.
What really amazed me was the power of the grenades and
how they really shake you to the core. After 20 minutes of
adrenaline fuelled combat we got our man, and after a small
counter attack and a few skirmishes in alleys that I will never
forget, we came back to base and Endex was called.
Reflecting back on this exercise, I now appreciate how much
we learned from it and how well we bonded as a team. I am
already looking forward to doing it all over again next year!
Section Commanders orders…
The first couple of weeks of the exercise took place on the
Kitzsteinhorn glacier which due to its altitude is guaranteed to
provide skiable areas. However, due to its exposure it can be
a very cold and unforgiving environment and many people
invested in a variety of protective gear to deal with the
conditions, with some very interesting face masks doing the
rounds. We were fortunate that after the first 2 weeks we
were able to move to the Schmittenhohe which is lower and
more hospitable and barring a couple of days of poor weather
we were blessed with blue skies and good skiing. On to Race
Week, which most were looking forward too, with Lt O’Regan
slightly apprehensive. However, she proved her fears were
unfounded by showing a dramatic improvement from her first
race run to her last! Capt Murphy and Sig Jackson competed
well, with Sig Jackson taking home some prizes as runner up
in the female categories. SSgts McCoy and Nicholas were
fiercely competitive against each other and after a week of
toing and froing, SSgt McCoy prevailed.
All in all this is a fantastic experience and I would recommend
it to anyone, advanced skier to novice. The exercise was very
challenging and tested all thoroughly, as well as improving
Alpine race skills for future competitions.
RSM Lt Col J Picton QC
WO1 (RSM) M Whitfield MBE
News from the Regiment
It has been a busy start to 2014 for the Regiment as we
continue to build towards are FR2020 end state, continuing
with the ever increasing pressure and demands of Op
FORTIFY whilst also maintaining support to UK contingency
operations. The latter has notably been in the form of ICS
support to 2 (SE) Brigade during Op PITCHPOLE.
Pleasingly the Regiment has had two promotions on the
recent SSgt – WO2 board; SSgt (FofS) A Jackson and SSgt
(ArtVeh) Jones, both extremely well deserved.
Maj M Curtis-Rouse
WO2 (SSM) G Shorthouse
SSgt P Tinsley
A new year and a new start to training for the Squadron with
emphasis on the Annual Deployment Exercise which is
anticipated to be in Denmark, taking the form of an eight day
comms exercise with an OPFOR from Danish Reserve units.
The Squadron was introduced to the new tempo of activities
with the first exercise of the year being run by the RSM and
the Regt Ops Team in the delightful damp location of Cinque
Ports. Being the first fully green exercise with weapons and
associated military skills that the Squadron has undertaken for
many months, the worse was expected and expressed (they
thought silently) by many members of the Squadron. What
actually materialised was a surprisingly less beasting
experience than anticipated, with a well-planned and well
executed FOB defence scenario and multiples from each of
the Regimental Squadrons deployed in rotation to defend and
execute a series of related tasks.
The Squadron’s Recruiting Officer, Capt Tim ‘Banoffe’ Roberts
managed to get a lucky role as a multiple commander, though
perhaps in reflection he wasn’t actually that lucky. The OC,
Maj Mike Curtis-Rouse was delighted to discover that he was
now in command of the FOB in addition to what he thinks as
his Regiment (contrary to the CO and the Adjutant). The
former Squadron 2IC, Maj Alex Orr was equally pleased to
discover that he was back under the notional command of the
Squadron and hence OC. Eyes certainly rolled as the fighting
about who was actually in command look liked it was about
to arrive; though the cunning instigation of two shifts actually
prevented that from happening. Meanwhile outside of the
FOB Ops room in the cold but oddly dry weather, the
multiples were rotating through guard, the QRF and being off
duty without a great deal of incidents. That was until two of
the multiples decided to start tasking each other whilst the
third multiple under Capt Roberts was on a patrol. Matters
escalated quickly as a gang of disgruntled PSI’s decided to
descend on the FOB; naturally Maj Orr was on hand to offer
suitable bribes to keep them away, at least until the Base OC
could pay them off the following day.
Out on the ground Capt Roberts patrol was actively engaging
anything which appeared to be of threat, ranging from
hazardous and dangerous species such as brambles and gate
posts. The enemy, if they were present were probably
laughing too much to present much of a threat. Of course the
story from the patrol was completely different... In the
OpsRoom, LCpl Mike Hone was demonstrating his ability to
mesomorph into a beautiful green butterfly, though it did
appear to the remainder of the sleepy Ops staff that he might
have got stuck at the caterpillar stage despite Sgt Sophy
Spittles gift of a pair of antenna. Newly arrived Capt Amanda
Washbrook, the Squadron 2IC, spent much of the shift trying
to understand the OC’s intent, his obsession with a crumpled
copy of the Lakeland’s catalogue, the sleepy caterpillar and
the frequent appearances of the Regimental Ops staff at
moments which oddly coincided with base attacks.
As the exercise progressed Maj Orr awoke from his sleepy
beauty slumber, managing the record of most sleep ever on
an exercise and took command from the OC. The 2IC had
managed by now to discern a pattern in attacks and presence
of the CO and Ops Maj, she decided getting her head down
was the right thing to do when the majority of Regt Ops
arrived with the CO in tow, minus all the of PSIs. Probably, a
good thing too, as after that the equivalent of reservist hell
broke loose, as the Adjutant, Capt Calum MacAulay,
announced his presence at the FOB perimeter as a large
stumbling bomb whilst the remainder of the PSI’s descended
on the bleary eyed QRF and guard multiples. The OC
managed to sleep through most of this, so isn’t entirely sure
what happened, other than the attacks were fought off, and
day was won.
Cpl Rosie Ewbank ensures that the Squadron 2IC, Capt Amanda
Washbrook is really clean
In the celebrations after, a moment from found to promote
LCpl Mike Hone, though not for his efforts as radio operating
caterpillar which appeared to have left profound effects on
the FOB Ops room staff. An excellent exercise and one which
all members of the Squadron learnt along from and should
stand us in good stead for the upcoming exercises.
WO2 (SSM) J Paton
SSgt Beattie
Squadron Overview – by Capt John Donaldson
The Sqn is going through a period of transition for the initial
part of the year. The previous OC, Maj Alex Downing has
finished his tenure and will shortly be replaced by Maj Sarah
Treveillion. The previous 2ic, Capt Sean Olohan, has moved
to a new job as ADC to Brig O’Leary in Upavon and he has
been replaced by Capt Tim Roberts, previously of 47 Sig Sqn.
The Sqn continues to train for its UK Ops contingency role in
London with various exercises across all spectrums. We have
had members involved in comms testing at Wellington
Barracks and most recently, we have a number deployed on
Op PITCHPOLE. We have participated in the recent training
weekends which have been produced by RHQ and these have
been a great success in building up the basic level of military
skills across the board. Various members from the Sqn have
also attended team medics courses ran at RHQ. The skiing
season is very much in full swing and SSgt Marsh has been
instructing in France with 38 Sig Regt and we have SSgt
Stabler and Sgt Nugent due to go to Tignes, France for an
exped, courtesy of Lt Stu Kennon, a former officer with the
Sqn. SSgt ‘Jim’ Brown is currently sailing around the Canaries
A highly successful dinner night was held in the last weekend
of January. It was also the night when the annual awards
where given out, with LCpl Gary Mills, Sig Neil Kerlen and Sig
Simon Chilton being the winners. The PSAO was awarded the
William Hine award for his contribution to the Sqn over the
past year!!
This year promises to be as action packed as the last and
there are a number of high profile events that the Sqn will
take part in. We will carry out a parade to commemorate the
start of the First World War. This will take place at
Berkhamsted as we have a memorial erected there in tribute
of the training that the Inns of Court Regiment undertook
back in 1914. Then the Sqn, along with over 40 members of
the Association, will travel to Normandy in France to
participate in the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day landings.
Maj Keith Wrate
SSgt Leigh Griffiths
SSgt Carl Shackleton
OC Squadron Overview
The Squadron started the year as it finished the last with a
continued momentum for training, development and support
to operations. Ex PHOENIX CANTER was the first of 2 infantry
skills exercises designed to test the Squadron members
operating in and out of a FOB location, which was well
attended by members.
Equipment care was high on the agenda for this period and
various troop level inspections were carried out by SSgt Dave
Haskell, SSgt ‘Daz’ Lane and SSgt Paul Thwaite. The
Squadron worked very hard to ensure the detachments,
ranging from REEBOK, CST and BOWMAN were presented to
a high standard. The TC OPOs are maintained by the
Squadron ED’s as well as the 3 FEPS generators and were
equally well presented.
The Squadron continued to provide manpower in support of
Op FODIENT, with SSgt Carl Shackleton, Sgt ‘Matty’ Grounds,
Cpl ‘Smiler’ Sutton and Cpl Paul Broadbent ensuring the Ops
Room IT continued to work efficiently. Capt Sean Wardle and
his team of medics provided 2 Team Medic courses at the
Bexleyheath Army Reserve Centre. The first course was
supported by the permanent staff from the 3 ARC locations of
the Regiment and additionally members of 32 and 38 Signal
Regiments. This was heavily interrupted by the
announcement of Op PITCHPOLE, where a number of
personnel were deployed in support of it, Sgt ‘Caz’ Castro,
Sigs Paul Harrild and ‘Jacko’ Jackson manning the CST
detachment loaned from 47 Sig Sqn and also assisting with
manning the 71 Y Sig Regt NETCEN at Bexleyheath. The
second was attended mainly by reservists keen to have this
excellent qualification under their belt. The OC and Squadron
members would like to congratulate LCpl ‘Crazy’ Crane and
his partner Nicola on the birth of their baby son Harry and
both mother and son are doing very well. The Squadron
would also like to wish Capt ‘Khush’ Cooper a safe tour in
Afghanistan and look forward to his war stories when he
returns safely as Tp Commander, Log Sp Tp. Finally, at long
last, congratulations go to LCpl Bob Brasier on receiving his
well deserved promotion to LCpl, well done
The first exercise for the Squadron was well attended at the
bitterly cold location of Cinque Ports in Folkstone and
expertly put together and run by the RSM and the Regt Ops
Team. The exercise was fully tactical, operating from a FOB
with personal weapons and well developed military skills.
Prior to the exercise SSgt Carl Shackleton and Cpl ‘Smiler’
Sutton produced some interesting and testing lessons in
tactics and field craft at the ARC. The exercise was based
around a well-planned and well executed FOB defence
scenarios with multiples from each of the Squadrons
deployed in rotation to defend and take part in some testing
conditions. The Squadron provided the G4 Support with SSgt
Ian Lapidge and SSgt Paul Thwaite providing bed and hotel
and Ptes Sylvia Hirst and Phil Evans providing breakfast and
other excellent meals. The G4 set and the location secure all
that was missing was the exercising troops. They arrived that
night primed and ready to go. After receiving briefings from
the RSM, Ops Maj and DS it was time for a quick 5 minutes
sleep. Reveille was early and the smell of freshly cooked
bacon, sausages, eggs, beans and tomatoes was readily
received by the ever hungry troops and demolished in record
time. The troops were then split into multiples and set off
outside for NSP’s, right on cue, the heavens opened. A round
robin training cycle continued throughout the day with
lessons ranging from “fire and movement”, “patrolling” and
“casualty evacuation”. The Squadron multiple was led by Lt
Bolt from 68 Sig Sqn and the 2 ic was Cpl Sutton, with
members of the Squadron making up the numbers.
Saturday evening saw the start of the testing phase of the
exercise with the main orders being given by Maj Mike CurtisRouse, OC 47 Sig Sqn, and his Ops Team. The exercise went
through the evening and into the early hours of the next day
where the FOB was hit by the DS on numerous occasions,
providing different testing scenarios for the reserves to deal
with. Throughout the duration the real time logistics and
feeding were provided by the Squadron who were tested to
the full and provided an excellent service.
Sqn members preparing for patrol
COS Rear Maj CEJ Davies
OC ROG Capt GE Middleton
WO1 (RSM) Wedge
2Lt Painter
SSgt Lowes
Exercise RED RAT COMMUNICATOR – by Sig Jones-Ramirez
On 27 January 2014 Alpha Troop deployed on Ex RED RAT
COMMUNICATOR, in order to practice our skills on
establishing and living out of our detachments. Before we
departed for the local exercise area we had pre inspections
which were carried out by the MT, OC ROG, Capt Middleton,
and WO1 (RSM) Wedge, which was slightly concerning when
he didn’t carry out his usual inspection of tyre pressures.
Before we could start all this we were out shovelling snow, as
it had snowed heavily the night before. As you can imagine
none of us were impressed at the thought of having to go on
exercise, especially myself as this was my first German winter
and I was used to going on exercises in hot countries. To my
dismay I was told count your self lucky this is a mild winter.
We deployed to the local training area and on arrival in our
specific locations, conducted a PACEX. Most of the drivers
parked their vehicles with ease, however Sig ‘Jew’ Davies had
lost the control of his legs and feet resulting in stalling his
vehicle several times, whilst the clutch showed its displeasure
by giving of a strong, unique burning smell.
Once we were sited we started to set up our detachments.
All was going well until someone came up to my detachment
and mentioned that Cpl ‘Talkative’ Marshall had set up a
poncho on the side of the Det. Our initial thought was
“Surely they are not making us sleep outside the tent in this
weather?” Thankfully someone answered our prayers and
delivered us camp cots and told us you can all sleep in the 9x9
with central heating in the form of a luke warm kero heater.
That night a Fire Piquet was put in place and all Det
Commanders got together and made a list of all the stags. To
everyone’s surprise there was little fuss made about timings.
