NEWS

DECEMBER 18TH 2018

Year in Review: Saif Sareea III

C Coy 4MERCIAN SS3 Image 1

Armoured Vehicles preparing for the exercise

In October reserve soldiers and officers from the Mercian Regiment’s, Nottinghamshire based, 4 Battalion C Company joined their regular counterparts from 1 Battalion to participate in Exercise Saif Sareea III in Oman.

For many of the reservists this was their first experience of taking part in an armoured exercise and for some it was their first international deployment.

The exercise was split into two phases, the first let the reserves learn about the complexities involved in armoured and desert fighting, the second phase sought to test the reserve forces on the skills they developed during the first.

Lance Corporal Jack Higgs, who is currently a student, said: “For much of the first phase, we reservists were very much sponges, with our regular counterparts providing the knowledge.

“We also spent much of the time drawing upon the expertise of our Omani hosts for their experiences of living and operating in the desert, this was invaluable to being able to fight in it.”

Reserves during the acclimatisiation training

Reserves during the acclimatisation training

In between the two phases of the exercise the reserves were able to take part in some adventure training and gain better insight into the local Omani culture.

The second stage of the exercise saw reserves testing their skills with a practical exercise, initially they had a defensive period where they dug trenches before a simulated push to the south and large scale attack.

Jack concluded: “We were able to rapidly shift from a light-role to taking on the role of Armoured Dismounts in the largest expeditionary exercise in fifteen years, with great success.”

This is just one of several international exercises the reservists of C Company have taken part in this year, each is an opportunity to improve their skills and abilities should they ever need to support an operational deployment.

“We also spent much of the time drawing upon the expertise of our Omani hosts for their experiences of living and operating in the desert, this was invaluable to being able to fight in it.”