03:04AM, Monday 01 April 2013
Windsor based troops who provide the eyes and ears of the British Army’s rapid reaction force have been put through their paces on a demanding training exercise in Italy.
Exercise Eagles Eye saw D Squadron Household Cavalry men from Combermere Barracks team up with the Italian Brigata Paracadutisti Folgore to share techniques and tactics.
D Squadron provides soldiers for the Air Assault Task Force (AATF), which is ready to deploy anywhere in the world at short notice, for everything from non-combatant evacuation operations to war fighting.
The exercise they took part in in Italy built up to an assault on a simulated terrorist camp at Monte Romano ranges, near Rome.
Troops were dropped by helicopter at night to covertly march on the target. Beforehand, British and Italian soldiers worked together to secure and mark the landing zone, checked routes were suitable for troops and vehicles to use, intercepted communications and carried out surveillance from concealed observation posts to build up a detailed picture of the target.
Lieutenant Jack Carefoot, 25 from Clitheroe, said: “It’s been a great experience to share our skills with the Italian Army. A long operation in Afghanistan has shown the importance of working with allies to achieve our goals. Fostering links with our NATO allies, such as Italy, will be crucial for future operations.”
For the exercise, D Sqn HCR swapped their core role of conducting reconnaissance patrols in the Scimitar armoured vehicle for an infantry-style operation.
Lance Corporal of Horse Mark Doran, 29 from Shrewsbury, said: “At first the language barrier was quite difficult, but we’ve all learned a few words of each others language.”
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