Sig ‘Mallet’ Hallett got lucky as the one member of his crew
who didn’t have to do a stag. Due to him being Det
Commander he decided that this member should be himself
and therefore made LCpl Andy Yarrick stag on in the middle
of the night, totally ignoring the paper, scissors, and rank slide
rule, which proved to be his downfall.
deploy out to different locations throughout Germany. Two
of the Detachments were going to Normandy Barracks,
Sennelager and Herford in order to get HF Communications
back to the HQ located in a far flung field on Hohne training
area. The remaining Detachment moved a short distance to
yet another far flung field on the training area and established
VHF Communications to anyone who would listen. Upon
hearing where he was going Sig Hallett came out with the
ultimate quote “Yes that means I’m going to Hareems
tomorrow”. This is a local Spa with extra privileges in the
area of Sennelager. I don’t think WO2 (YofS) Engleby was
impressed with this comment and gave him a few press ups
to show his appreciation.
In the early hour of 29 January 2014 all three Detachments left
their locations and returned to Hohne camp in order to POL
and pick up our rations for the next 48hrs. On arriving at
camp we were met by members of Support Troop and at that
moment in time a little bit of annoyance crept in with our
merry band of travellers, knowing that they were going back
to their warm offices once our replen was completed.
On arriving at my intended location we quickly discussed
where we were going to site our Detachments and then
cracked on with setting up. As we were pushing the trailer
into place, because none of us had the required skills to
reverse our vehicle with the trailer connected, I suddenly saw
Sig ‘Mo’ Farrow disappear. As I ran round the trailer I saw
him sprawled on the floor. He clearly thought it would be
clever to bang his knee on the back of the trailer, nearly
getting himself run over in the process.
The remainder of the Exercise went fairly smoothly, with the
exception of LCpl Yarrick, Sig Hallett and Sig ‘Pizza’ Crouch
having to call on the skills of 200 Sig Sqn and their LAD to
confirm that the amount of oil which had filled the drip tray
over night was not normal, and there was a significant reason
for not being able to drive to our next location back in Hohne.
Once the exercise plan had taken into account that we had
now left a Detachment in Sennelager we returned to Hohne
only to find that our remaining Armoured Detachment was
not only back on the road but had been strategically placed to
be set up outside the garages in preparation for its new crew.
The following day we all received plenty of revision on
Antennas and Propagation by Cpl Marshall. Due to him
getting carried away, we were stood in the cold for what
seemed ages, which turned out to be even longer than we
had anticipated. As you can imagine he wasn’t very popular
at that moment in time. That night we received a full set of
orders from the newly appointed Tp Comd, 2Lt Painter. This
told us everything that was planned to happen over the next
couple of days. Three of the Detachments were going to
The Exercise came to an end with yet another Tp Comd and
Tp SSgt Detachment inspection prior to moving to the Sqn
welfare facility for Pizzas and a couple of beers to welcome
2Lt Painter into the Alpha Tp fold. We also took this
opportunity to bid a farewell to those deploying on the
remainder of Op HERRICK 19 allowing some of the Sqn to
return. We hope they have a safe tour.
WO2 (RQMS) Williams
SSgt Caplis
Exercise RED RAT TEARS – by Cpl McQueen
After a week of preparing and carrying out our Units LSI and
ECI the Squadron was to deploy on the first Exercise of 2014.
This was to be a Leadership Exercise to develop all our junior
soldiers ready for future promotion. It was organised and run
by WO1 (RSM) Wedge who was keeping all the surprises to
come close to his chest.
It started nice and early Monday morning outside the Red Rat
cinema. The first task was to have a full kit check. Needless
to say, even with the Warning Order out before Christmas a
few people still forgot some items. The rest of that morning
was death by PowerPoint, starting with Leadership, Essay
Writing and Appreciations, before learning the ‘7 Questions’
prior to lunch. The afternoon was then taken up by learning
the orders process, which was to be to no avail as SSgt Lowes
was to find later in the week. After learning what we needed
to know for the week, it was off to the gym for an interesting
circuit lesson. We were split down into our Teams 1 and 2, and
then again separated into to further teams Alpha and Bravo.
The ‘Hero’ circuit taken by Cpl Tuite was demanding and hard
work. I was devastated when I was moved teams half way
through as the original team then went onto win the circuit.
A quick shower and change then led to getting on the TCV’s
and heading out to Hasselhorst camp where we would then
spend the rest of the Exercise. Once the mandatory briefs
and getting rations were sorted, we were then given time to
carry out personal administration before we would be told
what we were doing that night. Team 1 had to do
appreciations, while Team 2 gave their presentations. The
appreciations were interesting as the 2½ hours we had went
very quickly. I only just had time to finish before SSgt (FofS)
Trott came in to hear my presentation of the answer.
Needless to say I fell into the trap of the question and
believed it to be Sunday in the question rather than Thursday,
which made all my answer completely wrong. As Cpl
Marshall and I were the first two to complete the task, we
got what would be the earliest night of this Exercise.
On Tuesday we started the day with getting a set of Platoon
orders in order to write our own Section orders. For most of
the team this was the first time of carrying out this process
and made for some interesting results. This did put doubt in
SSgt Lowes mind, as to whether or not his lesson had been a
waste of time. Again, being the first to finish and with time to
spare, meant that I could get some sleep as this was starting
to be a pattern of the Exercise. If you had free time, you got
your ‘admin’ sorted. That night we had night orienteering.
We were briefed by WO2 (RQMS) Williams, who gave us our
maps and checkpoints and set us off at intervals to go find
each of the 12 checkpoints. As I was last out I was expecting
to catch a few people along the route. Instead I found that a
few of them had already grouped together by the first
checkpoint. Cpl Marshall was the first to return after finding
one checkpoint before he went out for a second attempt to
find a further three. I then came in after a long search, but
successfully finding all 12, the only person on the whole
Exercise to do so. The remainder all eventually turned up just
before the time limit only finding three. However they did
manage to find a local deer that scared them all as it crossed
their path.
We thought that that was the end for the night; little did we
know that it had just been the start. At 0100 the DS sat us
down in a classroom and gave us the good news. We had to
write two 500 word essays on a selection of two topics from
a list of six. By this point the tiredness was starting to set in
and showed when the results of the essays showed that most
people had failed to read the question and had gone off the
topic, as that had been easier to write. We finally finished and
got some well deserved rest before another early start.
On Wednesday we started the day with command tasks with
SSgt ‘Tiff’ Caplis and Cpl Moon. It was a good day and was
very eventful. Sig ‘TB’ Jones showed his ability of height
while escaping an ‘electrified’ enclosure. Sig Cuffe was good
moral throughout the day, especially when he set off
believing he had his day sack on until he physically checked to
find that he had left it behind. Finishing early meant that we
could get some sleep that we missed the night before. That
evening was time for our presentations. The RSM enjoyed
quite a show that night. Cpl Marshall turned his 15 minute
presentation into a 35 minute lesson, while Sig Jones forgot
to check his presentation format which meant that his
PowerPoint did not work. This didn’t stop him as his good
knowledge of the JSP references and all the details, gave for a
good presentation. Luckily for us Team 2 had already
informed us that the presentations were not the only thing
we would be doing that night. The RSM then handed out a
Maths assessment followed by an English assessment. This is
to assess our key skills to level 2 standards.
Command Tasks!
Thursday, the final day had finally arrived. It was time to do
the ‘7 Questions’ process. We sat on top of a ‘bun line’
looking towards the two enemy positions, in the German
winter weather. All available warm kit was now on and being
used, but it was still very cold. 2Lt Painter took our answers
while trying to guide everyone through the reasonably hard
process. Once we had all finished, rumours of another PT
session spread prior to our departure back to camp. We all
got onto the TCV’s again and headed back to camp. We got
dropped off outside the welfare and headed into the bar;
where there was a hot curry was waiting for us. After a quick
debrief on how well the Ex had gone, we had a few drinks
and food before going home to get some well earned rest.
Capt Newman
SSgt Phil Oulton
- by Sig Smith
We are now well into the H19 Tour and with Christmas lurking
around the corner the Squadron Welfare Team (A Team)
decided to show of the latest fashion trend with a onezie day
at work. As gorgeous as Cpl Mal Barron normally looks, his
was a vast improvement with his Santa Hat and Beard. As fun
as it was Sig Smith and Sam Foulkes found it a bit warm being
the main workers in the café, so after a hard day at work
(drinking coffee and tea) the Welfare Team deployed on Ex
FEAST for a beautiful meal and drinks at the Becklingen Hof
Restaurant. Although the UWO, Capt ‘The Newmanator’
Newman was doing his best to get every one in a merry mood
with shot after shot of ratznputz. This was not the best idea
for LCpl Andy Kenyon to drink as it took a lot of self-control
to keep his meal down to prove he wasn’t a shandy drinker
after all. The after effects were plain to see the next morning
with Sam Foulkes and Cpl Barron struggling to peel
themselves out of their beds for work. It was a great night
and all enjoyed themselves after a hard few months looking
after the families.
With partners away for Xmas, Jerboas Welfare Team led by
The Newmanator and Team Oulton (Phil and Paula) laid on a
Children’s Christmas party with entertainment from one of
Germany’s finest children’s entertainers, who kept the kids
amused with magic, music and balloon tricks which had the
children in fits of laughter. We also had a special visit from
Santa himself who took the time out of his busy schedule to
deliver presents to the children. The day was a great success.
A new year is upon us and with it new beginnings in the
welfare with a sad good bye to Cpl Mal Barron after 14
months of hard work and a big hello to Cpl Lib Elgumaty. In
his first week he has been thrown into the deep end with
hypo children running around and screaming till there heart is
content with the First Families day of 2014. The kids
entertainer, Ashley Turley, helped keep them active and
amazed with tricks, music and joking around. Fun was had by
all, and looking forward to many more in the near future.
Maj GJ Clarke
WO1 (RSM) P Henderson
Exercise EAGLE’S EYE - by Sig Clifford
were given the opportunity to gain their French wings; SSgt
Allan, Sgt Summerfield, Cpl Carver, Cpl Lister and LCpl
Meadon, some of the lucky few involved.
Exercise EAGLE’S EYE was a Brigade Level exercise situated in
Calvi, Corsica. C Troop deployed to Camp Raffalli, augmented
by a few random extras from A Troop, on our first proper
exercise as a new Troop. The exercise was an opportunity for
the Bde ISTAR assets, including members of 216 (Para) Sig
Sqn, to get out on the ground with Paratroopers from the
French Foreign Legion, while we provided the HICON, RLD
and road move.
The main exercise lasted five days, during which the ISTAR
assets practised their TTPs, and co-ordinated with the Foreign
Legion, producing target packs after conducting close recce.
The exercise proved worthwhile for the Para trained as they
C Tp lob with the French Forigen Legion in Corsica
216 (Parachute) Signal Squadron were a key element, led by Lt
Stradling on his first overseas deployment with the Squadron.
We provided the communications backbone throughout.
Local facilities were transformed into a HICON, where 117F
and HF capabilities were put into action during training cycles
and FTX. We also picked up the logistic burden of driving all
the way to Corsica… and back… not a short trip!
C Tp at the home of 2 Rep
Aside from the main exercise, there was scope for members
of the Squadron to add value to the training. SSgt Allan and
Sgt Summerfield ran an overnight survival stand on the
training area for the Brigade, which included shelters, ground
sign awareness and some very freshly prepared rabbit. Cpl
Carver planned and co-ordinated a tactical NavEx that
C Tp in Corsica Ex EAGLES EYE
challenged the exercising troops. The Legion also put on
some training, allowing members of the Squadron to learn
amphibious drills under the instruction of 3 Compagnie; this
included river crossings and anti-aviation drills; nothing like
capsizing in the freezing Mediterranean sea in February!
of -20 we did think of these new recruits for a second or two
while we were snuggled in our doss bags (not together, that
would be weird).
South RRB was crewed by Sig Barton and Sig Moore.
Although they didn’t have the joy of the snow they were
blessed with strong winds. We found this out when we heard
they had to go and retrieve their 12x12 one evening! They also
had time to brush up on their ‘I Spy’ skills with an epic 4 hour
game, Sig Moore winning this because of his knowledge of
different bushes and wildlife, clearly showing his old age.
They were so keen and enjoying themselves they even stayed
out another night!
Overall the exercise went well, it was a good training exercise
for us as well as the Officer Cadets. The comms were good
and was invaluable in terms of brushing up skills and drills
whilst maintaining a RRB in some tough terrain. It was also
good to see what the other half do in order to earn their
82 Airborne Division Visit, Fort Bragg – by Cpl Crabb
Overall, the exercise was a great opportunity for both the
experienced and inexperienced soldiers to brush up on their
skills, particularly on TACSAT and HF. It was also a good
opportunity for us to train and live alongside the Legion, and
of course, get out of Colly!
Exercise LONG REACH – by Sig Snell
216 (Para) Sig Sqn assisted the Royal Military Academy
Sandhurst by providing two RRB detachments for the new
Officer Cadets’ first major navigation exercise, in a very wet
and snowy Wales. The cadets, who are only in week 5, have
to cover between 70 and 80km carrying a Bergen, a bit like
Lanyard but not as hard. They have a number of checkpoints
to go to, in which many include command tasks they have to
attempt in teams and hopefully pass.
North RRB was the responsibility of Sig Snell and Sig Sinclair.
This was located 800m up in the Black Mountains. It was
definitely a cold one, wind speeds of 52 mph and a wind chill
Following a much deserved Christmas leave 9 specially
selected members of the Sqn, WO2 (FofS) Ruscoe, SSgt
(FofS) Risley, SSgt Steel, Cpl Mauger, Cpl Crabb, LCpl LavelChesterton, LCpl Moorby and Sig Gladwyn led by WO1 (RSM)
Henderson eased our way into the New Year by deploying to
Fort Bragg, North Carolina, home of the 82nd (All American)
Airborne Division. After a nine hour flight and a 3 hour car
journey, with some very tired faces, we arrived. Fort Bragg is
basically the largest Army base in the world; it has a
motorway, 2 hotels, 3 malls, an airbase and a training area the
size of Salisbury plain. The purpose of the visit was
interoperability of all tactical communications systems, both
voice and data, for future joint deployments of both NATO
countries. We were shown around their vehicles and
deployable trunk systems, as well as their Div HQ, which
turned out to be considerably smaller than our current Bde
HQ. We even managed a bit of interoperability with a Dutch
contingent who went on to use our TVB on an exercise with 3
BCT to great success.
