Junior army officers train island-style for the first time
Officers from the Royal Bermuda Regiment joined counterparts from the Caribbean and the UK for a course run on the island for the first time.
RBR junior officers, with soldiers from the Cayman Islands Regiment, the Turks & Caicos Islands Regiment, Army Reserve personnel from the Royal Anglian Regiment and the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment and the Bermuda Police Service joined forces on the Junior Officers’ Tactical Awareness Course.
The course was designed to improve knowledge of combined arms tactics and develop their combat skills.
Lieutenant Ryan Eve, of the RBR, said: “It’s all about thinking things through and planning, influencing the outcome and reaching the end goal.”
It is the first time the course has been held outside the UK.
Lieutenant Eve added that it was “great” that soldiers from other Overseas Territories and the police service could get together and share “different experiences and backgrounds”.
He said the course could be applied to “any situation, whether it’s hurricane response or infantry operations”.
Lieutenant Gabe Rabess, a full-time officer with the Cayman Islands Regiment, who did his basic training alongside RBR recruits in 2020, added: “We’ve covered everything – logistics, offensive and defensive actions and intelligence.
“I’ve enjoyed it. It’s been challenging in places, it’s all quite new to us, but we managed to get through.”
Second Lieutenant Robert Blackman, of the 3rd Battalion Royal Anglians, said he had only finished the officers’ training course at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, six months ago.
He added: “It’s been really good here – it’s challenging for someone who’s only been out of Sandhurst a few months, but everyone has got on well and learnt together.”
Lieutenant Blackman added: “I was certainly surprised when I was phoned and asked if I wanted to go to Bermuda. The island is gorgeous and the people are wonderful. It’s everything you would expect.”
Major Peter White, of the Royal Welsh and an instructor on the course, said: “They’re all doing very well.
“They are enthusiastic and engaged. They’re eager to learn and professional, but it’s been a steep learning curve. It’s all about collaborative planning, which enhances interoperability.”
Lieutenant-Colonel Ben Beasley, the RBR’s Commanding Officer, added: “This is the first time we’ve been able to invite officers from the other Overseas Territories.
“The level of engagement by the junior officers has exceeded expectations and they’re constantly talking about what they’ve learnt and how it’s applicable to their situations and how their country fits into a global picture.”
He said: “One of the big successes is they’re working together from across the broader region and this will make all of our units more efficient and effective.”
Lieutenant-Colonel Beasley added: “These junior officers will move up to be the senior officers and leading officers of their units and they will all have this shared experience, which will help them to work together seamlessly if required.”
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