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Dorchester Territorials fight hard in field day
SOLDIERS from the Territorial Army company in Dorchester took part in a regional training exercise to fight in built-up areas.
Around twenty soldiers from the Dorchester and Poole branch joined forces with those from Gloucester and Bristol, Taunton, Truro and Plymouth to defeat an enemy force which was trying to occupy a complex of houses and buildings.
The exercise, known as Wyvern Tempest, took place at Imber village on the Salisbury Plain Training Area in Wiltshire last weekend.
Major Jon Penhale, 40, from Cheltenham, runs a recruitment company for those leaving the services and is the training major for the 6 Rifles.
He said: “This particular exercise is the culmination of our offensive operations package.
“So what we have tried to do is combine what they have learnt from patrols and all the skills they have learnt in the last six months they have had the opportunity to use.
“The Company Commander has had the freedom of action to plan and respond to the enemy and the challenges we have had him face.
“So from his level to the most junior Rifleman everybody is getting a good training benefit.”
Platoon Commander Kev Pinnell, 40, from Exeter, has served almost 20 years in the Territorials.
He said: “We have had a proper ‘green’ weekend out and it is what we joined for and the thrill of it is fantastic.
“Being in the TA is a second job undoubtedly now and you need an understanding boss, and an understanding boss at home, and an understanding family.
“My kids love the fact I do this – it makes them feel proud and it makes me feel proud.
“So you have to balance it all up.”
And Rifleman Steven Morgan, 28, from Gloucester, added: “This exercise requires a lot of physical effort and moving around as we offer fire-support and clear buildings.
“This is why I joined the infantry and this is the icing on the cake when we get to test and challenge ourselves in demanding environments.
“It is about really putting the hard yards in and coming away feeling like we have done the job proud.”
The training for the 6 Rifles is set to continue, with another overseas exercise following on from their summer camp in Cyprus in June.
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