Between trials we managed to find space for a little
recreational activity; LCpl Moorby and Sig Gladwyn took
some time out of their busy schedule to travel to one of the
many local pistol ranges. Upon arrival they declared that we
were A) “Not American red necks” and B) “Were not
terrorists” and therefore were allowed to stroll onto the
range (with 100 rounds of 9mm and 100 Rounds .45 special)
with no instruction other than ‘try not to shoot yourself’.
Whilst trying not to shoot each other they managed to fire a
Springfield 9mm XDM match grade pistol, an all American
classic colt 1911 and a heavily modified sports Glock 17L as a
treat from our new American friends.
After a very useful and interesting 10 days with a great deal
learnt on both sides, it was time to say goodbye and make the
long journey back to Colchester to make plans for future
exercises. A short trip in May is looking promising and an
extended Sqn deployment in Oct (approx 6 weeks…) is on
the calendar. Exciting times to come, Para, AT, Sport, Comms
and more Para!!
American Jump – by SSgt Steel
Fri 10 Jan 14 and the 4 Para trained personnel from the Sqn,
WO1 (RSM) Henderson, WO2 (FofS) Ruscoe, SSgt (YofS)
Risley and SSgt Steel had to attend jump school with
elements of 7 (Para) RHA. Having passed the course we were
qualified to jump the following Sunday.
Sunday arrived, we received a DZ brief and off we went to
Pope Airfield which is the same size as RAF Brize Norton but
only 10 minutes away. It was then we found out that we were
jumping from a C-17 at night with new in service parachutes.
What could go wrong?! The C-17 took off with us all raring to
get our American wings. One more thing was mentioned on
the plane however, there were vehicles and armour on the DZ
so steer away from the red cylumes, great!!
themselves with their new dets and got stuck in. Admin
prizes, good and bad go to; LCpl Flynn for almost getting his
wagon bogged in (bad), whilst LCpl Hardy was that squared
away he even managed to pack a radio, heater and a fabreeze
scented air-freshener (good)!
Straight from Friday Woods, C Troop deployed in force on
Squadron CT2 in Otterburn, whilst the more lucky members
deployed to Corsica on Exercise EAGLES EYE for four weeks.
Both exercises brought their own war stories; snow in
Scotland v a flooded Ops room in Corsica, living in Otterburn v
being 100m from the Beach… fair to say Corsica was much
more arduous! A swift recovery by all means the Troop are
set and ready to go supporting A Tp on CAST(N).
With a raft of new faces due to join us in the coming weeks,
we say a farewell to Lt Stradling who moves over to A Tp to
plan their MST year, whilst Lt Dodson comes in as the new OC
Charlie Troop.
- by LCpl Moorby and Sig Scullion
OC/QM Capt Kev Read
RQMS WO2 (RQMS) ‘Nipper’ Sherlock
Support Troop and Para
While the rest of the Sqn are busy gallivanting around Europe
and swanning off to the USA Support Troop are busy
preparing for the forthcoming exercises; the nearest crocodile
to the canoe being the Bde CAST in Catterick, before the
notorious JOINT WARRIOR in April.
On 10 February the Training Wing organised a refresher and
currency parachute jump for 20 blokes from 216. The weather
was a bit hit and miss and despite the low cloud coverage of
c.600ft, most jumps went ahead less the QM’s who is “still”
waiting to complete his refresher jump! It wasn’t that the QM
refused, the jump was aborted for all refreshers on board the
aircraft, much to their disappointment as they had to jump
from a far more casual 1000ft! Back at 600ft Cpl Black had a
real test of character as the RCMO 13 Med Regt got caught in
his risers, only managing to release and continue the decent
when at 100ft! Luckily both came away unscathed and
unsoiled after quite a fast decent.
Ready for the jump
The jump went in at 1000 feet and all four members landed
safely with no injuries, no one collided with the heavy loads
on the DZ and no one forgot their new American drills. On
our final day we finally got presented our American wings, yet
another set for the collection.
Lt Sradling
SSgt Richardson
Troop Overview – by Sig Stark
What a start to the year! With Charlie Troop fully established,
January saw the Troop deploy on Exercise EAGLES CHAIN on
the local training area. This was a chance dust off the
cobwebs on the Bowman platforms, practicing our new role
as a Troop. Once out on the area, the lads familiarised
216 Training Wing
For WO2 (RQMS) ‘Nipper’ Sherlock this would be his last of
many jumps before he leaves the Squadron for Northern
Ireland. The RQ asked all who jumped to sign his parachute
decent logbook for the very last time. The book is now full of
all the names from his previous jumps, and there are a few! A
fine way to mark the end of loyal service to 216 (Parachute)
Signal Squadron; we all wish the RQ the best for the future.
next activities leading the Troop to an all you can eat Chinese
buffet and beyond…!
OC SSgt Capt Oliver
SSgt Conley
With elements of the Sqn deploying with the French Foreign
Legion, 2 Para and Charlie Troop the MT/LAD managed to
secure two places for the deployment. Cpl ‘Scotty’ Graham
and Sig ‘No Banter’ Tranter were the lucky chosen ones.
The RQ’s final jump
ALPHA TROOP – by Sig Wood
Lt Dodson
SSgt Allan
After a well deserved break over the Christmas period, Alpha
Troop hit the ground running at the start of the New Year.
LCpl Johnny ‘Tight Face’ Laval-Chesterton and Sig ‘Gladders’
Gladwyn deployed to the US on Ex EAGLES MESSENGER as
part of a small group of SME’s testing interoperability with
our American counterparts, whilst the remainder of the Troop
slogged away in the less glamorous role of EC in preparation
for our next deployment. Deployments in support of the PF
Cadre and Ex LONG REACH followed, with our final
commitment involving a Troop deployment on CAST (North).
Some changes in Troop hierarchy see Lt John Dodson depart
the Troop for pastures new in next doors Charlie Troop
garages, as the Troop welcome Lt Pete Stradling the other
way as he begins his ordeal as Alpha Troop OC! Welcome sir!
The Troop also welcomes Sig ‘S-P’ Smailes-Peart as he is
posted in fresh from Blandford. An exciting time for the
Troop as it approaches the end of its tenure as ‘Ops Troop’,
he could not have arrived at a better time in terms of
development as we move into the role of MST Troop.
3 … 2 … 1 … Go!
With a well earned Christmas holiday over all too quickly, the
Troop organised an Alpha Troop bonding day in which it
would say farewell to Troop Commander Lt John Dodson.
With promises from Cpl Sean Bowden of a ‘Call of Duty’ style
paintball arena proving to be a figment of his imagination, the
Troop settled for a Grand Priz style event at the local Go
Karting Track. With helmets on and suits zipped up, we were
chomping at the bit to get started. With a minimum of 6
heats of 5 laps per person, the race was on to see which 8
would make the grand final! With Sig Tyrone ‘Spaghetti-neck’
Cox counting himself out the running with the lap times
expected of a pensioner, and Cpl Sean Bowden still struggling
to find a step ladder to use to get himself up into his go-kart,
early indications suggested that Sig James ‘Jimmy’ Harper
was the most likely to end victorious as he bulleted around
the track in a Donkey Kong esq manner. Other personnel
would soon stake their claim for the crown, as LCpl ‘Slavs’
Slaven and Sig Joey ‘Sam Turkington’ Barton showed what
weighing 8 stone can do for your lap times!
Come the final race the Troops lined up as expected, with
surprise appearances from LCpl ‘Revs’ Revell and Sig Dominic
‘Road Rage’ Galdwyn amongst the starting line up. Troop OC
Lt Dodson showed little consideration for his men as he
claimed pole, whilst Cpl Bowden surprised all to make the
final 8 despite being unable to reach the pedals. A nail biting
race saw the boss cross the line in 1st with Sigs Nunn and
Harper finishing 2nd and 3rdy. The prize giving signalled the
conclusion to the Troop bonding days warm-up, with the days
After their mammoth road trip from Colchester to Corsica,
they were fortunate enough to go through survival training
with SSgt ‘Gaz’ Allen. The comedy duo was exposed to group
killing, skinning and cooking wild rabbits and generally
devouring everything remotely edible in their path. There
was also the opportunity to carry out boat capsizing drills and
other survival techniques thanks to members of the Foreign
Legion. I’m sure that these new skills will be put to good use
in rain swept Essex.
February saw the airborne members of MT/LAD conducting
ground training ready for some parachuting. After some
dubious flight swing action from the Tiffy and a few dodgy
landing rolls from the MTO it was time to load onto the coach
and head to Wattisham airfield. Once there it was an
agonising wait, in the rain (of course), hoping for the C130
Hercules aircraft to arrive. After checking our kit, we were
good to go, the beautiful sound of ‘Fat Albert’s’ engines drew
nearer and we knew that the jump was on.
Once in the air the anticipation was palpable, you could see
the excitement on the faces of the young and old (MTO) as
the air dispatchers did their final checks, the DZ was nearing
and the words “action stations” called. The first stick wasted
no time in getting into the door, “Red On, Green On... GO”,
one by one the mighty MT/LAD was deployed. AIRBORNE.
Arrivals and Departures
Since the beginning of 2014 there have been a number of
comings and goings in MT/LAD Troop. Firstly we would like to
say our goodbyes to LCpl ‘Baggy’ Bagshaw who has been a
great asset to the Troop and we wish you all the best for the
future. At the same time we welcome back Cpl ‘Big Rig
Riggers’ Ridguard and we would like to welcome Cpl ‘Little
Louie’ Hibbins and LCpl ‘Buzz’ Burrows into the Sqn.
Cross Country: On 22 Jan the Squadron Cross Country team
travelled to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to compete
in the Army Championships. The top Army cross country
runners were in attendance so it was surely the cream of the
crop. People were slipping and sliding everywhere and
running through knee deep water, and with over 500 runners
it was a busy course. Sgt Devlin performed particularly well,
being the first Squadron member to cross the line and despite
the heavy rain, boggy conditions and a tricky course he
managed a very respectful time. Congratulations go to the
whole team for what was an excellent effort.
Football: On 5 Feb the Squadron played football against 7
Para RHA. Three members of Support Troop played in the
fixture all contributing with sterling performances. Cpl Black
particularly, in goal, making some good saves but despite his
efforts three got past him. The strength of the 7 Para RHA
side came through in the end and despite a dogged battle by
the Squadron, the final score was 3-1 to the Gunners.
Maj Sarah Clifford
After a much needed festive break, the Sqn has picked up
the tempo right where it left off and launched straight into
training for an increased number of overseas deployments,
later on in the year.
The current SC Course has now embarked upon Module
3 which sees them undergo OGD specific training at the
hands of external instructors. This builds towards their final,
confirmatory exercise in March where all of their newly
acquired skills will be put to the test.
In addition to daily life, Sqn personnel have also been busy
with other active pursuits: skydiving in California (Ex JUMPING
LYNX), Keswick Runner and the Inter-Unit Cross Country
Championships. On a more arduous note, our congratulations
also go to Capt Liam Crane on recently passing P Company.
We are delighted to say welcome to Lt Chloe Bensaid, Sgts
Mike Jones, Jim Luke and Paul Traxler who will join the team
to face the challenges ahead, and it is with regret that we
have to say farewell and thank you to Capt Joey Collins, SSgt
Si Gibney, Sgts Steve Hicks, Gaz Stewart and Ben Heath, Cpls
Lewis Hibbins and Ben Donaldson who all leave us to use their
talents for the benefit of the wider Corps. And finally good
luck to Sgt Jenny Ingram as she leaves the Army and sets out
on her new career.
The Co-Responder scheme is staffed by Military, Fire and
Police personnel across the country. Co-Responders deploy
in marked ambulance service vehicles and receive driver
training. They often cover shifts to support local emergency
services. The ability to use blue light response increases the
area that the scheme can cover, and hasten the provision of
medical support to the local community. The Sqn now has
over half a dozen (and increasing) qualified Co-Responders
plus 3 qualified response drivers who complete several shifts
a month. The scheme benefits the community but also
the Squadron by allowing the participants to increase their
medical knowledge and get experience and exposure to real
medical emergencies.
The visit culminated in the presentation of the Op HERRICK
medal to Sgt ‘Gaz’ Stewart, who served with OGD in Kabul.
The Corps Colonel also took the opportunity to update the
Sqn on the future of the Corps and how the 299 Sig Sqn (SC)
will play its part in the new Corps structure.
The Corps Colonel visits 299 Sig Sqn (SC) – by Cpl Jenkins
On 14 Jan 2014 299 Sig Sqn (SC) had the pleasure of hosting
the Corps Colonel, Col Norton. As the Colonel had previously
experienced a full Sqn capability demonstration, it was
decided that the format should be changed to display some of
the more personal and operational aspects of the unit’s role.
On arrival the Corps Colonel was taken to the Lynx Club for
the usual spread of tea and biscuits prior to a comprehensive
meeting with the OC, Maj Sarah Clifford.
The Corp Colonel was then presented several vignettes from
a number of serving Special Communications Operators
(SC Op), who had recently returned from operational
deployments all over the world. Sgt Stewart, Cpl Younge and
Cpl Haworth vividly described the unique operational roles
and responsibilities of a deployed SC Op, generating some
interesting discussion points. Once the vignettes had been
delivered and questions answered, it was time to introduce
the NHS Co-responders within the Sqn.
Sgt ‘Gaz’ Stewart receiving his Op HERRICK medal
An Insight into the Special Communicator’s Course from a
Student’s perspective - by Sgt ‘Scotty’ Pardoe
Module One
The primary aim of Module 1 of the SC Course is to ensure
that all applicants have the required military skills to operate
efficiently, both as part of a team and as an individual, whilst
on operations. This is achieved with a mix of both theory
based and practical lessons taking place in the classroom, and
delivered on the surrounding training area. The skills covered
throughout Module 1 included field-craft, navigation, medical
training, marksmanship and of course, physical training. Due
to the nature of Module 1, and the amount of work on the
timetable, the 7 weeks spent in Lydd passed by extremely
quickly, paving the way for the Module 1 Test Exercise.
