Soldiers from British Army’s 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (1PWRR) are among 4,100 soldiers from 10 different nations currently participating in Exercise Allied Spirit VIII in Southern Germany.
The Exercise Allied Spirit is designed to develop relationships and enhance interoperability with strategic NATO, Allied and Coalition partners and has seen 1PWRR under the command of a Polish Mechanised Brigade, operating alongside a company of Danish Armoured Infantry to deliver the Armoured Infantry element.
In addition to the undulating terrain and dense wooded areas making communications and manoeuvrability difficult the Battlegroup were up against an opposing force familiar with the ground and given freedom of movement to conduct numerous probing attacks against their defences. Scenarios that continuously assessed the readiness of the soldiers.
“It has been very a testing exercise where we have had to adapt to circumstances as presented refining techniques and tactics, we are learning a lot and quickly” commented Major Christiaan Stoffberg Officer Commanding C Company 1PWRR adding: “Working in a multinational environment as we have here where we are fully integrated and working through interoperability issues as they arise is, I think, essential, this way you learn how to overcome not just the human frictions but the technical aspects as well.
The realism of the exercise has been phenomenal challenging us throughout, the training area has been unforgiving with the terrain often making communications difficult for everyone. It has provided a great learning opportunity for us all – particularly in the importance of maintaining battlefield discipline.”
Private Tom Canwell from Portsmouth said of the exercise: “Allied Spirit is completely different from any exercise I have been involved in before. Here we have been tested to the full by an enemy who has been very determined, you have to remain alert throughout to potential attacks – it has been a unique and challenging experience.”
The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment
The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, also known as the Tigers, is the senior English line infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Queen’s Division, and second only in line infantry order of precedence to the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
The role of the infantry is to hold the ground and continue to take the fight forwards. The soldiers come from the South-East of England including London, Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, Middlesex, The Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands.
As an infantry regiment, they are both fully armoured in Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicles (1 PWRR), trained in dismounted close combat (2 PWRR) and at the forefront of the Army Reserves equipped with the very latest equipment (3 and 4 PWRR).
The PWRR can trace its lineage back to the raising of the Trained Bands of London in 1572 and the Tangier Regiment in 1661. The modern Regiment came into being on 9 September 1992 with the amalgamation of the Queen’s Regiment and the Royal Hampshire Regiment.