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Regiment soldiers start training in rainy Camp Lejeune

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Nearly 180 Bermuda Regiment soldiers yesterday started training in the US after a massive logistics exercise to fly them and tons of their military equipment there.

Soldiers from almost every specialist unit in the Regiment launched into their exercise after arriving in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina on Sunday — despite torrential rain, which is forecast to last much of the first week.

Regiment Commanding Officer (CO) Lt Col Brian Gonsalves said: “It all went very smoothly — logistically, it’s a huge amount of work, but that is vital to ensure everybody hits the ground running. The movement to Camp Lejeune alone is a testament to the professionalism of our officers and soldiers.”

The heavy rain is similar to the conditions that tested the Regiment during their exercise in Jamaica last year.

Lt Col Gonsalves said: “They will have to deal with a lot of mud, which makes already testing training that much more difficult, but we will just get on with it.”

But he added that on top of military training, including public order, urban warfare and explosives handling, soldiers on overseas camps also learned valuable lessons for life.

The CO said: “Exercises like these develop soldiers socially as well. They’re experiencing a different culture, talking to US Marines and learning about their experiences — much of it on active service in war zones.

“Our soldiers are learning about leadership, responsibility and accountability — people have signed for pieces of kit and they are responsible for it. We’re not just training these young men and women to be better members of the military, but better citizens too.

“Everybody in the US Marines takes their job very seriously and they carry themselves very well. They’re professional soldiers and it’s good for our troops to see that — we constantly look for ways to raise our standards in any way we can.”

Lt Col Gonsalves added that the training package and venue had been chosen carefully to keep costs down, but still providing good value for money.

The exercise — named Island Warrior 13 — will include a three-day intensive field training exercise to put the whole Regiment through its paces in a simulated urban environment.

In addition, soldiers from Support Company, including medics, signallers, engineers, and Regimental Police, will train with their Marine Corps counterparts in their specialist areas. The Boat Troop and a member of the Bermuda Police Reserve Marine Section will train with the United States Coast Guard.

Two Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service fire fighters and a St John’s Ambulance medic also travelled with the Regiment to provide additional medical coverage.

The Bermuda Regiment is looking for volunteers for a variety of roles. A Regiment career offers recruits opportunities to travel, acquire skills useful in civilian life, test themselves to their limits and competitive rates of pay. For more information, call 238-1045 or visit www.bermudaregiment.bm.

Bermuda Regiment soldiers line up at Camp Lejeune
Bermuda Regiment soldiers are pictured during training at Camp Lejeune
Warmly received: The Bermuda military is made to feel at home in the US

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Published April 30, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 29, 2013 at 9:21 pm)

Regiment soldiers start training in rainy Camp Lejeune

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