Def Sec meets soldiers on Salisbury Plain
New Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson met with soldiers on Salisbury Plain and viewed an infantry and tank training exercise.
Arriving by Wildcat helicopter with an Apache attack helicopter escort, the Defence Secretary met an infantry section from 1st Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment before being updated by Major General Nick Borton, the General Commanding 3 (UK) Division, on the Division’s capabilities and deployments.
The Defence Secretary then joined a crew from the King’s Royal Hussars, and commanded a Challenger 2 main battle tank on tactical manoeuvres, before dismounting to view a demonstration of an infantry-tank assault on a training village.
The assault was conducted by Challenger 2 tanks from the King’s Royal Hussars and Warrior armoured fighting vehicles from the 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh.
The attack was supported by the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers and battlefield and attack helicopters from the Army Air Corps.
Engineers cleared the streets, before tanks isolated the enemy strong-points and houses were stormed by the infantry.
As the assault pressed home the Defence Secretary took position in a ‘target house’ and experienced an assault first hand, before seeing an Army war-dog take-down an escaping prisoner right in front of him.
Service Inquiry published on Cpl Hoole’s death
The Defence Safety Authority’s Service Inquiry report into the death of Corporal Joshua Hoole in Brecon in 2016 has been published today.
Cpl Hoole collapsed near the end of an Annual Fitness Test (AFT) conducted in Brecon on 19 July 2016. The AFT is part of mandatory annual training for Army personnel.
A statement has been made by Army Spokesperson Colonel Jim Taylor (HQ Field Army, Training branch):
“It is of absolutely no comfort whatsoever to us, or to Corporal Hoole’s family, that the Service Inquiry’s finding is that the Army did not cause the death of Corporal Hoole. On that fateful morning in Brecon on 19th July 2016, we lost a determined and experienced Infantry soldier as a result of an underlying medical condition, which even Corporal Hoole was unaware of.
Corporal Hoole knew what he was doing and why: the course he was on was preparing him for the Platoon Sergeants’ Battle Course. Both are arduous by design and an essential part of ensuring the British Army’s infantry soldiers are combat ready. Corporal Hoole had the courage, commitment and professionalism to step forward and take on the challenge; he knew what he was doing and why, and he was up for it.
The Army is not afraid to be held accountable for its actions, whether in training or on operations. Nobody wanted to know more than us what caused Corporal Hoole’s death and if there is anything we can change or do better to reduce the risk of something like this happening again. We have therefore co-operated fully with this Service Inquiry and welcome its recommendations today.”
Military Working Dog wins award
The Awards recognise and celebrate the most inspiring examples of bravery, dedication and resilience in the animal world.
Sam, a seven year old cocker spaniel who is part of 105 Military Working Dog Squadron, 1st Military Working Dog Regiment has deployed on numerous tours to Afghanistan. During his first tour, in October 2013, he unfortunately broke his foot after falling 30ft down a well on a search operation. He was immediately medically evacuated to Camp Bastion where he was treated and then subsequently moved back to the UK for recovery and rehabilitation.
After six months recovery he was able to work again and was used for OP ISMAY searching areas and buildings to ensure security during the NATO summit which was held in Wales during 2014.
More recently, due to Sam’s outstanding ability and being our best Arms Explosives Search dog, he has deployed twice on Operation TORAL (October 2015 for four months and November 2016 for four months). During these two tours he has found illegal narcotics and has conducted countless searches to ensure the safety of both UK and foreign military personnel.
Sam is a small dog with bags of character and a drive for searching to match. Despite his initial injury, the ordeal of falling from such a great height and becoming injured, he has bounced back and proven himself to be one of our most valued assets.
Lance Corporal Laura Howarth who is his handler said: “He has taught me the foundations of working on the ground with a search dog and given me the trust and confidence needed to work efficiently as an AES handler. While he has a very energetic personality he remains a very loyal dog and will work hard to please his handler.
“It has been a pleasure to work with him from day one and I look forward to working with him throughout the rest of my career as a Military Working Dog Handler for the Royal Army Veterinary Corps.”