Army reservists from across the South of England have begun training with the Army’s helicopters as a result of Army 2020 implementations.
The first step in this process started with a trial of the Ground Crew Reserves Phase 2 Army Aviation Trade Training course that was run at the Army Aviation Centre, Middle Wallop.
This course will retrain soldiers who are currently serving with other reservist units and allow them to be rebadged into the Army Air Corp as ground crew.
Rifleman Alex Pead-Walsh (20) from Gloucester will be joining the 675 (Rifles) Squadron. He said: “I am a pilot in ‘civvy’ street and love aircraft and a new challenge. The course has been very challenging and rewarding.
“We have also had the opportunity to go up in the helicopters. I am looking forward to seeing how it all works.”
Air Trooper Chris Kemp (28) from Bognor Regis who has only recently joined the Army Air Corps as a reservist after serving ten years with the Royal Air Force, was also part of the first course. He said “I am extending my service career and maintaining my aviation links.
“The course has been a lot to take in so I have listened and learnt and the trainers have been very good. I have enjoyed it.”
Army 2020 will see the numbers of Army reservists, rise and for some existing reservists their role will change. One of the changes sees the expansion of 6 Regiment Army Air Corps, when two new squadrons will be formed next year. The newly re-trained soldiers will be joining these new squadrons.
The first, 675 Squadron will be formed when B Company 6th Battalion, The Rifles, re-roles and will be based at Taunton and Yeovil.
The second new squadron will be 678 Squadron, formed from E Company 7th Battalion The Rifles, and 201 (Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Yeomanry) Parachute Battery Royal Artillery. This squadron will be based at Milton Keynes.
The new course at Middle Wallop has included training to work with helicopters carrying under-slung loads, fuelling, air safety and also an introduction to fire fighting. Captain Rich Murray, the officer commanding ground training at Middle Wallop, said: “The soldiers have been working very hard and have impressed everyone with their enthusiasm for their new role.”
Original article written by and sourced from – army.mod.uk