Portsmouth soldiers head to the US for war training
RESERVIST soldiers from across the region have been honing their warfighting skills during a challenging exercise in the United States.
Troops from 3rd Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (3PWRR) were showing off their skills on Exercise Northern Strike, America's largest annual multinational live-fire event.
About 120 reservists from across Portsmouth, Sussex and Kent put their civilian jobs aside for the annual two-week training exercise at the vast Camp Grayling military base in Michigan.
As well as honing their battle skills, it was also a chance for the regiment - known as The Tigers - to work with their American counterparts.
Among those taking part in the operation was Portsmouth-based reservist Private Paul Thompson.
The 33-year-old scaffolder is part of C Company 4PWRR based in Cosham and was attached to his sister unit for the US operation.
Pvt Thompson - who formerly served with the Royal Yeomanry's A Squadron - was called upon for his skills using the Javelin missile system which can be used to obliterate buildings or destroy vehicles.
Working as part of a Javelin platoon, he was tasked with setting up observation points and spotting high-value targets.
Speaking of his time in the US, he said: '˜It's been hot but really good, working with the American troops has been great, they have integrated well with us and they are really friendly, we have a good laugh together.'
Soldiers also had a chance to practise essential skills, including operating in built up areas, a shoot house - a purpose-built training facility for live firing tactical training inside buildings, patrolling, training for their battalion specialist patrol and reconnaissance teams and cultural familiarity and adventurous training.
Lieutenant Colonel Brennan Dwyer, commanding officer, 3 PWRR said: '˜It's been great to see from the first day of our arrival, the level of engagement between the two forces. Both are very keen to find out the differences and the levels at which they both operate. This is a great opportunity for the Battalion and one we are certainly keen to sustain.'
The training comes ahead of a deployments to Kabul for some of 3PWRR, who will be paired with regulars from the Royal Anglian Regiment, Kenya and Uganda.