A thrill when mortars hit the targets

Pte Callum Barnett 'Number 2' on the mortar line from 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (1 PWRR) Mortar cadre on Sennelager Ranges (STC) His responsibility is to load the Mortar, maintain and carry the mortar barrel.  Photographer - Cpl Mark Webster RLC (Phot) UNCLASSIFIED
Pte Callum Barnett 'Number 2' on the mortar line from 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (1 PWRR) Mortar cadre on Sennelager Ranges (STC) His responsibility is to load the Mortar, maintain and carry the mortar barrel. Photographer - Cpl Mark Webster RLC (Phot) UNCLASSIFIED
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David Allen, from the Army press office, talks about one soldier’s successful mortar training in Germany

During the Cadre, Callum was tested on and required to pass a number of challenging training objectives that covered all aspects of mortaring and culminated in a week’s live firing package.

Pte Callum Barnett 'Number 2' on the mortar line from 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (1 PWRR) Mortar cadre on Sennelager Ranges (STC) His responsibility is to load the Mortar, maintain and carry the mortar barrel.  Photographer - Cpl Mark Webster RLC (Phot) UNCLASSIFIED

Pte Callum Barnett 'Number 2' on the mortar line from 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (1 PWRR) Mortar cadre on Sennelager Ranges (STC) His responsibility is to load the Mortar, maintain and carry the mortar barrel. Photographer - Cpl Mark Webster RLC (Phot) UNCLASSIFIED

On being asked why he volunteered for the course, Callum said: ‘I saw the mortar platoon as a great opportunity to try something different and learn new skills.

‘Over the course we learnt everything from understanding the mortar’s capability, all the roles of the team as well as learning all the different fire orders.

‘It has been fun but definitely hard work.’

Over the demanding course Callum’s hard work and commitment ensured that not only did he pass the course, but he did so as the third top student.

He said: ‘I feel on top of the world right now.’

He spoke about some of the tough challenges he faced over the six weeks.

He said: ‘By far the hardest was the eight-mile march where we had to carry kit weighing in excess of 50lbs over difficult hilly terrain and then undertake a fire mission at the end.’

For all on the Cadre the live firing proved to the most exhilarating part of the course, for as the mortar is fired, it travels upwards too fast to be seen but then in the distance you see the impact and explosion, followed seconds later by the loud boom.

Talking afterwards Callum said: ‘At first you underestimate the sound of the mortar firing – it is very loud but it is definitely a thrill when you fire the first mortar and see the mortars hit the targets.

‘Its good to see all the training come together successfully.’

This year Callum will be undertaking a series of live firing exercises before beginning preparations for and using his new skills on a major training exercise deployment on the prairies of Canada.