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Troops put new skills to the test in mock civil-unrest scenario

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It’s a riot: regiment soldiers train in handling civil-unrest situations (Photograph supplied)

Royal Bermuda Regiment soldiers training overseas have put their new-found skills to the test in a four-day military exercise.

In the mock scenario, recruits took on a fictional urban environment on the verge of anarchy, with rampant civil unrest and rising crime.

Troops had to patrol residential streets, provide protection at a civilian food distribution point, and track down a suspect wanted by authorities.

The exercise was the culmination of ten days of training for more than 100 RBR soldiers and officers at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

The training tested resilience and emotional stress levels to show how the force could perform in situations of civil unrest or humanitarian crisis.

Tough environment: the soldiers spent four days on the training exercise (Photograph supplied)

Sergeant Murricko Iris, who was a platoon sergeant on the exercise, said: “We’ve been doing close-quarters battle for the past three days as well as urban patrols.

“It was pretty fun. I loved it, and our platoon was a great bunch of people, so it made my job easier.

“I enjoyed the steady progression of the troops, from them having absolutely no experience to running a smooth attack with minimal loss and minimal casualties. It makes me feel good that we are teaching them, they’re retaining information and they’re enjoying themselves while doing it, which is the best part about learning.”

Royal Bermuda Regiment soldiers map locations during their final field training exercise as part of Exercise Island Warrior 24, on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The integrated training exercises are scheduled annually to enhance the warfighting skills of the Royal Bermuda Regiment while strengthening partnership between the services. (Photograph by Lance Corporal Loriann Dauscher, US Marine Corps)

The 33-year-old sanitation worker from Devonshire added: “This is the fun stuff. This is the stuff that people want to do. It involves shooting, patrolling and looking like a proper soldier.

“You get to speak to different people and learn different cultures.

“I think it would be a great experience for any young person to join the regiment to get some life experience. It’s amazing.”

Lance Corporal Co-shae Bartrum was a section commander for the first time during the exercise and led a group that included members of the Turks and Caicos Islands Regiment.

The 33-year-old animal grooming assistant, from Sandys, said: “It was something new and something different. It was a challenge and I love a challenge.

“I did some things that I didn’t think I would do, like climbing over walls and into rooms through windows. I’m not an athlete, but the job had to get done, even if the quickest route was the more difficult one. It didn’t matter what obstacles were in the way, as long as everyone got there safely.

“We really worked as a team.”

Door-to-door: soldiers had to hunt down a suspected rioter (Photograph supplied)

Ms Bartrum said that the exercise was a good example of what the regiment can offer.

She explained: “It’s a challenge. It pushes your body to do things that you might not think your body could do.

“It was cold. We were staying in a metal container, so that felt like a freezer. To survive that, to survive the exercise, to test yourself and come out the other side is definitely an achievement, especially if you’re fatigued and your body is saying you can’t do it, but your brain is saying, ‘yes, you can’.

“It’s mind over matter.”

Royal Bermuda Regiment soldiers training at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina (Photograph from the Royal Bermuda Regiment)

Private Derwin Adams, 35, from Devonshire, noted that members of the RBR’s B Company, which is usually focused on parades and hurricane relief efforts, have increasingly been exposed to more traditional infantry training — typically the domain of A Company.

He said: “It’s exciting to go ahead and learn the other company’s duties.”

The IT support analyst added: “Doing the humanitarian work is beneficial overall for the Royal Bermuda Regiment; you can take those soft skills out in the field and apply them accordingly.

“The regiment itself is a test, it causes you to think through stressful situations.

“It helps you to keep sharp with discipline, integrity — those are key for anybody, but add to that readiness, being able to deal with pressure and get the job done.”

Sergeant Joey Duffy, a permanent staff instructor attached to 3rd Battalion, The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, was one of three British instructors who supported training for the RBR troops and their counterparts from three other British Overseas Territories.

A Royal Bermuda Regiment soldier receives instruction on the Expeditionary Operations Training Group rappel tower during Exercise Island Warrior 24, at Stone Bay on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The integrated training exercises are scheduled annually to enhance the warfighting skills of the Royal Bermuda Regiment while strengthening partnership between the services. (Photograph by Lance Corporal Daniela Chicas Torres, US Marine Corps)

He said: “The training helps soldiers to improve their basic skills and drills so that they don’t have to think as much about doing the basics — these things become natural to them.”

Reflecting on the efforts of the company’s 2 Platoon, with whom Mr Duffy worked closely during the final exercise, he added: “There was definitely progression in all areas, from the private soldier level all the way up to the platoon commander.”

For more information or to join the Royal Bermuda Regiment, visit rbr.bm or call 238-1045

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Published April 25, 2024 at 4:38 pm (Updated April 26, 2024 at 4:32 pm)

Troops put new skills to the test in mock civil-unrest scenario

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