Infantrymen are putting all of their soldiering skills to the test as they learn to fight and survive in one of the world’s most hostile environments.
Around 120 troops of the 2nd Battalion Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (2PWRR) have been sent to Belize on a tough jungle training mission.
A Company, which includes soldiers from the Portsmouth area, has been thrown into the climate of Central America to learn how to do battle and keep themselves alive in the impenetrable vegetation.
From finding food and water in the wilderness to creating fire and fighting through the trees, the unit is being put through its paces to drill each soldier in jungle warfare.
The troops are spending each day fighting against intense heat, biting insects and relentless tactical studies – but they say the training will leave them prepared for anything.
Warrant Officer Colin Lewis, the company sergeant major, 34, from Buckland, said: ‘This is completely different to any exercise they have ever done before but they have all responded to it well.
It’s tough and challenging and it can be very demanding but it is one of the best environments to train in and it means we can be the bestPrivate Jason Owens
‘The jungle is a very hostile environment and the conditions are tough but for that reason it is the perfect place to train because if you can do it out here you can do it anywhere.
‘Everyone has done really well so far and they have all learned a lot from it.
‘The guys have all been really far away from home for about a year now so we want to say thank you to our families for supporting us.’
The soldiers, nicknamed the Tigers, are currently fulfilling the role of the British Army’s Regional Standby Battalion 1 – meaning they are at high readiness to deploy anywhere in the Middle East and north Africa.
Private Jason Owens, 20, from Havant, said: ‘It’s been tough, hot and sweaty.
‘The heat is incredible but it is manageable, and this is the first time I have ever done anything like this.
‘It’s tough and challenging and it can be very demanding but it is one of the best environments to train in and it means we can be the best we can be.’
The News joined 2PWRR in Belize as they tackled the terrain, crossed rivers and slept in hammocks slung between the trees.