Module Two
The Corps Colonel and some of the 299 Sig Sqn (SC) CoResponders
The course’s progression into Module 2 saw the initial tuition
focused on communication principles, mainly satellite and
GSM. These lessons served as a good foundation and
refresher for all of the students, many of whom had never
been exposed to satellite communications. The main bulk of
the communication lessons revolved around satellite bearer
systems and different VHF/UHF radios that are utilised by the
Sqn during operations. The hardest bit about these lessons
for the majority of the course, was the move away from
widely used Bowman systems in order to become familiar
with a new system – which is small and very capable.
Students on the current SCC will be soon be moving onto
Module 3 and the final overseas Test Exercise. The next SCC
commences in September, see below to apply:
With the Personal Protection Package (PPP) in Module 2,
pistol shooting really came to the fore. A lot of practice time
was well spent on the pistols and more rounds were sent
down the range in one day than any of the course members
would have fired in a year at their current units. Many new
techniques and firing positions were introduced. The pistol
shoots were integrated with good use of cover and vehicle
contact and fallback drills. Each day ended with a competition
that tested speed, accuracy or both and resulted in the loser
buying biscuits for the rest of the course.
Special Communications Briefing Course (SCBC)
PPP concluded with 3 days of scenarios. We would be
deployed to conduct a task, wither alone or with a partner
and inevitably get caught up in a riot, civil order situation or a
robbery, unless you were Cpl ‘withdraw’ Whitmore, who
managed to evade more scenarios by driving through bollards
or barging down doors. Throughout the exercise we were
armed with rifles and pistols, both adapted for the use of
simunition...an excellent way to ensure maximum use of
SCBC courses 2014:
3-6 Feb
10-13 Mar
19-22 May
9-12 Jun
Please complete and submit PD206 to attend. SCBCs will be
held at Longmoor Camp.
Special Communicators’ Assessment (SCA)
SCA course 2014:
2-3 July 14
A second filter has been added this year. Successful
candidates from the SCBCs will attend a SCA at Aldershot.
ACOS J6 Sqn Ldr Richard Coles RAF
SO3 J6 Capt (Tfc) Clarke Fatchett
YofS SSgt (YofS) Adam Philpotts
- by LCpl Keith
British Forces South Atlantic Islands BFSAI (Falklands) is a
Joint and integrated command formed of personnel from all
three services charged with delivering a very real operational
effect; the deterrence of any aggression towards the South
Atlantic Islands and reassurance to the local population.
RADCON is the Tactical Communication section and are
responsible for the provision of secure and insecure tactical
reach-back communications enabling Command and Control
to support HQBFSAI activities. These communications take
the form of rapidly deployable Immediate Response
Operators (IRO) and Bowman FFR vehicles known as CrashOut Detachments (COD).
The Roulement Infantry Company (RIC) recently carried out
their final live firing phase in the form of Ex CAPE BAYONET
which took place on 2-8 Dec 13. During this ex, LCpl Steve
Dickson, Sig Nathan Crowe and Sig Kieran Johnstone
deployed to provide a safety communications net for the
Grenadier Guards. It was a great opportunity for the guys to
give ‘real time’ comms in support of the infantry on the
ground seeing how the ‘other half’ operate.
Christmas Trips Out
A ‘Force Development’ day out to Mount Harriet and Port
Stanley memorial sites was organized for RADCON personnel.
This gave us the opportunity to get out of work for the day to
the battlefield sites and learn a bit about the history of the
Falkland Islands conflict.
We were picked up at 0900 by Petty Officer ‘Smudger’ Smith;
our first stop was Mount Harriet. There we took a short trek
up the path that the commandos would have taken finding
various items strewn about along the way including
Argentinean water bottles and rusted mortar base plates.
Looking back out to sea we could make out the un-cleared
minefields that they would have had to yomp through. From
there we really got a sense of what had happened there on
those dark winter nights.
We then proceeded to Gypsy Cove and it wasn’t long before
we were almost tripping over the wildlife. Stumbling upon a
group of about eight young seal pups, amazingly camouflaged
in the long grass, mesmerised by their large dark eyes we
didn’t realise the daddy was lying round the corner, and then
his stench hit us! This guy was huge and after a few nervous
photos were taken he gave us a growl that said “time’s up
guys” and so we obligingly proceeded back towards the
penguins and their young.
Once we had had our fill of wildlife it was time to sample
On top of Mount Harriet memorial, which was the key ground 42
Commando fought and won on 11-12 June 1982
L-R – Sgt Dipak, Sig Iatsenko, Sig Johnstone and LCpl Hack
some Falklands culture in Port Stanley. A few of us were in
our last two weeks and so it was straight to the souvenir shop
where the business acumen of the Falkland islanders became
apparent with everything from a £500 watch to a tiny glass
bottle of Falklands sand available and all decorated with
penguins! Once we had satisfied our ‘tacky gift for the family’
obsession, we visited a couple of “historic buildings”, to our
joy both buildings just so happened to sell beverages of the
alcoholic type! It was the perfect end to a day of history,
wildlife spotting and souvenir buying.
Welcomes and Farewells
Welcome to Sgt Dipak Gurung, LCpl ‘Shacks’ Shekhar, LCpl
Michael Robertson and LCpl ‘Daveo’ Davison from 30 Signal
Regiment, 22 Signal Regt and 1ADSR respectively.
Farewells to Sgt Vicky Gurung who heads happily back to 22
Sig Regt and then to Blandford for her Yeoman of Signals
course in September. LCpl Andy Keith returns to 1 ADSR in
Herford. Also leaving us are LCpl Nefin Hack and Sig ‘Pav’
Iatsenko back to 216 Sig Sqn.
Christmas in the Falklands
Christmas celebration and New Year was celebrated quietly
with parcels from home and goody boxes for the Armed
Forces to boost morale for the self-pity lads. An organized
sport was played in the gym with refreshments later in the
Oasis Café during the festive period. Unfortunately there was
no snow but plenty of wind!
Exercise Alpine Buffalo
24 Jan 2014 – 01 Feb 2014
- by 2Lt Ciborowski
Eighteen members of Inkerman Troop (Previously known as Lashkar Gah Troop), 202 Sig Sqn 3 DSR deployed on Friday 24 January
on the adventure training exercise ALPINE BUFFALO to complete a week of Alpine skiing in the Austrian ski resort of Zell Am See.
Led by course instructor Sgt Jonny Howe, the Troop began the long journey from Bulford to Austria via France, Belgium,
Luxembourg and Germany, arriving in time for pre adventurous training festivities. The Troop were based at the impressive ‘Club
Kitzsteinhorn’ at the bottom of the Schmitten ski slopes. A new €5m building had recently been completed, with facilities including
two 5-a-side football courts, a rock climbing wall, beach volleyball courts, trampolines and most importantly…a sauna. Having
spent the remainder of the weekend settling in and a day trip to Salzburg, the Troop were split down into 2 groups based on ability
with one group led by SSgt Kate Hopkinson, mostly having never skied before, and the second group led by Jonny, who had some
experience of skiing.
For Kate’s group, the Monday morning consisted mainly of learning how to put skis on, how to fall over (gracefully) and an
introduction to skiing down the slope on a gentle slope at the bottom of the Schmittenhoe, mostly populated by 3-5 year olds, or
‘snow babies’ as they fondly became known. Jonny’s group, however, were put through their paces with some advanced skiing
techniques taught by their keen instructor. The beginners then advanced up the mountain to the blue slopes where they all
stylishly fell over before the ski lift with LCpl Mike ‘Black Mike’ Harrage managing to lose a ski and his helmet whilst skidding
backwards down the slope. The rest of the day was spent gaining more confidence on the skis and learning how to turn and how
to slow down with the favoured ‘snow plough’ method. Following a change of personnel in each group SSgt Kev Bickford and 2Lt
Danny Ciborowski were promoted to Jonny’s group and were quickly sent down the red slopes. The advanced group were taught
well by their attentive instructor and were soon carving nicely down the slopes before everyone enjoyed some well earned aprés
ski in town.
The weather was forecasted to be clear on the Wednesday which merited a trip up to the Kitzsteinhorn glacier. After a gut
wrenching trip up the gondola to the top of the mountain, the group were rewarded with the stunning views of the Austrian Alps
at the top and a glorious day of skiing ahead. Sgt Howe’s group went through popular techniques such as the ‘teapot’ whereas
Kate and twin sister Kerry’s group focussed on moving smoothly down the nice wide pistes and enjoyed themselves. After a
regroup at lunch, the groups made their way down the variety of slopes. The afternoon proved to be challenging yet very
rewarding with some slopes reaching 63% gradients. Sgt Howe then proved his Corps championship value by descending the
slalom course in 35 seconds. To his disappointment, he was told he was not the quickest that day with a snow baby completing the
course in 34 seconds.
Towards the end of the week the main
challenges the group faced were the
thinning of snow and the temptations
of aprés ski. The skiers were left to
practice all that they had been taught
on the Friday where most were able to
descend freely down the more
challenging slopes despite completing
just one week’s instruction with no
previous skiing experience.
The week concluded with a meal out
and a timely HATO with the Regt HQ
staff for their week’s AT in Zell am See
and the aims of the trip were met. A
solid week’s AT to build on the mental
and physical robustness that the troops
developed on their recently concluded
tour on Herrick 18 and a readjustment
to barrack life for 2014.
Exercise mou
3 - 17 Ja
On 2 January 2014, ten expedition members made their way to 14 Sig Regt (EW) following a refreshing Christmas break.
Having driven several hours westbound, the team proceeded to make their way east, back down the M4 to Heathrow. There,
they met the other (sensible) four members of the team.
The plane left in the early hours bound for Madrid, our first of many stops, before arriving at our final destination; Torres del
Paine, Chile.
The Outbound Journey
Excited at the prospect of being in Spain, Moustache Trump Cards were dealt and thousands of Chilean Peso was up for
grabs. LCpl Robert ‘Sanchez’ Churchward had the inside knowledge of the trump cards and profited accordingly.
Following a luxurious thirteen hour flight which included four inflight meals, personal entertainment and the onset of Deep
Vein Thrombosis, we arrived at Santiago, the capital of Chilean culture. Sadly we had to press on to Punta Arenas; the poor,
unwashed cousin of Santiago. However, before checking in to the internal flight we made sure that our baggage had not
made its way into the baggage claims hall. Fortunately, we checked, and it had.
In the wee hours of 4 January, we arrived at Punta Arenas airport, collected our luggage and set off by coach to the Singing
Lamb hostel, Puerto Natales. After a three hour journey, we struggled to orientate ourselves at the Puerto Natales bus
station highlighting to the group this may be a taster of things to come. After the JSMLs negotiated many a map and
compass, we thought it best to ask the locals.
Upon arrival at the Singing Lamb, with backpacks in one hand and passports in the other, the front desk informed us they
were unable to find our booking of the accommodation. The JSMLs reassured the group it had definitely been booked, but
already, confidence in the JSMLs had begun to dwindle!
On 5 January we boarded another bus and set off for the Torres del Paine National Park. Whilst on tarmac, faith in the driver’s
ability was dubious; when the road turned to gravel, it was non-existent. On the plus side, LCpl ‘Hoogs’ Hoogesteger had a
stroke of luck; the poor Chilean girl crushed in next to him left the coach after twenty minutes and for the first time in a four
day journey, he was able to stretch his legs.
Coming over the John Garner Pass to Glacier Grey
uflon's lotus
an 2014
- by LCpl Evans and LCpl Hoogesteger
The Trek
The first leg of our trek was a 7km tester from the briefing hut to our first camp site location; Hotel las Torres. The JSMLs,
furious with rage at a split group, made no effort to conceal their fury and debriefed the hikers accordingly. ‘’Half pace’’
became a catchphrase born out of frustration for those who chose to dawdle at the back of the group. Then the rain came.
We awoke at 7 the following morning for an early start, packed our wet tents and had what we were to learn was a standard
Chilean breakfast. This comprised of an egg cup’s worth of scrambled egg, two slices of bread that could have been used as a
prop in ‘Alice in wonderland’, a token piece of fruit and ranges coftea to wash it all down with. This was the point that we
began what is known as the Torres Del Paine loop: an undulating and at times challenging 110km + circuit that took in all
terrains and scenery on offer within the National Park. That day, we were able to take in the full beauty of the lower plains of
the Torres del Paine. The scenery was Chilean, but the weather was Brawdy, with the group encountering all weathers over
the course of 24 hours. We came to realise the JSMLs may not have been the only cowboys on the trek as we were overtaken
by whooping men on horseback with cigarettes in their mouths and real spurs on their boots.
That evening at Refugio Seron, we were treated to the best hospitality to be found in the Park. The camp site rangers fitted us
into what can only be described as a garden shed for an excellent hearty stew. The JSMLs newly found friend, ‘Chico’, was
happy to host us and wished us on our way the following morning with full stomachs for the onward journey. Destination:
Camp Dickson. Still, it rained.
The day was wet. Wet underfoot, wet overhead, wet kit and for LCpl Thomas ‘token-smoker-but-not-allowed-in-the-NationalPark’ Whyte; wet cigarettes. Mawdor’s routes were probably more penetrable than what the group encountered that day.
