News

July 27th 2015

Royal Yeomanry deploy to Norfolk for military training

Nottingham’s Army Reserves have had their leadership, teamwork and military training tested on a recent Exercise on Stamford Training Area, Norfolk.

Carlton based A (Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry) Squadron, The Royal Yeomanry, spent two days on the training area practising their infantry skills and living in the field.

The training saw the Army Reservists use the agile Landrover R-WMIKs (Revised Weapon Installation Kit) which are equipped with a General Purpose Machine Gun and the Browning .50 Heavy Machine gun. It also has the latest digital battlefield communications systems and surveillance optics, including thermal imaging, to help see at night.

The Royal Yeomanry on exercise at Stanford Training Area (STANTA).On operations the Royal Yeomanry will deploy in front of other friendly forces to gather intelligence on the enemy and the environment. The exercise saw the soldiers testing their ability to do just that.

Gedling soldier Lance Corporal Chris Nicholson, aged 32, was one of 120 soldiers from the Regiment that took part in the Exercise. He works as a Service Delivery Manager at an E.ON Contact Centre in his day job but as a soldier he is a Gunner.

“I joined because I was looking for something completely different to do. My brother serves with 29 Commando Regiment in Devon.

“I was thinking about joining the Army after college but then went to university. Then when I hit my 28th birthday I thought if I don’t do it now I never will.”

Chris has certainly made the most of the training on offer during his time in the Army Reserve. “I’ve gained my HGV license through the Reserves and got paid for doing it. I’ve also been on an explosives and demolitions course where I learnt how to create a charge and set it up. I’ve been on a mine clearance course and I’ve learnt basic infantry skills including how to enter and clear a building. There are so many courses you can go on and as long as it benefits the Squadron, they are fully supportive.

“But its not just about the training, it’s also about everything else that comes with it, including the confidence and leadership. I’ve had the opportunity to go on courses that I would never have done in my civilian job and once you have those skills you have to practise them, which is where the weekend training comings in.”

As a Reservist you are expected to complete at least 27-days training a year comprising of mid week evening training, some weekend training and an annual two week camp. Chris continued: “I don’t train every weekend. I probably do one weekend a month, which even then, is more than you are expected to do. But I enjoy it and of course you are getting paid.”

The Carlton based Squadron has people from all walks of life amongst its ranks including teaching assistants, barmen, gas fitters and landscape gardeners. And when they aren’t conducting military training they socialise together and also have the opportunity to take part in Adventure Training.

Corporal Selina Smith, aged 30, is a Teaching Assistant at Nottingham Academy. “Its all good,” she said. “It lets you escape from your normal civilian life, you get to meet new people and you are learning new skills. “

The Royal Yeomanry on exercise at Stanford Training Area (STANTA).The Royal Yeomanry Regiment Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Simon McMenemy said: “The reason people join the Reserves are as varied as the people themselves. But one thing is certain; they all love their job – if they didn’t they could leave at any time. I would say to anyone interested in the Reserves go along to their local Army Reserve centre. They may be apprehensive and it may appear daunting, but take that first step and I am certain they will not regret it. There is no pressure on anyone to join, if you decide it’s not for you that’s fine. But if you do decide to join you may surprise yourself when you find out what you are capable of.”

The Royal Yeomanry is a Light Cavalry Reconnaissance Regiment whose reservists are drawn from Squadrons in Nottingham, Dudley, Croydon, Telford, Leicester and Fulham. In recent years, Royal Yeomanry soldiers have travelled as far afield as Denmark, Kenya and Kazakhstan on training as well as on operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Further information on the Army Reserves and The Royal Yeomanry Regiment can be found at www.army.mod.uk or contact the Squadron on 0115 961 8722.

"I’ve had the opportunity to go on courses that I would never have done in my civilian job and once you have those skills you have to practise them, which is where the weekend training comings in."