08-11-2009, 12:20 PM
Retired PR Developer
Join Date: Aug 2007
[question] has the desert camo for British tanks changed? or is this for afghan?
Ministry of Defence | Defence News | Training and Adventure | IN PICTURES: Canadian prairie transformed into Afghanistan for Dragoon Guards' training
A Royal Dragoon Guards' Challenger 2 main battle tank on Exercise Medicine Man
[Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2009]
click here for more pictures
The Royal Dragoon Guards Battle Group recently became the first unit to undergo the remodelled Exercise Medicine Man on the Canadian prairie, which now focuses on preparation for operations in Afghanistan.
A Royal Dragoon Guards' Challenger 2 main battle tank
The annual Exercise Medicine Man takes place over the 2,690-square kilometre expanse of prairie which makes up the British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS) near Medicine Hat in the western state of Alberta.
It provides a challenging and unforgiving environment for the Army to conduct large scale armoured training.
In terms of live fire training, little has changed with Exercise Medicine Man. Armoured regiments and battalions still conduct large scale, combined arms live firing exercises against a conventional 'red force' enemy.
The changes become more apparent as the exercise moves into the tactical engagement simulation exercise (TESEX) phase.
TESEX involves a system of eye-safe lasers and receptors on all weapons, vehicles and personnel, which adds a sense of realism with casualties being identified and taken out of the exercise when hit.
TESEX also means that all shots are fed back into a computer so an analysis of the battle can be made afterwards and lessons learned from it.
Traditionally the TESEX phase of Exercise Medicine Man has been modelled on the Cold War threat, with heavy forces opposing one another in a series of conventional missions.
Afghan actors and interpreters add a realistic touch to the training
Afghan actors and interpreters add a realistic touch to the training which is based on scenarios currently faced by the British Army in Afghanistan
[Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2009]
But the BATUS training team are now transforming the prairie into the notional country of Pakharistan, erecting compounds and entire villages as well as building civilian infrastructure such as power stations and water processing plants the like of which are seen in Afghanistan.
To further enhance the realism of the training for the Royal Dragoon Guards, BATUS employed Afghan nationals to play the part of village leaders and tribal elders as well as police and local government officials.
This allowed members of the battle group at all levels to interact with Pashtu-speaking Afghans through an interpreter, whilst critically enhancing their understanding of the Afghan culture.
Click here to see more pictures of the Dragoon Guards' training
The regiment was put through its paces not just in defeating an insurgent force, embedded within a local population, but also in holding 'shuras' with local leaders while at the same time dealing with suicide bombers, logistic resupply, roadside bombs and indirect fire attacks on forward operating bases.
Captain Luke Tory of the Royal Dragoon Guards, who are part of 4 Mechanised Brigade, highlighted the value of the exercise:
"This was an immensely enjoyable exercise and the training value and lessons learnt were second-to-none. Importantly we have still been able to maintain our core Armoured Corps skills; however we now have to deal with some of the asymmetric complexities dealt with on contemporary operations.
"This has been an invaluable start to our Op HERRICK training for 2010."