The staff at Camp Dickson informed us that the pass for our onward destination was closed for repair due to inclement
weather and were we to continue, we would be turned away at Los Perros campsite. The following two, wet days spent at
Dickson were miserable to say the least: LCpl Luke ‘no WIFI?’ Munchmore went into a state of depression unable to contact his
now ex-girlfriend. The shopkeeper however, kept morale high by informing the group in 30 minute increments as to when he
would be opening the shop. Undeterred by making a profit, he sold large quantities of food with reluctance and brought to
our attention that ‘’there were other campers’’ on the site. Very few, we were to learn, were attempting the pass and were
doubling back to the comparative luxuries of Hotel Las Torres. Still, it rained. Icebergs floating in the lake did not deter LCpl
Dan ‘the-man’ Evans and Sig Sam ‘sunglasses-all-the-time-even-when-it-poured-so-not-the-man’ Dow from skinny dipping in
the lake and subsequently found out it was no colder
than the showers. Games of cards and ‘Mafia!’
We set off with eagerness on 7 Jan to conquer the
John Garner pass. We had not realised the quality of
the map the JSMLs were using until today. If we
were to hike where the Eagle was drawn on it, we
would’ve inevitably got lost! After a relatively steep
ascent through a beautiful green lush forest and out
past a retreating glacier carving a huge lake into the
mountainside, encountering no-one, we came across
the campsite; Los Perros. Los Perros, literally
translated, means ‘the dogs’ in Spanish. ‘The Dogs’ it
was, and not in a good way. It was like somewhere
time had forgotten, with a swampy atmosphere that
could only be described as creepy. It was so wet
there, that even Lt ‘we only really have to use the
tents once, anyway’ Hodder and Capt ’I had to carry
you’ Winkles were unable to set alight to anything.
Glad we had not had to endure a night there, we
pressed on up the valley through the dense forest
The Summit Team
following a hanging Orange. Yes, a hanging Orange.
We were lost. Attempting to negotiate our way out of
the woodline we realised the error of our ways and
began to retrace our steps. This put an hour and a ‘’smidge’’ into our trek and when we finally emerged from the woodline on
the right course and into the snow we could see the task that lay ahead of us: The pass.
Only park rangers and what appeared to be a group of walkers attempting the pass were ahead of us. When we caught up to
the group, their inexperience became apparent. Donning trainers and neglecting to wear gloves, they asked us for help in
getting over the pass. In the dense snow and blizzard like conditions, visibility was poor and the one-step-forward-two-stepsback was disheartening. Still, sometimes dragging our new friends up increasingly steep terrain in increasingly adverse
conditions spurred us on. Physically, we were most challenged by this stage. It was worth it however, when we got over the
John Garner Pass at 1150m into the relative calm of the other side. We said goodbye to the family we had helped and wished
them well for the remainder of their journey. We were now in sight of the awesome Glacier Grey.
Glacier Grey
Glacier Grey was about 10 km at its widest point, and stretched as far as the eye could see to the north east. The moraine left
dumped at the sides was clearly evident to see and the snout where the glacier met the lake at its end was between 30 and 40
metres high. Our job was to walk adjacent to this glacier to the west whilst descending the opposite side of the pass. Although
there was relative calm, the descent was steeper than the ascent and twice as slippery. Tree roots, branches and fingernails
were used to remain upright, but everyone fell eventually. The descent was starting to take its toll and just as everyone began
to doubt the JSMLs’ navigational skills and assume we had missed our next stop at Campsite Paso. We miraculously stumbled
across it.
We all had a relatively good nights’ sleep having dined so well on Toblerone, tinned tuna and cracker biscuits. The next stage of
our journey took us to Refugio Grey where LCpl Luke Munchmore was really looking forward to using some much needed
internet and secretly, most of the group were looking forward to some sort of civilisation. The WIFI was not working. We had
lunch and pressed on to the next stage of the loop to Refugio Paine Grande. This was a welcome break for some of the group
and where we probably had the best showers and our best meal of the trip so far. Not so, we were assured though by Sig ‘six
chicken wraps and a supacharga’ Castille.
The following day we pressed on to Campsite Italiano and it was here that some of the hardcore few (the JESMLs, both Officers,
Sgt ‘say nothing’ Newton, LCpl Robert ‘Miguel’ Churchward and LCpl Hoogesteger) took the decision to climb to the lookout
point at the top of the French Valley. The views at the top were dramatic, with the peaks of Cuernos, Espada, Hoja, Mascara and
Paine Grande surrounding the viewpoint. On the way we passed Campsite Britanico and thanked our lucky stars we hadn’t
opted to stay there.
The next stage took us onto Cuernos. This was next to Lake Nordenskjold and featured such luxuries as a hot-tub (Robert ‘tonktash’ Churchward washed in it!) for those that had paid the extra money to stay in the cabins. The setting was picturesque and
whilst reflecting on what we’d walked so far, some of us took the time to realise we had become badly burned. It had stopped
Our next stage closed the loop for us, taking us back to where we had started at Hotel Las Torres. The going was easy and
everyone was in a jubilant mood thinking of what luxuries they had in store for themselves. As we began to cross more and
more man-made bridges and encounter better made
pathways our sense of what we had achieved became
heightened: Many don’t do the full ‘loop’, inclusive of
the pass, but just do the ‘W’ which we had realised
was comparatively easy.
When we finally got back on the bus to return to
Puerto Natales, the driver had counted us on ‘Chilean
style’ so some of us were left to stand and marvel at
the scared sheep being herded by half Rottweiler - half
Border Collie dogs and men on horseback not too
dissimilar to the ones we’d seen on day one driving
their horses through the snow to Refugio Seron.
The team at Glacier Grey
When we got back to the Singing Lamb Hostel, normality was restored and people began to reflect on what they had achieved even the QMSI looked proud of himself! Some badly needed showers were taken and souvenirs were bought for friends and
family back at home. The following day, the long journey by bus was made back to Punta Arenas where some much needed
R&R was had by all. To say that the long journey back to West Wales went without incident would not be far from the truth.
We were all too tired to be concerned with the in-flight entertainment (we’d watched all the films in the outbound journey,
anyway!) or the harassment for ‘Taxi’ or ‘Transfer’ at the airport or the onset of Deep Vein Thrombosis.
Many thanks to those who went through the meticulous planning of the AT including Lt Hodder and Capt ’I had to carry you’
Winkles. Also, many thanks to the JSMLs who put up with us throughout the trip and helped put us through our SMF,
especially to Dave who stepped in at short notice, and to Sgt Richie ‘half pace’ Simpson who played a permanent game of
Ex tiger hanuman diver
5 - 12 Jan 2014
- by Sgt Pikendra Tumbahangphe
A small yet no less enthusiastic group from British Forces Brunei (BFB) participated on Exercise TIGER HANUMAN, an Adventure
Training (AT) Diving Package in the waters off Bali over the period 5-12 January 2014. The five day package initially saw the group
divided into groups according to previous dive experience or, for some, qualifications held. Our three groups took part in either
the professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Open Water Diver, PADI Advanced Open Water Diver or PADI Specialty
qualifications towards Scuba Master Diver.
Led by AQMS WO2 Phil Jones, we (I was the only one from
the Corps in my group) left the dry land of Seria in the early
morning of 4 Jan 14 to eventually meet up with our
transport in Bali to take us on to our accommodation for the
next five days and, the chance to meet our instructors for
the first time. Diving is a sport taken up by enthusiasts all
over the world and never more so the case with our
instructors: a local Indonesian, a Dane, a Japanese and a
Czech thrown for good measure. I had zero dive experience
and so was in the basic group but was thrown literally into
the deep end on day one. Classroom theory and some basic
skills in the swimming pool were to follow. As the days
passed we were taught practical skills such as mask
changing, regulator changing and buoyancy control etc
mixed with group diving sessions on the various locations
around the Island. Classroom lessons continued and theory
tests came around all too often.
The final day was planned as a fun dive at different island
locations off shore. Our transport was a speed boat that
took us almost 45 minutes to get to the first dive site. By
the time we arrived however most of us were unable to dive
due to sea sickness due to rough seas; breakfast tastes so
much better second time round! We eventually managed 3
dives in different locations and by mid afternoon we were
back at the hotel. A challenging day for all concerned but
well worth it.
Exercise TIGER HANUMAN was an excellent opportunity for
members of BFB to get together to take part in a completely
new activity that, for most of us, was the first time, visited a
new country and able to experience a whole new culture.
The location of the training led to good team cohesion and,
for some, a once in a life time experience which will
hopefully encourage more to have a go at fantastic sport.
18 - 25 J
- by Sgt Stevie Williams
Ex Northern Geo Adventure 4 was an Alpine Skiing adventure
training exercise. Twenty nine personnel from 2 and 32 Signal
Regiments, including 4 instructors, deployed out to Kirchdorf
in Tirol, Austria. The training took place in the local areas of
St Johann, St Jakob, Fiberbrunn and Steinplatte.
We went with the aim of qualifying a number of novices to Ski
Foundation Level 1 (SF1), carry out continuation training for
those already qualified to SF1 and qualify the more
experienced skiers to SF2. We departed a wet and cold
Edinburgh Airport on Sat 18 Jan heading for Munich. On
arrival at Munich we were met by our host, Phil Fluck,
Tyrolean Adventures who had arranged transport to our hotel
in Kirchdorf. On arrival at the hotel we met up with the
advance party WO2 (SSM) Steve Joliffe, Sgt Dave Coleman
and Cpl Kev Jones who had the unenviable task of driving the
equipment from Liverpool to Austria.
Sunday morning we were all up bright and early and after a
hearty breakfast we departed for the ski shop to be issued
with our kit for the week. Once we were all kitted out we
broke down into our groups and headed off with our
respective instructors. The party were broken down into 4
groups, a beginner group, instructed by Cpl Andy Cole, an
intermediate group instructed by WO2 (RCWO) Andy Medley
and 2 advanced groups led by Maj Rob Ware and Capt Dave
Day one saw the beginners and the intermediate group
sticking to the nursery slopes while the advanced skiers
headed to the more challenging slopes. Snow conditions
were not good due to the lack of snow and made skiing
difficult for even the more experienced skiers and falling
painful for those in the beginner group. At the end of Day 1
we all returned to the hotel eager to share our day’s
highlights and, more importantly, discuss who had the best
wipe out. Dinner was followed by a number of lessons,
followed by an early night ready for Day 2.
Cpl Woolerton on the slopes
The remainder of the week flew by with everyone’s skiing
vastly improving. By the end of the week, the beginners
qualified to SF1, the intermediate group and one of the
advanced groups gained valuable log book experience and
the other advanced group qualified to SF2. The week was
another fantastic opportunity to get away and for the 2
Regiments to spend time working alongside their regular/
reserve counterparts.
Overall the expedition was a great success however it could
not of gone ahead without the dedication of the instructors.
A big thank you to Capt Dave Alleyne and WO2 (RCWO) Andy
Medley who joined us from 38 Sig Regt, Maj Rob Ware who
joined us from HQ CVA and Cpl Andy Cole from 2 Sig Regt. A
final thank you to WO2 (YofS) Nicola Lyons for organising the
Day two saw the beginner group head for the local slope in
Kirchdorf, where the morning was spent on the nursery slope
before progressing to a blue slope in the afternoon. The
other groups all headed for the Steinplatte which was much
higher so the snow conditions were better. The intermediate
group continued finding their ski legs, while the advanced
groups looked for some Off Piste areas where they could
develop their techniques. At the end of Day 2 as we were
leaving the slopes, it started to snow and continued snowing
fairly consistently for the remainder of the exped. We headed
back to the hotel for dinner and to finish off the lessons.
Day three saw all the groups head for the Steinplatte. The
improved snow conditions helped boost everyone’s morale
and as a result the skiing improved. The fresh snow made the
tumbles a lot less painful. Everyone had a great day on the
slopes and as we had completed all the lessons the evening
was ours. We headed to a local Karaoke bar where a number
of potential stars were identified; Cpl Kath Wilkinson, Capt
Dave Alleyne and WO2 (RCWO) Andy Medley should consider
applying for X-Factor later this year!
Sgt Coleman stuck Off Piste
Jan 2014
- by Capt Paul Knight
- by Pte Jane Davies
As a first time skier, the week was a plethora of emotions.
We started of on Day 1 on a nursery slope at St Jakob in Tyrol,
Austria. The first hour was spent mostly horizontal, and the
only skiing going on was backwards. The first day ended well
though, as I was still relatively in one piece, despite having
crashed through a fence and into a bench. I was just glad to
have the protection of the helmet, as it prevented some
serious injuries that day. I never thought that standing up in a
pair of skis could be so difficult.
On Day 2 we went to Kirchdorf here we advanced to the blue
slopes which were more challenging as they were
considerably steeper; although there were nursery aged
children racing past us down the slopes who seemed fearless.
I was not convinced and felt like I was on the summit of
Mount Everest. Luckily I had our instructor, Cpl Andy Cole, to
help me down and he introduced me to tandem skiing.
Days 3 and 4 gave us the opportunity to improve even further
on Steinplatze which was higher, beautiful and there was lots
of fresh snow to cushion the falls. The entire group became
more confident during the two days there. We received
excellent instruction and the nice wide pistes helped us to
feel more confident and competent by the end of Day 4. Cpl
Shantel Doyle joined our group too and was also very helpful
to myself. Stuart Kimsey was very helpful in translating the
When asked if I could ski, I replied that I have skis and I have
skied, but not for about 6 years when I spent a few winters in
Canada and New England. When we were sorted out into
groups, I was placed in the Intermediate group, which
consisted of those who had skied in the past, but did not have
advanced abilities. The group ability ranged from doing a one
week AT expedition last year, to those who had been able to
ski, but a long time ago. We all needed a day or two to find
our feet. Unfortunately, the conditions were not ideal for the
first two days. There was very little snow cover which made
skiing difficult and falling painful. This knocked the
confidence of some, but we persevered. At the end of Day 2,
as we were leaving the piste, it started to snow and continued
snowing fairly consistently for the remainder of the exped.
