Infantry soldiers tested on Cyprus exercise

Posted on: March 24th, 2014 by Simon No Comments

Cpl Kenneway’s section reorganise on an enemy position during a Company deliberate attack on Paramali village. Crown copyright.More than 100 infantry soldiers from Charlie Company, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (1 SCOTS) recently completed Exercise LIONS SUN – a four-week training exercise in Cyprus conducting attacking manoeuvres and practising core skills such as marksmanship.

Exercise LIONS SUN saw Charlie Company based out of Radio Sonde Camp on the outskirts of Episkopi Garrison. The exercise was divided in to four phases starting with section and platoon dry training on the Sovereign Base Training Area.

The Company then used Akrotiri Ranges to conduct Annual Combat Marksmanship Test (ACMT) for the rifle, light machine gun and General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) and the transition to live firing tactical training shoots.

For the third phase the Company moved to Dheklia for a week to conduct the actual live firing tactical training. The Company ran ranges up to and including daytime section attacks as well as the GMPG sustained fire ACMT. Due the high fire risk, there is a ban on pyrotechnics in Cyprus, including illumination rockets, therefore no night shoots were conducted.

Machine Gun Platoon
Lt Col Munro (right), CO 1 SCOTS promotes Private Cunningham to Lance Corporal in the field. Crown copyright.
Major Jules Kilpatrick, Officer Commanding Charlie Company, said: “Exercise LIONS SUN was a fantastic opportunity to get the whole Company away and enjoy some high quality and demanding training. The focus was low level skills, which progressed well throughout the exercise, and were clearly demonstrated in the final exercise.”

“The continuity of training saw low level skills really progress, particularly in the newly formed Machine Gun Platoon. Temperatures during the day of around 20 degrees Celsius with very little rain added to the enjoyment and put thoughts of Sennybridge and Otterburn [UK training ranges] firmly in the back for the mind…..for now!”

On return to Episkopi, the Company almost immediately deployed on a demanding seven-day, dry training final exercise. Four missions were undertaken which included an attack on Akrotiri Security Forces Base, a conventional Company deliberate attack, an attack on Paramali Village and a final attack which started with securing a beachhead by inserting on a landing craft – the last time a landing craft will be used in Cyprus as it is being withdrawn.

Promotion in the field

The Commanding Officer (CO) and Regimental Sergeant Major visited the Company during the final exercise and a highlight of the deployment was the CO promoting Private Cunningham (pictured above) to Lance Corporal in the field. The final phase of the exercise saw the Company enjoy some well earned adventure training which included canoeing, rock climbing and mountain biking and hold their own sports competition.

Sgt Davy Gourlay, 2IC Machine Gun Platoon, said: “With the Machine Gun Platoon being newly formed it was really beneficial to start with the basics and build up to a high standard. To be able to combine live and dry training in one exercise really helped and the Jocks really performed well.”

Private Little, a Rifleman with 7 Platoon, added: “This was my first exercise since I left training at Catterick and I really enjoyed it. It was tough with the hot weather and the insertion tabs but it was great to have completed it all. I also really enjoyed the adventure training at the end and got to do some great mountain biking.”


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