The Yorkshire Regiment
Lt Col Jim Kennedy - Commanding Officer
Exercise Prairie Storm 2 on the sun-drenched prairie at BATUS has dominated recent events for 1 YORKS. This exercise was immensely challenging and seen 1 YORKS operating at the apex of the Army’s training operating within the context of a conventional war fighting Brigade. Operating as a Battle Group including tanks, gunners, engineers, intelligence corps specialists, an ISTAR detachment to fly Desert Hawk and the occasional RMP, altogether we numbered over 1000 troops and 330 vehicles of all types and descriptions.
The exercise itself was by design the most demanding that the Army had constructed in a considerable number of years and there was a significant upturn in night time training – a skill that has recently diminished to a large extent, with an emphasis on light-role counter-insurgency skills.
I am proud to report that 1 YORKS were up for the challenge and benefited from time invested in the UK making sure that we were prepared across the board. During the Tactical Effects Phase (TES), the Opposing Force or OPFOR are given free rein to maraud and cause as much mayhem as they can. This offered a whole new suite of challenges, but rise to those challenges we did. I was extremely pleased and proud to see how we gelled as a Battle Group and how the determination, tenacity and Yorkshire grit of our blokes stood them in good stead and ensured that we prevailed when things got a bit dicey. This culminated in BATUS describing us as; “A resilient, professional, tactically aggressive and capable BG who beat the most capable and potent OPFOR in BATUS to date”. A short sentence easily written, but considerably harder to have earned.
BATUS was merely part of the 1 YORKS journey towards taking up the mantle of Lead Armoured Battle Group for the UK. Our return to the UK has not allowed any laurels to rest (though we did get some well-earned summer leave) and we are already hard at it, being trained to take on the UK Standby Battalion role as well as being ready to support to UK police for counter-terrorism duties. We will shift our focus to an even higher level of readiness and also start our preparations for a future deployment to Estonia.
‘Fortune Favours The Brave’
Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle
1YORKS main Armoured Fighting Vehicle. Warrior has the speed and perfomance to keep up with Challenger 2 main battle tanks as part of an armoured battlegroup. Warrior can operate over difficult terrain and has the firepower and armour to support Infantry in an assault. Each Warrior has a crew of 3 and can carry a section of 7 fully armed, dismounting soldiers.
The Scimitar armoured fighting vehicle's exceptionally low ground pressure and small size make it useful where the terrain is hostile and movement is difficult.
Scimitar carries a 30mm Rarden cannon for self-defence. It is used by reconnaissance regiments of the Royal Armoured Corps and 'recce' elements of the armoured infantry.
FV 430 Bulldog (Armoured Fighting Vehicle)
he FV 430 family of armoured vehicles entered service with the British Army in the 1960s, but regular maintenance and improvements including a new power train have enabled this old workhorse to remain in service into the 21st Century.
The FV432 can be converted for use in water, when it has a speed of 6km/h. Properly maintained, it is a rugged and reliable vehicle with a good cross country performance.
FV 430 variants remain in service with the infantry, as command vehicles, 81mm mortar carriers, ambulances and recovery vehicles.
A recent upgrade programme has seen the delivery of over 100 uparmoured and upgraded FV430 troop carriers (Bulldog). Mechanised infantry use the Bulldog APC as a form of protected mobility to move around the battlefield. Bulldog offers protection against small arms and artillery fire and provides good strategic and cross-country mobility.
For counter-insurgency operations the up-armoured FV430 provides a similar level of protection to Warrior and the vehicle is able to carry out many of the same tasks as Warrior, thereby relieving the pressure on heavily committed Warrior vehicles in armoured infantry battlegroups.
Javelin Anti-Tank Weapon
Javelin, the medium range anti-tank guided weapon replacement for Milan, is an enhanced version of the American weapon proven on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan by US forces.
The UK version has two significant enhancements - a more effective sight system and a tripod, for firing and observation. Javelin delivers longer range, greater lethality, significantly more powerful optics and a lighter load for the infantryman.
Although designed primarily to destroy tanks and light armoured vehicles, Javelin will also provide a potent, all-weather, day or night capability against fixed defences, such as bunkers and buildings.
The integrated sight allows the operator to acquire the target, lock-on, fire and 'forget'. This means that as soon as the missile is launched, the firer can acquire another target or move position. Javelin has a maximum range of 2500m, and overfly and direct attack modes of operation.
Javelin's surveillance and target acquisition performance is better than all other passive, ground mounted, battlegroup surveillance systems.
Javelin is a crew-served weapon operated by a firer and a controller/observer. The controller/observer commands the weapon and assists with loading, identifying targets and battlefield damage assessment.
The L16A2 81mm mortar is a Battlegroup level indirect fire weapon which is capable of providing accurate high explosive, smoke and illuminating rounds out to a maximum range of 5650m.
The mortar platoon, in mechanised and armoured infantry battalions, are mounted in and fire from armoured personnel carriers, increasing mobility and enabling rapid disengagement and movement to new fire positions.