October 16th 2015

Training with the Canadians

The new Officer Commanding (OC) of an Army Reserve unit in Lincoln has embraced the opportunity to train alongside his Canadian counterparts to prepare for operations in a multi-national environment.

Major Lee Cope, aged 35, serves as a Reservist with 160 (Lincoln) Transport Squadron, Royal Logistic Corps (RLC), and travelled more than 3,000 miles to Kingston in Canada to complete a three-week course that aimed to prepare him to analyse and deliver  logistical and staff work planning ready for deployment in operational situations across the world.

Lee was one of two officers to take part in the Canadian Army Operations Staff Course from the UK. He also joined soldiers from Denmark, Finland, France, New Zealand, Sweden and the USA for an intensive three-day allied course that was designed to share best practice and educate the officers in the Canadian way of Operational Planning before the start of the main course.

Reflecting on the course, Lee said: “As part of the Army Operations Staff Course my colleagues and I were assigned positions within a Brigade Headquarters and given a series of operations to plan. The aim of the course is to prepare individuals for operations in a multi-national headquarters providing experience of how other nations plan and conduct at a strategically level.

“This culminated in the last week being spent in a simulator working through our plans having to react to situations as they occurred.  The course allowed me to understand a variety of planning tools used by other nations and take away some ideas that I can incorporate into operational planning in the future.

“The course was fast-paced and was very challenging but this reflected the actual pressures faced when in a real time operational environment.  Overall this was an excellent experience that I would recommend to anyone who gets the opportunity”.

Joining the Army Reserve in 2003, Lee was recently promoted to OC at 160 (Lincoln) Transport Squadron RLC. He continued: “My main aim is to recruit the squadron up to its full strength, ensuring that each of our soldiers are trained to the highest professional standards and that they too have every opportunity to develop and achieve their full potential within the Reserves.
“I have been fortunate enough to experience commanding both Regular and Reserve soldiers whilst deployed on operations, and have enjoyed gaining further knowledge and learning from the experiences of my regular counterparts.”

On a day-to-day basis, Lee works full-time as a Curriculum Manager at Grantham College. He explained: “My employer has been very supportive of my Reserve commitments as they understand the benefits that my increased leadership and managerial skills bring back in to the business. Grantham College were presented with a Silver Employer Recognition Award in 2014 for demonstrating their support to the Armed Forces Community and in particular Reservist employees like me.”

160 (Lincoln) Transport Squadron is recruiting, to find out more about joining the unit at Sobraon Barracks in Lincoln call 01522 529 082 or email WO1 O’Leary on 158RLC-160-RSUSO@MOD.UK for further details.

"Overall this was an excellent experience that I would recommend to anyone who gets the opportunity”.