With the improved snow conditions, I saw marked
improvements in my own abilities and confidence. I was
certainly not the fastest in the group, but I concentrated on
improving my technique. We skied on three resorts over six
days which prevented anyone from gaining familiarity with
the runs. I also realised that a red or black run on one resort
was not the same as a red or black run on another. Just as I
thought I was getting to grips with these runs, we changed
location and the red runs became more difficult! Everyday
saw higher and steeper runs which pushed me further than I
would have attempted had I been on a skiing holiday. Every
time I got off a ski lift and saw the stunning scenery with the
clouds below me and clear blue skies above, I was also aware
that there was a long, steep way down again. Once I set off,
though, all that trepidation disappeared.
Days 5 and 6 at Fieberbrunn
We spent the last two days at Fieberbrunn consolidating what
we had learnt. We also joined up with the Intermediate group
during this time, and WO2 Andy Medley gave us some more
instruction. Capt Paul Knight and the rest of the Intermediate
group, who were Ghurkhas from 2 Sig Regt, were off skiing;
they were all fearless. By now we had all mastered the
chairlifts, and on Day 6 we had a free ski, were the more
confident went off in their own groups.
We also enjoyed some varied après ski with Phil Fluck taking
us to a karaoke bar where all the instructors took their turn
on the mic. The accommodation was great too. The training
was hard and we were all pushed hard and out of the comfort
zone. The group bonded well and there were many laughs,
with everyone treated the same no matter what their rank.
By the end of the week I was skiing down red slopes and had
learnt how to stop without hitting a tree, fence or another
skier. This was a major achievement for me. I also didn’t
want to go home. The week was really well organised and
everyone looked out for one another. The week taught me a
lot about myself and was an invaluable character building
experience that I hope to repeat soon.
The Intermediate Group on the summit of the Stienplatz
By the end of the week I was skiing at a much higher standard
than I was six years before. The instruction I received helped
to improve my technique and my confidence. By the last day I
was happy to ski down red and black runs in deep snow with
fresh snow falling all the time to make navigation and route
planning difficult. Hard work, but great fun, and I am looking
forward to returning next year to develop further and
attempt some cross country skiing.
Exercise diAmond manski
24 Jan 2014 – 01 Feb 2014
1 (UK) ADSR Management Skiing
- by Lt Celine Buescher
When a last minute spot came up on the annual 1(UK) ADSR MANAGEMENT SKI it did not take me long to make up my mind. A
week out of the office and into the mountains, who could resist? Granted, my last time on skis was a wee while ago, but there is no
better place to rekindle some old talent than on the slopes. The weather forecast had not been too promising, but despite the eerie
suggestion that a few planning whiteboards may be a good backup plan for snowless days(?!), I set off with 21 other personalities
representing the highest echelons of the Regimental hierarchy. The Pfeiffermühle in Wertach turned out a rather nice surprise. Its
jacuzzi and sauna would become particular favourites throughout the week, while its gastronomy - service with a smile! - covered
the entire spectrum. Once all the equipment administration had been seen to, nothing could stop us and even the weather gave us
the thumbs up with a massive snowfall on day one, providing gleaming conditions for the rest of the week.
FoS Sharman, Capt (Tfc) Ian Fawcett, OC 201 Sqn
Maj Andy Stannard posing on the Fellhorn
We broke into three groups: beginners, advanced skiers (a.k.a those who thought
they could make their way down the slopes with only minor destruction in their wake),
and boarders. The last only featured two amateurs and mostly did their own thing,
though they came back with some impressive photographs and entertaining tales. The
beginner group, led by Q ‘Curly’ Robb, spent most of the week learning and honing the
art of gliding on skis rather than their backside at the Ober- and Unterjoch. The (more)
advanced, under the keen guidance of Capt Ian Fawcett, worked their way up from
the picturesque Hörnerbahn to the impressive Fellhorn and its Kanzelwand, alternately
invading both Germany and Austria. Lest it be said that regardless of experience (or
rank for that matter), it is always a rather humbling experience to (re-)discover that
despite however much practice there may have been, those two planks on the bottom
of our feet will not just do ‘as told’. When even the Commanding Officer turns into a
laughing ball of snow in fresh powder, the world becomes refreshingly simple for a
We formed a merry group overall. While OC 201 skilfully demonstrated his mastery
of 80s style skis and matching outfits (and a keen desire not to waste a single
second), the Adjutant did his best to enforce Anglo-German relations on the slopes.
The Regt 2IC, nonchalantly puffing his pipe, lifted slope standards and etiquette,
while OC 200, displaying all characteristics of a swift little racer, gleefully whizzed
down the slopes with razor-sharp precision, closely matched by Foreman Stu
Sharman. The rest of us covered the remainder of the capability range; mostly
happy-go-lucky, enjoying the sensation of agility and grace (some more so than
others); there may have been the odd occasion on which we rattled through the
crowds somewhat out of control.
Throughout the week the group dynamics changed a little, with some swapping Tfc Capt Ian Fawcett, Adjt Capt Joni Carey (odd pose) and
Regtl 2IC Maj Al Garrett taking that condor moment
and changing to enable everyone to have a go at the Fellhorn. SSM ‘Kiwi’
Scarcliff deserves special mention for his fearless approach to all slopes,
whatever the outcome, while Capt Col Raynor found great pleasure in practicing
his 360 turns and, possibly accidentally, some hairy slope choreographies with Capt Jen Dowdall and myself.
The last day saw everyone join forces on the Fellhorn. After a week of skiing, carving, boarding, tumbling, jumping, and most
importantly, laughing, ranging from standard piste to slightly out-of-the-ordinary James Bond “Spy Who Loved Me”-stylee trails,
we finished off the
week with a bit
of après ski and a
strong sentiment
of achievement
and relaxation. Our
special thanks goes to
Capt Mick Bodycomb
for expertly
organising the trip - a
brilliant experience!
R - L Capts Jen Dowdell, Fred Fensom, Colin Raynor and Lt
Celine Buescher all smile after a hard day on the slopes
Lt Col Hill taking a break
Patron: HRH The Princess Royal
President: The Master of Signals
Chairman: Brig DA Hargreaves
Association Office
RHQ Royal Signals
Blandford Camp
Blandford Forum
DT11 8RH
Col (Retd) Terry Canham
Tel: 01258 482081
Welfare Secretary
Tel (mil) (9)4371 2089
Tel (civ) 01258 48 2089
Email: [email protected]
Membership Secretary
Tel (mil) (9)4371 2090
Tel (civ) 01258 482090
Email: [email protected]
General Secretary and Treasurer: Col (Retd) T Canham
Assistant General Secretary: Maj (Retd) M Tivey
Welfare Secretary: Mrs L Sizeland
Membership Secretary: Mrs C Addison
Maj (Retd) Mark Tivey
Tel: 01258 482082
Mrs Linda Sizeland
Tel: 01258 482089
Mrs Caroline Addison
Tel: 01258 482090
These notes are written just after the 69th AGM held in the Carisbrooke Hall at The Victory Service Club on 15 Mar. It was good to
see 112 members who, I hope, found it an informative meeting. The New Master of Signals, Maj Gen Nick Pope CBE, was
introduced by the Chairman, Brig David Hargreaves. The final item was a very interesting presentation about the Serving Corps by
the Corps Colonel, Col Graham Norton, the new CRSM, WO1 Rob Luke, plus Cpl MacDonald, LCpl Beazely and Sig Mitchell. This
was very much appreciated by everyone in the Hall. Next year the meeting will be held in the same place on 14 Mar 15; it will begin
with coffee for delegates from 0930 hrs and I hope many members of the Association will put this date aside so that they can join
us. Following the business of the meeting, there are sandwiches and the opportunity to chat informally.
The 2014 Association Newsletter is now ready for publication. You will notice that this year the publication has been amalgamated
with the Retired Officers Newsletter to reduce duplication of effort and cost. Copies will be available on the website shortly so
that you download/copy/read. An email will be sent to all members (with a valid email address) including the link. I hope that you
will enjoy reading it. A printed copy will be sent to members who do not have a valid email address.
As you know, during December the UK Premier of the film The Railwayman was held in Leicester Square. This was the first
opportunity to see the cinematic depiction of the book written by Eric Lomax based on his experience as a prisoner of the
Japanese on the Burma Railway and the subsequent impact this had on his life. I am sure many of you have been to see it. Mrs
Lomax visited the Museum early in 2014 to open a new exhibit containing items which previously belonged to her husband. If you
are planning a visit to the Museum don’t forget to look out for it! The Museum Shop now has a copy of the original documentary
made at the time Mr Lomax returned to Burma. The link to the item in the museum on-line catalogue is: www.royalsignalsshop.
During February I represented the Association to lay a wreath in memory of those killed by the M62 Bombing. This year is the 40th
Anniversary. The memorial service was held at the Hartshead Moor Services (westbound). If you visit the service area, the
memorial is situated on the right hand side of the main services building.
In the last issue a forecast of events for the year was published. As an addition to that, I am adding the link to find the confirmed
display programme for The White Helmets 2014 http://whitehelmets.co.uk/?page_id=76
Finally, elsewhere in this issue, a longer item is published to request your personal memories/memorabilia of the Corps in BAOR.
Submissions (by post, email or fax) are requested by Colonel TF Moncur, PM BAOR History Project, The Royal Signals Museum,
Blandford Camp, Dorset DT11 8RH. Fax No 01258 482084 E-Mail [email protected]
New Life Members. A warm welcome to the following members, enrolled since the last issue of The Wire:
Cpl Lancelot Allen
Sgt Gina Allsop (Atkinson)
Cpl June Anderson
WO2 Robert Atkinson
WO1 Richard Ayling
Cpl Colin Baines
Cpl Bill Barnes
LCpl Steve Beedie
Sig Alec Bilham
Cpl Daniel Bird
Sig Michael Bowling
Cpl Nigel Brennan
Cpl Christopher Brogan
LCpl William Brooks
Cpl Andrew Brooks
Sig David Butters
WO2 Anthony Byrne
Sgt Peter Byrne
Sgt Billy Cain
Sgt David Cascarino
Capt Paul Ceaser
Cpl Janine Cogram
LCpl Gary Coupe
LCpl Michael Cousins
Sig Cowell
Sig Clifford Crockett
Sig Stephen Curwen
Sig Brian Davis
Sig Fred Deacon
WO2 William Denny
Sig John Devlin
Sig Rawnie Dewhurst
Cpl John Doran
Sgt James Dunlop
Cpl Leslie Ebbage
WO1 (YofS) Trevor Evans
Sig Dan Fagan
Cpl Nicholas Feasey
LCpl John Fielder
Sig Christopher Fielding
Cpl Paul Forster
Sig Eric Fuller
Sig Tony Gerrard
Sig Mark Gibson
Cpl Stuart Goldstone
Sig Geoffrey Goodall
Cpl Matthew Haley
Cpl Andrew Harvey
Sig Frank Higham
Cpl Colin Holman
LCpl Darryl Hughes
WO2 Neil Hunt
LCpl Michael Hurn
Cpl Piers Johns
Capt Paul Jordan
Sgt Jim Keating
Sgt Andrew Keatley
Sgt Martin Kelman
LCpl Carl Antony Kettlewell1989-99
Cpl Gordon Keys 1998-07
Sig DavidKing 1955-57
SSgt Dale King 1992-date
Sig Gary Lovell 1976-93
Cpl James McGuinness
LCpl Gerard McMichael
Cpl Jimmy Miller
Sig Malcolm Mills
LCpl Derek Morey
LCpl Thomas Morgans
Sig Brett Murthwaite
Sig Caroline Napier
SSgt Kam Nicholas
Sgt Dawn Oakes
Sig James O’Neill
Sig Stephen Park
Cpl Tony Philbrick
LCpl Alan Pinnington
Sig Stephen Purvis
Cpl John Reynolds
Sgt Lee Rickard
Cpl Keith Ring
LCpl John Salter
Sig David Sharpe
Cpl Stuart Sheehan
Sig William Short
Sig Tracy Smith
Sig Frank Spencer
Cpl Matt Stock
WO2 Heather Taylor
Cpl Chris Treweeks
LCpl Marc Turowski
Cpl Iain Tweedie
LCpl Colin Usher
Sig Lomani Waqairawai
Sig Karl Welsh
Sig Ross Westlake
LCpl Nicholas Williams
LCpl Kevin Williams
LCpl Jodie Willliams
Sgt Stephen Wilson
Cpl Philip Winter
WO1 John Woolley
Cpl Mark Zimmerman
The RSBF would like to thank the following individuals and fundraisers:
2 Sig Regt
11 (RSS) Sig Regt
“In Memory” Collections:
Mr R Waldron
Mr J Blake
Maj Gen AAG Anderson CB
RSA Branches and Other Organisations:
Poole Branch
Exmouth Branch
Huddersfield Branch
R.B.L Ruislip
Manchester Branch
Bedford Branch
Gurkha Community Blandford
Herbert Leonard Buchanan
Mrs Lucie Barnes
Mr Kieran Lee
Mr Richie Savage
Mr Luke Roberts
Mr Andrew Moffat
Christmas Function
Our Christmas Party took place on Friday the 13th December
at the VIVA Showbar Blackpool. The guest of honour, Col Ian
Thompson, our Area 2 representative of the RSA was hosted
by John, Howard, Paul and Mike along with their partners and
families. It was also a chance to welcome three members of
The Billy No Mates splinter group of HQUKLF Wilton, Angie,
Wendy and Trevor. We hope you all enjoyed yourselves.
The entertainment is in line with Blackpool and the show
host, Leye D Johns has a habit of selecting one of the
audience for his banter. It is fair to say we were all very
relieved when we found out it was our very own Mike
Leeming who took most of the flack. Well done Mike, we
were very proud of you.
Featured Fundraiser: Richie Savage,
who is collecting your old mobile phone
and processing funds to the RSBF.
Contact [email protected]
For more info visit us at: www.
royalsignals.org/rsbf or find us on
Facebook under: Royal Signals
Benevolent Fund – Fundraisers
Email: [email protected]
The evening started with a meal followed by the cabaret
show. Leye has a way of getting people to do what he wants
and it saw most of us up on our feet and singing and waving
our arms to the music like we were back in our teens. The
night went well and a thank you must go to our Chairman,
Ernie, for his hard work in organising the event. Towards the
end of the show and with Dutch courage applied several
members were on the stage shaking their booties to the
I hasten to add that in true Royal Signals tradition we were
the last to leave.
