Whilst the RAF and RN are conducting operations (various) in the Middle East, the Army has been
scaring Putin conducting exercises in Eastern Europe.
19 Tank Transporter Squadron are using the Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET) tank transporter to send Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicles to Eastern Europe for Exercise BLACK EAGLE due to start in early October as part of the NATO Immediate Assurance Measures.
The HET is some piece of equipment;
The world’s most powerful tank transporter is being used to move the likes of the 62 tonne Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank and the 26 tonne Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle to Eastern Europe for a NATO exercise.
The move to Poland for Ex BLACK EAGLE is being undertaken by 19 Tank Transporter Squadron Royal Logistic Corps based in Bulford, Wiltshire. It is the British Army’s only UK based tank transporter squadron and uses the Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET).
The HET, which consists of a 24 metre multi-wheeled truck and trailer, has a turbocharged diesel engine and can move a 72 tonne load for 300 miles without refuelling. It requires a two man team to operate it.
Corporal Kieran Chapman is in charge of one of the convoys – a group of five vehicles moving from Tidworth Camp to Marchwood Military Port in Hampshire. He said: “I’ve been driving now for seven years and it’s a bit of a beast to drive. It’s a big green machine, with loads of flashing lights and 700 brake horse power and I love it. The truck is the width of the road and you’ve always got to be concentrating, you’ve always got to be on the ball. The turning circle is 30.5 metres and you can imagine it takes a big space for the vehicle to turn around – it’s space awareness really.”
Corporal Adam Copeman, who is also part of 19 Tank Transporter Squadron RLC, said: “I’m driving the recovery truck today just in case one of the others breaks down – we can still get the tasking done on time. I’m at the back of the convoy and if they need me I am there; I’ve got the radio and I’ll come around and assist in anyway. I’ve also been helping loading and chaining down the Warriors on to the trailers. To us it’s second nature as we do it on a daily basis.”
The Warriors will be used on Ex BLACK EAGLE in Poland, which runs from late October to early December and is a bi-lateral UK / Polish exercise and a significant demonstration of the UK’s support to the region and NATO’s Immediate Assurance Measures.
Also included in the move are Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks from the Kings Royal Hussars;
Personnel from 16 Air Assault Brigade have also taken part
Paratroopers from 16 Air Assault Brigade have been working alongside their Polish counterparts as they train together on a NATO exercise in Poland to practise capturing bridges.
Exercise Anakonda has seen A Company, 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (A Coy, 3 PARA) work with the Polish 16th Airborne Battalion, 16 Battalion Powietrznodesantowy. The troops have planned and carried out missions side by side, to improve their understanding of the similarities and differences between them so that they are better prepared to operate together.
The fortnight-long training at Drawsko Pomorski in north-west Poland is part of a programme of joint exercises and immediate assurance measures designed to reassure NATO allies in Eastern Europe. The main focus of the exercise was a joint parachute assault, with troops jumping from an RAF Hercules and Polish CASA C-295 to capture bridges on the training area.
Major Ben Harrop, Officer Commanding A Coy, said: “This type of mission is what airborne forces were designed for – to parachute in and capture key strategic objectives by surprise within a wider operation. It is fitting that we have practised capturing bridges so soon after the 70th anniversary of Operation Market Garden, which saw British and Polish paratroopers fight together on exactly the same type of operation during the Second World War.”