Trans-Americas Expedition 2017
Six members of the Armed Forces are attempting to become the first motorcyclists to ride the length of the Pan-American Highway, the world’s longest road, in one continuous journey.
On 13 March 2017 the British Army Trans Americas Expedition team will take on the Pan-American Highway when it leaves Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of South America on a 20,000 mile journey to Prudhoe Bay on the northern coast of Alaska. The distance to be covered is over three quarters the circumference of the world and will involve travelling through 15 countries.
For the last year the team has applied its leadership and military skills to plan and prepare for the expedition. The six men, each on a motorbike and with no support team, aim to ride the length of the Americas in just three months. Each member has brought a certain skillset to the team from medical and mechanical expertise to core skills such as patrol planning, navigation, survival and administration.
“The journey has already been tough and we are yet to start,” said Major Nick Foulerton SCOTS DG, the expedition leader. “This fantastic opportunity presents a very diverse and extreme set of challenges throughout this extensive ride, where our leadership and skills will be tested in some truly harsh and demanding environments.”
Nick and his team, consisting of Major Adam Szczerbiuk RA, Surgeon Lieutenant Alex Bamford RN, Staff Sergeant Tony Cotty REME, Corporal Tom Makin RM, and Leading Medical Assistant Lee Macpherson RN, hope to demonstrate the rewards and benefits of being in the Armed Forces. They are also using this as a foundation event to showcase what can be achieved through motorised adventure and place the British Army’s Motorsports Association at the top of this discipline.
“This will be a true test of resourcefulness, robustness, stamina and endurance for men and their machines,” explained Major Foulerton.
Anglo-German exercise – 10 April 2017
35 Engineer Regiment recently deployed out to Sennelager Training Area on Exercise HECTOR’S RESPONSE.
Not only did the exercise test the Regiment’s readiness for possible future deployments with the engineers being put through various personal and equipment assessments it also provided an opportunity for them to foster closer ties with Panzerbataillon 203, based in nearby Augustdorf.
With two Leopard 2 tanks from the Panzerbataillon joining the Engineers on the training area the Sappers demonstrated their impressive bridging capability by quickly deploying their tank launched bridges (also known as Close Support or Assault Bridges) numbers 10 and 12 which the Leopard tank crews crossed without hesitation.
For many watching the crossing this was first time they could recollect the two Units working together and represented a further example of the strengthening of the links between the two NATO allies following last year’s announcement by the Defence Secretaries, Michael Fallon and Ursula Von der Leyen, of a closer Defence relationship between Germany and the UK.
As part of his recent visit to Germany Major General Tyrone Urch, General Officer Com-manding Force Troops Command, travelled to Sennelager Training Area to see 35 Engineer Regiment who has just completed their latest readiness training under the auspices of Exercise HECTOR’S RESPONSE.
After receiving a short brief on the exercise and its outcomes Major General Urch inspected the Regiment’s equipment stands taking time to converse with many of the younger soldiers as he did so. With the capability inspection complete the Engineers formed up to see the GOC present commendations to 3 soldiers from the Regiment (Sergeant Broomhill, Staff Sergeant Williams, Captain Graham) for outstanding service to the Army and the Regiment.
Major General Urch concluded his visit by addressing the Regiment commending them on their readiness for any future potential deployments adding: “Everything I have seen here shows me everything and everybody is in a good place, 35 Engineer Regiment has a really good feel of cohesiveness. Well done to you all for getting to where you are – stay focused, stay and stay mentally and physically ready. Good job, well done.”
Army honours The Queen’s reign
The Army honoured HM The Queen today at the start of Her Blue Sapphire Jubilee year with visually spectacular and very loud Accession Gun Salutes.
The first in London, at midday in Green Park, was performed with the aid of 89 horses from The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery to musical accompaniment by the Royal Artillery Band. Commanded by Captain Katie Lavin, The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery pulled six First World War era 13 Pounder Field Guns into the park.
On the word of command each of the six guns fired blank artillery rounds at ten-second intervals until forty one shots had been fired.
At 1pm the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC), the City of London’s Reserve Army Regiment, having driven through the City in their Pinzgauer vehicles, fired a 62 Gun salute with three L118 Ceremonial Light Guns, from Tower Wharf at ten second intervals.
Gun Salutes also took place across the UK including in York and at Edinburgh Castle.
Princess Elizabeth became Queen on 6 February 1952 on the day her father, King George VI, died. Although Princess Elizabeth was away in Kenya with the Duke of Edinburgh at the time, tradition dictates that the new monarch accedes to the throne instantly.
While a Royal Salute normally comprises 21 guns, this is increased to 41 if fired from a Royal Park or Residence. Uniquely, at The Tower of London which is a Royal Residence, a total of 62 rounds are fired on Royal anniversaries as this also includes an additional 21 guns for the citizens of the City of London to show their loyalty to the Monarch.
Light Dragoons deploy on eFP role
Soldiers from Mustang Troop (A Squadron) The Light Dragoons are deploying to Poland with the US 2d Cavalry Regiment as part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP).
About 150 Light Dragoons will join the United States-led eFP Battlegroup based in Poland. The Battlegroup elements have left Germany and completed a tactical road move to Orzysz, Poland.
The Battlegroup consists of approximately 1,300 soldiers from the United States Army The 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, A Squadron The Light Dragoons, an Air Defence artillery battery and a Military police company from Romania. They will integrate with the Polish 15th Mechanized Brigade, 16th Infantry Division.
Major Noel Claydon-Swales, Officer Commanding A Squadron, The Light Dragoons, described the deployment as a great opportunity. He said: “We are going to Poland at the request of their Government to act as a deterrent and to provide reassurance to our NATO allies.
“We are looking forward to starting and working further with our NATO allies as part of the eFP Poland Battlegroup. The mood among everyone is very positive. We have worked hard for the last month working on our interoperability, proving concept and testing ourselves constantly.”
The road move to Poland itself is a challenge for the troops, who are travelling 1300km.
The US-led Poland battlegroup is one of four NATO multinational deployments to the eastern part of the Alliance, with the UK, Germany and Canada leading on the others.