Our AGM took place on 14 January. Michael took over as
Chair and ran the meeting like clockwork. The existing
committee were re-elected for the next 12 months. The
meeting was then handed over to our newly elected
committee and our monthly meeting took place. It was all
rather slick as we were about to celebrate Matthew Japps’
100th birthday. The ladies (associate members) laid up the
buffet in the bar area whilst our meetings took place. Thank
you Dorothy, Carol and Pat for your hard work. Matthew was
presented with a picture with an inscribed plaque from the
Branch, a Corps tie, beret and badge from the RSA HQ.
We also held our annual BBQ evening at the Catterick Golf
club which was well attended including Caroline Addison and
her Husband ‘Doc’ from RHQ. At this event we managed to
display our new Branch Standard which is to be dedicated in
April 2014 (TBC) along with the laying up of the old one and a
possible dinner evening or Sunday lunch.
The new Branch Standard on display
The annual BBQ evening
September saw the grand advertising get underway with a 60
person mail shot, e-mail drop and advertising in local shops
and the press. Our thanks go to Caroline for her help and
support. Whoever thought of putting a return to sender
address on the envelopes it was a master stroke, as
undelivered letters came back allowing us to update our
records. We have also gone
international with our first member
in the USA. Rumours that the
Chairman John McIllree, Secretary
Iain Scrivin and Treasurer Jim
Rodgers are planning a house call
have been firmly scotched as the
Welfare Officer, Elaine Edwards,
had told us that it’s her job to do
the visits!
A busy four months since our last report for the Branch. Sadly
in August this year we saw the last Signals unit in Catterick
disband on what once was 11 Signal Regiments parade square
in Helles Barracks. It brought back vivid memories for
members of the Branch Ian Forbes, Jim and Ena Rodgers,
Tony Brend and Elaine Edwards, amongst others) who
attended along with old comrades from 4 Armoured Brigade.
October was a reasonably quiet month, however we had to
get ready for two remembrance parades, one at the Garrison
Memorial Church and one in Richmond. We had two
standards on parade at the Memorial church and a wreath
was laid on our behalf by the Catterick Garrison Royal Signals
ACF detachment, ably commanded by one of our members,
Sgt Rory Milne. The Cap Badge is still being shown around
the Garrison by these keen young teenagers who will
hopefully become the future of the Corps.
This year will see us visiting locations of interest such as the
Arboretum and taking part in the 100 year celebrations. We
are also busy raising funds for the Royal Signals Benevolent
Fund to show our appreciation for their help in the purchase
of our Branch Standard.
Finally if you are visiting Blackpool on our meeting nights
(second Tuesday) or would like to see if the Branch has
anything on during your visit we would love to see you. Just
email us on [email protected]
In November we were given permission to lay wreaths at the
Howse/Woods Memorial in Gaza Barracks so on Monday 11th
16 members of the Branch were on parade with a greatly
diminished 204 Sig Sqn. We were all welcomed back to the
Sqn Admin room by the
OC, Capt Tony McBean,
for a very welcome
brew. This is possibly
the final, final parade of
the Squadron so a bitter
sweet moment for all
who have served in
Catterick, but like all old soldiers the Royal Signals soldier
continues to be seen around the Garrison, so we might be
gone but not forgotten. Wreaths were laid by Elaine
Edwards, John McIlree and Bob Kaiser.
This brings us neatly up to December and our annual
Christmas function. Keen eyed readers will notice that the
Golf Club keeps cropping up as our venue of choice, probably
because so many Wednesday afternoons used to be spent out
and about the course and many of our members are still keep
golfers. On 6 December 40 of our members and their guests
had an excellent three course meal in preparation for the big
day on the 25th.
If any readers want more of the photographs from the
Catterick and District Branch (the spiritual home of the Corps)
please e-mail the secretary, Mr Iain Scrivin, on [email protected]
com. Regrettably funds do not permit postage transmissions.
The meal was followed by a short speech by Brigadier David
and then we moved into the entertainments stage of the
evening starting with our raffle. This year our star prize was a
32” Flat Screen Television and there were many other
excellent raffle prizes to be won. I can honestly say that
every table had its fair share of winners and everyone was
very satisfied and even Brigadier David won a prize.
The evening carried on into the wee small hours with dancing
and much fun, everyone had a wonderful time. The next
morning, somewhat later on and with some bad heads, many
of our members turned up again at the TA Centre to help
clean up and return the place back to normal. We would like
to thank the SQMS and PSAO of 33 Signal Squadron for their
support without which we would not have had such a brilliant
evening. Next year we are hoping to surpass this and lay on
another evening that will not be forgotten, with another
honoured guest.
Catterick AR
Jimmy Carutthers
Bob Taylor
Tony Mullin
Paul Smith
Honorary ChaplainRevd John Williams
Standard Bearer Graham Christian
December has been a very busy month for the Liverpool
Branch leading up to our Annual Christmas Function. Our
Guest of Honour this year was Brig David Hargreaves,
Chairman of the Royal Signals Association, and his partner
Kathleen but unfortunately, at the last minute, due to ill
health she was unable to accompany him.
Right up to seven o’clock on the evening of the function our
entertainments team were “beavering” away to ensure that
everything was in its correct place and seeing to it that
nothing had been forgotten.
This year was our best year ever with over 110 members,
friends and guests sitting down to a 4 course festive meal.
This was a challenge for our caterers who handled it
exceptionally well. The food was of a high standard and there
was plenty of it too.
Lt Col (Retd) Bob Peake BEM
Barrie Walker
Ray Williams
John Hyde died in
September after a very
short but aggressive illness,
he was 82. He joined the
Corps for National Service in
1949 and rejoined the
Colours in 1960, serving a
full pensionable career,
leaving in 1980. He served
in Hong Kong, Libya,
Northern Ireland and
throughout Europe,
reaching the rank of Sgt
and his final posting was in
Blandford Camp. He and his
family settled in the Poole
area, where John, a trained
carpenter, became a wellJohn Hyde
respected shop fitter. His
great hobby was photography,
to such an extent that he served as chairman of 2 local
Camera Club’s and eventually was Chairman to a group of
clubs. John, who held a ‘50 year badge’ was also our official
photographer and maintained our albums. Always well
supported by his wife Sheila, she has been our ‘home visitor’
for many years and also conducts our monthly draw. Both of
them were weekend volunteers at the Corps museum. Such
was their service that they and Harry Hawke, also of our
Branch, were voted as Dorset’s Museum Volunteers of the
Year for 2012 - a unique achievement for 3 people in the same
organization. John was cremated at Poole crematorium and
he was held in such respect that it was standing room only.
The Branch was out in force, carrying out ‘Guard of Honour’
duties and then a wake was followed in the RBL. John’s sonin-law, Jeffrey Watts, also an ex SNCO in the Corps was so
impressed he joined the Branch within the next week! To
Sheila and children Stephen, Claire, and Karen and
grandchildren we extend our deepest sympathy; and look
forward to seeing Jeffrey, Claire and of course Sheila at our
future monthly meetings.
Brigadier Hargreaves addresses the Branch
Beverley Boys Last Parade!
- by Jeff Jephcote
The Boy Soldiers of No 6 Boys Training Regiment which was
based at Victoria Barracks Beverley between 1949 and
September 1955 formed an association which has met over
many years for an annual re-union, many of them held at
Beverley in East Yorkshire. This association will hold its last
Parade and Reunion in late September 2014. It was the
members express wish to return to Beverley which holds very
many memories for them.
The reason for closure is the advancing age of its members,
the difficulty of travel and falling numbers due to infirmity
combined with old age.
The “Boys” from all over the UK including many boys from
the previously Nazi- occupied Channel Islands enlisted
straight from school to be trained from 14/15 years of age as
potential NCO’s in the Royal Signals… the Army’s main
communications Regiment and received a good education
and tough training in Military skills and discipline. Most went
on to serve in the many Military Campaigns since then, during
the Cold War and in many countries throughout the world.
Many of the posts were highly sensitive and not all wore
News Letter: Mick Morby and Ida Carmichael had been
talking on how the BVA can keep members up-to-date with
what is going on (past, now and future). They have done this
by producing a quarterly newsletter. The first one was
released at the end of January 2014. This is something new
and it has been well received by members of the BVA. If by
chance you have not received your copy then please contact
Mick. If you are not a member then join the BVA, by
contacting any of the following:
Chairman – Keith Clarke e-mail: [email protected]
Secretary/Treasurer – Mick Morby e-mail: [email protected]
hotmail.com or [email protected] Tel : 01423
Editor – Ida Carmichael e-mail: [email protected] Tel:
01282 423612
Wire Notes – Jeff Jephcote e-mail: [email protected]
Tel: 01333 351676
New Members: The following new members who have joined
since the AGM are welcomed into the BVA.
The final celebrations will consist of a Dinner with a senior
Army Officer as Speaker, the sounding of the last Post at the
Beverley Memorial Gardens and a short Parade to a Church
Jan Coglan (Wife of Jim Coglan), John Lambert (R SIGNALS
1965-68), Jean Morby (nee Brown: WRAC/Int.Corps, 1980-83),
Uschi Searle (wife of Fred Searle), ‘Spy’ Dyer (R SIGNALS
1970-72, 1982-85 and 1988-90), Tony Score (1967-68), Diane
Knapman (widow of Colin Knapman), Helen Jephcote (wife of
Jeff Jephcote and WRAC/R SIGNALS – still serving), Ted
Parkinson (R SIGNALS 1975-78), Pauline Clarke (wife of Keith
Clarke), Roger Nadin (Int. Corps), Susan Brown (nee Barber –
WRAC, 1976-79) and Peter Lambert - (Royal Australian Signals
Anyone who served with the Beverley Boys Regiment or with
memories of the Boys or have photographs or memories to
share can phone John Wardle on 01246 590573 or Email [email protected]
Annual Reunion 2014: This year’s 14th Annual reunion will be
held at the Cavendish Hotel Torquay on 26th – 29th Sep 2014.
You can check out our website and become a member, www.
A Morrison’s Supermarket now stands where the old Barracks
once stood and a small display still exists within the store. A
Barrack Block at Blandford was also named “Beverley” after
No 6 Boys Training Regiment.
Sgt BW Archer
Cpl HR Bartlett
Sig SJ Baxter
SSgt GE Bayley
Sig KRL Bradbury
Sig J Brewster
LCpl F Broadbent
Sig LC Brown
Sig JP Brownlee
Col TA Byrne
LCpl RD Castle
Sgt LW Colquhoun
Sig P Craft
Cpl R Craig
SSgt IMF Danter
Maj FW Edwards
Sgt M Fellows
Sgt EF Ferguson
Capt JDF Francis MBE
Sig JW Frost
Lt Col LHM Gregory MBE
WO2 MP Grimshaw
Maj PW Hill
Cpl WJC Johnson
Lt Col DJ Jolly
Capt CL Lewis-Barclay
WO2 JJF Logan
Sig B MacDonald
Sig DN McGrath
Cpl RM Melhuish
Sgt CC Mitchell
Cpl AG Mulholland
Sgt FC Murfitt
LCpl K Nevin
SSgt T Noonan
Lt Col MG Panton
Sgt B Perrin
Sgt DC Powell
Cpl G Preece
SSgt JMW Richardson
Sgt W Richardson
Sig GA Riley
LCpl AJ Saxby
Sgt LW Sharp
LCpl PC Sherry
WO2 A Sim
SSgt K Stewart
LCpl AB Walker
Maj DK Wallis
Maj NF Webb
Sig LA Wells
Cpl GA Whalley
WO2 EJ White
WO2 T Wilkinson
J Wollin
LOGAN – Jimmy Logan died 4 February 2014
Founder of the Poole Branch.
Born in Motherwell on 31 January 1932,
Jimmy enjoyed a happy life with his
two brothers and sisters and on
graduating from high school joined the
RAF as an apprentice. Service life in
No1 Radio School
at RAF Locking did little for him, except
for boxing. He became the RAF junior
boxing champion at his weight before leaving
for civilian life back in Scotland.
He worked in the steel industry for a while before joining the
Royal Signals in 1953. He was determined to become a
Lineman and despite trade selection objections he eventually
achieved this sole ambition. He was always immaculately
turned out – both on and off duty – and quickly rose up the
ranks and was an excellent tradesman. Whilst serving with
the Line Troop at RAF Goch he met Evelyn Bates a Cpl in the
WRAF and their courtship led to marriage in the station
church in 1955.
In 1956 they moved to RAF Butzwilerhof near Koln where
their first child, Jimmy, was born. Later in
Scotland, daughter Sandra arrived and the family moved to
Cyprus for 3 years during the EOKA emergency. The family
returned to UK and during Jimmy’s tour in Catterick as an
instructor, Eve gave birth to Douglas and Jacqueline.
A further overseas tour of 2 years in Singapore, where Jimmy
was the troop Staff Sergeant of Changi Troop followed before
it was back to BAOR. Altogether he served 12 years in Europe
and his final tour was as RQMS of 7 Signal Regiment at
Herford. He then retired from Service life after 24 years and
settled in Poole in 1977.
Having adjusted to civilian life he became Head of Site at the
local Poole Grammar School for Girls, a job he thoroughly
enjoyed and he gave dedicated service there until ill health, in
the form of COPD and osteoporosis, forced his early
retirement in 1992.
In 1978 Jimmy placed postcard advertisements in several
Poole supermarkets inviting ex Corps members to make
contact with him if they were interested in forming a local
RSA Branch. This proved very rewarding and from its humble
beginning meeting in the back room of a local pub, Jimmy,
well supported as ever by Eve, ensured its stability and
eventual relocation to the Broadstone Royal British Legion
Club. He acted as Chairman with Eve as Secretary/Treasurer.
