Turks & Caicos marines on target with help from regiment
Turks & Caicos Islands Regiment soldiers have been getting their first taste of firing weapons on a live range thanks to training by Royal Bermuda Regiment instructors.
The TCI Marines were taking part in the three-week course laid on by Bermuda’s Short Term Training Team as the two units build on opportunities to work together.
Warrant Officer Class One Pete Ramm, the RBR’s Sergeant Major Instructor, travelled to the Turks and Caicos Islands with Colour Sergeant Shanté Arnold and Colour Sergeant Curtis Grant.
Colour Sergeant Grant said training included use of a Colt M5 rifle, which marines fired live for the first time.
He added: “It’s great to see the progression starting from novice shooters – they’ve progressed well in the time. I’m pretty happy about my part in that and I’m sure the rest of the team is as well.”
The Marines will advance through shooting exercises in preparation for their Annual Personal Weapons Test and will enable them to carry the firearms on patrols.
Some of the TCI Regiment troops have now been qualified by the RBR team to take on roles in range safety and coaching.
Colour Sergeant Grant said: “When we take our recruits on the range for the first time to fire live, it’s the same thing – they have the theoretical part of it and then apply the practical part.”
Lance Corporal Jean Tadeus, a TCI Regiment reserve, shared his own progression.
He said: “When I started off I was a little bit shaky – you know, first time firing.”
However, the 26-year-old said that his coaching had put him at ease: “I was the bottom of the class, now I’m at the top.”
TCI Regiment Lance Corporal Tim Browning said the weapons practice, which included use of a Glock 19 handgun, made TCI Regiment troops the “envy” of their friends.
He said: “We’re very grateful having the RBR guys here because if we didn’t, we wouldn’t be able to go on the ranges.”
Lance Corporal Browning, who was among a group of Marines that visited Bermuda for training last year, added: “The TCI Regiment is very much in its infancy, so everybody is still learning a lot.
“There is a world of difference between the TCI Regiment and the RBR, so the guys have brought training that is second to none, it couldn’t be any better.”
The RBR has worked with partner nations for decades and the latest collaboration follows a meeting of Overseas Territories defence unit leaders last year.
Lieutenant-Colonel Ben Beasley, the RBR’s Commanding Officer, said: “Last year in London, the commanding officers of the British Overseas Territories met for the first time to discuss opportunities for enhancing collective support.
“After consultation with our governors, this is one of the initiatives which has been implemented, along with training courses we delivered last year in the US and Bermuda.”
Residents aged between 18 and 50 are being invited to join the RBR’s ranks by January 26 to take part in initial recruit training, which will run from February 12 to 24.
• For more information or to sign up, visit www.bermudaregiment.bm or call 238-1045