In 1983 Brig Paddy Evans joined the Branch and Jimmy asked
him to become Chairman and took over the Secretary duties
from Eve and continued to carry out this task until 1998 – 20
years of continual duties despite increasing frailty. He
continued in his support the Branch, rarely missing a monthly
meeting or social event and in 2003 was made an Honorary
Life Member of the RSA.
He died four days after his 82nd birthday and was cremated
on 13 February at Poole Crematorium. It was standing room
only; 20 members formed a ‘guard of honour’ with 4 standing
either side of the coffin and saluting during the playing of the
last post. An emotional eulogy was given by Lt Col (Retd)
Alan Davies. Alan’s first posting was as a lineman in Jimmy’s
troop – resulting in a friendship for 57 years; indeed both
families have been very close, living near each other for
almost 4 decades in Dorset.
A lively wake followed in the RBL Club and Jimmy’s life was
celebrated in a fitting manner, one which the great man
would surely approved of! Our sympathy is extended to Eve,
his wife for almost 60 years, and to his 4 children and 7
grandchildren. The latter are all forging good careers, 2 in
Australia and Ian a graduating army officer at Exeter
University. Jimmy was extremely proud of them all.
PRITCHARD – SSgt Clive Pritchard died 6 December 2013
Clive Pritchard was born abroad on 26
November 1934 as his father was a
Captain in the South Wales Borderers.
Clive went to school in Corsham and
then joined No 1 Boys Selection
Squadron at Richmond in 1950 which
then moved to Beverley and became 6
(Boys) Training Regiment. In 1952 he
transferred to 5 Signal Regiment until 1953
when he was sent to Singapore/Malaya until
1957. Apparently he pioneered jungle
communications in Malaya. Clive went on to serve in Minden
and Bunde in Germany from 1957 to 1961 after which he
returned to the UK until 1967 when he again returned to
Osnabruck for three years and then Gutesloh for a year. His
last service was in Catterick until he left the Army in 1974 but
he then went to the Army Apprentice College at Harrogate as
an Instructor.
Ian Scrivin, from Catterick Branch RSA, said that he first met
Clive in 1981 whilst undergoing upgrading training at 8 Signal
Regiment. He thought what the heck could a “civvy” teach
him about Morse Code but he soon found out that Clive was
extremely good. Clive was always extremely smart and well
turned out. He joined the Beverley Ex-Boys Association right
at the start and was always a stalwart member. He died
suddenly on 6 December and his funeral (which he had
arranged himself) was held on 17 December 2013.
Clive had arranged a PowerPoint presentation for his funeral
and his family and friends were deeply touched at the pictures
he had chosen to be remembered by. A large collection was
made at the funeral and this, together with donations from
the Beverley Ex-Boys Association, was sent to the Royal
Signals Benevolent Fund.
WILKINSON – WO2 (YofS) Thomas Wilkinson died 5 March
Born in Barnsley in September 1944, the
son of a miner, Tom was a keen
footballer and played for Barnsley Boys
at a young age, and continued to play
throughout his career, representing
the Army. He enlisted into the Army
on 22 December 1959 and spent 3
years at the Army Apprentice College,
Harrogate where he was trained as a
Radio Telegraphist. On completion of
his apprenticeship he completed a tour
in Cyprus as a UN peace keeper.
Between 1963 and 1965 he had short tours
in BAOR, the UK and Cyprus again. Tom met
married his wife, Mary, on 23 December 1965. His first settled
tour was 22 Sig Regt, Lippstadt for 3 years. His first son,
Shaun, was born in 1967 followed by another son, Dean, in
1971. Although he didn’t know at that time they were both
also destined to have careers within the Corps. He steadily
rose through the ranks and attended the Royal School of
Signals in order to complete his Yeoman of Signals course
from 1970-72, and from there he was posted to Hong Kong
and Singapore. His Army career was eventful and colourful
and he was fortunate to have served as far afield as Nepal,
however the majority was to be spent in Germany. His final
tour was with the newly formed Task Force Foxtrot, 206
Signal Squadron, 3 (UK) ADSR in Soest, a tour that he always
remembered fondly because of the close bonds that he
formed with his colleagues.
Upon leaving the Army Tom took up a new position as a
Fisheries Manager in Wentworth, South Yorkshire, not far
from his birthplace. He was a keen fisherman and his obvious
managerial and people skills made him the perfect man for
the job. He became a somewhat reluctant gardener, although
always with fantastic results as even though he didn’t enjoy it
his thoughts were “if the job needs doing, I’m going to do it
properly”. He also had a spell breeding golden retrievers, and
his first dog, Gemma, became the second great love of his life.
When Tom finally retired in 2009 he began to suffer with
breathing difficulties and found it hard to be as physically
active as he would like. However, his mind was still as sharp
as a tack, and he became a “silver surfer”, taking to the
internet with gusto and embracing technology willingly. Most
notably over this period he started to network again,
becoming a life member of the RSA and last year, despite
increasing ill health, attended a re-union in Scarborough. He
has renewed many old acquaintances and his family have
been deeply touched by the comments and condolences that
have come flooding in from across the globe.
Tom passed away peacefully on 5 March after a short spell in
hospital and was buried in Wentworth on the 14 March. His
loving wife Mary, sons Shaun and Dean, grandsons and all his
family and many friends will miss him dearly.
FRY - Captain Ian Fry
Ian Fry was born on 22 October 1922 and left Grammar school
in the summer of 1941 hoping to pursue a career in medicine.
The situation meant a change of direction and he enlisted at
Aldershot in August 41 on a “Duration of Emergency”
engagement joining the Royal Berkshire Regiment. In 1943 he
was drafted to India. During various movements he sustained
a catastrophic injury to his right leg which resulted in his
downgrading and a transfer to the Royal Signals where he
trained as a Cipher Operater in STC Mhow. From 1944 to the
end of hostilities he served with “S” L of C Signals in the
Arakan area ending on Ramree Island providing crypto cover
for supply airdrops during the advance of the 14th Army down
the centre of Burma. The Regiment regrouped in Chittagong
intending to supply communications in the Dutch Celebes
area (now Indonesia). Ian eventually moved to Singapore
early in 1946 and in late 1946 was posted as a WO2 to ALFSEA
Signal Regiment working in the GHQ Cipher Office.
On returning to the UK in 1947 he realised that employment
opportunities for those without pre-war qualifications were
few, so Ian enlisted on a Regular engagement being granted
the ‘shadow’ rank of LCpl. It was also in 1947 that the met his
future wife, Daphne, and was posted to the War Office Signal
Regiment. In 1948 after a re-mustering course in Harrogate,
he was posted to HQ Chairman Western Europe in
Fontainebleau as a WO1. The later advent of NATO changed
the unit title to HQ Allied Land Forces (Central Europe) Signal
Squadron where Ian had the responsibility for training US,
Dutch, Belgian and French operators in NATO Cryptosystems.
In 1953 Ian was posted to GHQ (FARELF) Signal Regiment in
Singapore. In 1955 he was offered a Short Service
Commission as Lt (Cipher) and in January 1956 he was posted
to 19 Army Group Signal Regiment in Rheindahlen.
After a tour in 611 Sig Tp, Brighton, where he was responsible
for the worldwide distribution of Cipher material, he was
posted to 240 Sig Sqn in York where he was in charge of HQ
Northern Command Communications Centre. His last years of
service in the Corps, from 1963 to 1965, were spent at 18
Signal Regiment Singapore, where he was in charge of the
large Cipher Office in GHQ FARELF. This period was at the
height of the Indonesian Confrontation and the time
difference with the UK meant 24 hours of non-stop work.
The severity of his wartime injury debarred him from being
granted a Regular Commission and Ian retired on 1 December
1965. He then worked as a Senior Executive Officer in the
Finance Department of British Telecommunications until he
retired on his 60th Birthday to enjoy his hobbies of gardening
and philately. He regularly attended the annual Traffic
Officers dinner in Blandford, as the Senior Member, and
attended his last dinner in 2008 at the age of 86.
JAYARAM PURI - Cpl Jayaram Puri died 9 March 2014
On 9 March 2014, Cpl Jayaram Puri was involved in a Road
Traffic Accident whilst on duty. He was taken to the Queen’s
Medical Centre, Nottingham where, sadly, he died from his
Cpl Jayaram Puri was born on 23 April 1985 in Chabahil,
Kathmandu, Nepal. After successfully graduating from
Manakamana Boarding School and the National College
Maharajgunj, Cpl Jayaram joined the British Army on 18
December 2003. His basic recruit training took place with the
Gurkha Company, Infantry Training Centre, Catterick, where
he was identified as a bright, motivated and intelligent
individual and won the Unit Champion Recruit award. On
completion of his basic training, Cpl Jayaram joined the
Queen’s Gurkha Signals as a Communication System Engineer
and was awarded the best trainee of the Queen’s Gurkha
Signals in 2005. He also won the Top Student award in his a
year long Class One course. Cpl Jayaram deployed to Kuwait
in 2009 with 30 Signal Regiment in support the Joint Force
Headquarters and to Operation HERRICK 17 in October 2012.
Lt Col Niall Stokoe OBE, Commander Queen’s Gurkha Signals,
“This is very sad moment for QG SIGNALS PARIWAR. We have
lost a much loved Bhai. Cpl Jayaram was one of the best QG
SIGNALS Non-Commissioned Officers of his generation. His
selfless commitment, dedication and professionalism was
second to none. He was immensely popular who had so much
to offer and will be sorely missed by us all. Our thoughts go out
to his family, especially his wife, Narbada, son, Joseph and
Maj Yambahadur Rana, Gurkha Major Queen’s Gurkha Signals,
“The sudden death of Cpl Jayaram casts a dark cloud over the
PALTAN. He was the best of his generation who led by example.
His untimely demise has left a huge hole in the Regiment. I have
known Jayaram since he joined the Regiment, he made
profound impact from the outset. He stood out for his
professionalism, commitment, loyalty and humour – all qualities
that I have come to expect from the very best QG SIGNALS
soldiers; a true modern Gurkha soldier with exceptional all
round talent. Our deepest sympathy and thoughts go to his
wife, Narbada, son, Joseph, bereaved family and friends.”
Lt Col Ian Hargreaves, CO 2 Signal Regiment said.
“The tragic death of Cpl Jayaram is a sad loss of a top-class
soldier to the Queen’s Gurkha Signals and 2 Signal Regiment.
Having been Champion Recruit, Best Trainee and later Top
Student on the Class One Communications Engineer Course, he
was destined for senior ranks. Now he cannot fulfil his
potential, our thoughts and practical help will focus on
supporting his family through difficult times – both today and in
the future. We will remember Cpl Jayaram as a dedicated
professional soldier, a friend, a husband and a father.”
Maj Mark Barratt, OC 246 Gurkha Signal Squadron, said:
“Cpl Jayaram was the epitome of a Queen’s Gurkha Signaller;
fit, intelligent, articulate and utterly dedicated. It was
impossible not to be impressed by him. Of his many strengths,
he had a particular talent for instructing and this is where I first
met him. Each year a new intake of recruits joins our family and
Jayaram had been selected to begin their education about life
and work in the Queen’s Gurkha Signals. He rose to the task
with his usual good humour and professionalism and it is
reassuring to know that a new generation of Gurkhas has
benefited from Cpl Jayaram’s intelligence, enthusiasm and
passion. The loss that the Squadron is feeling is nothing
compared to that of Cpl Jayaram’s loved ones. You have the
thoughts and prayers of all of us. Cpl Jayaram was a fine man
and he will be greatly missed.”
Capt Lok Bahadur Gurung, 2IC 246 Gurkha Signal Squadron,
“Cpl Jayaram Puri’s death has shocked and saddened all of us in
246 Gurkha Signal Squadron and Queen’s Gurkha Signals. An
outstanding, intellectual Communications Systems Engineer he
was a loyal, trustworthy and experienced soldier who had an
irrepressible personality. I have known Cpl Jayaram for as long
as he has been in the Regiment. Most recently I got to know
him on Operation HERRICK 17 where he worked tirelessly as my
Projects Non-Commissioned Officer. It was easy to see him as a
future Foreman of Signals in the Royal Corps of Signals. All
members of 246 Gurkha Signal Squadron, our families and his
many friends extend our deepest sympathy to his wife
Narbada, son Joseph, his parents, brothers and wider family.
We wish them all strength during this very difficult time.”
Lt Mike Kearney, OC, and SSgt Lalit Bahadur Thapa, Troop
SSgt Kowloon Troop, said:
“Cpl Jayaram Puri was an intelligent, hard working and
energetic Non-Commissioned Officer. As an exceptionally
talented engineer and innovative thinker, he had a very bright
future ahead of him. He embodied the best of what it means to
be a Gurkha in the modern era. He was a role model and
mentor to his juniors and a loyal friend to his peers. Most of all,
he was a true gentleman to everyone he met. Cpl Jayaram will
be sadly missed by all who had the pleasure to work with him.
He was a corner stone of the Troop. His enthusiasm,
professionalism and positive spirit rubbed off onto those
around him and will live on in all who he influenced. We are
deeply sorry for your loss and our thoughts are with you and
your family at this difficult time.”
Sgt Suzyoki Tamang and all York based numbaris (Cpl
Jayaram’s intake mates), said:
“Jayaram, you were one of the best friends we ever had. You
were like a brother to us; we trained and worked together for
many years. Truly a selfless, kind and caring person you were
always ready to help those around; you were a real hero. With
hands on our heart, we honestly have hardly seen anybody as
diligent, enthusiastic and devoted as you. Your great
personality earned you huge respect that will always remain.
We will never forget your passion for football or the way you
led by example in arduous events like the Lanyard Trophy,
Cambrian Patrol and Trailwalker. Your passion for writing and
your ability to express your views and feelings will live on in
your many published articles. We will continue to follow your
example. Words fall short to express how we feel about your
death but our thoughts and deepest sympathy are always with
your bereaved family. May your soul rest in peace. You will be
immensely missed.”