Doncaster reservists visit Denmark for army training manoeuvres

Reserve soldiers Major Chris Bouttell and WO2 Robert Pike, both from Doncaster on exercise Ex Viking Star at Aarborg in Denmark with 150 Royal Logistic Corps (150RLC). TJ100527af Picture by Tony Johnson
Reserve soldiers Major Chris Bouttell and WO2 Robert Pike, both from Doncaster on exercise Ex Viking Star at Aarborg in Denmark with 150 Royal Logistic Corps (150RLC). TJ100527af Picture by Tony Johnson
0
Have your say

It is a long way from home and their usual army base in Balby for this band of part time soldiers from Doncaster.

The troops from Scarborough Barracks, on Sandford Road, have been on a training exercise in Denmark in preparation for a possible deployment.

Reserve soldier Pte Karl Brough from Doncaster on exercise Ex Viking Star at Aarborg in Denmark with 150 Royal Logistic Corps (150RLC). TJ100527z Picture by Tony Johnson

Reserve soldier Pte Karl Brough from Doncaster on exercise Ex Viking Star at Aarborg in Denmark with 150 Royal Logistic Corps (150RLC). TJ100527z Picture by Tony Johnson

Reservists from the town joined their colleagues from the 150 Regiment Royal Logistics Corps, whose role is to move combat supplies and equipment to the front line, on the 15-day Viking Star exercise.

During the training they were drilled by full-time soldiers as part of a system where each reserve regiment is paired with a regular Army counterpart.

They took part in a training scenario during which they helped to defend Denmark from enemy attacks.

The troops spent 24 hours a day either on the road or in position, preparing for a possible attack.

They slept under ponchos propped up on the grass, while their logistics vehicles covered by camouflage nets protected them from being spotted by infra-red cameras.

At one point, the soldiers come under a fake chemical attack while camped out near Aalborg in northern Denmark and had to wear respirators and charcoal-lined body suits for hours.

The soldiers from Doncaster are part of 219 Squadron, based in Scarborough Barracks.

They work as drivers, radio operators, chefs, clerks and combat medical technicians.

The squadron is equipped with vehicles capable of carrying 15 tonnes of stores or equipment cross-country.

Private Karl Brough, aged 25, from Doncaster, who is a driver and second-in-command for his section, joined the reserve three years ago but is an account manager for a consulting firm in his civilian job.

He said: “It was to gain my HGV licence and then I fell in love with it.

“I wanted to become a driver in the civilian world.

“I thought this was a great opportunity for me to gain my licences because it is expensive to do it out there.

“I have signed two other people up, two of my friends. My best friend signed me up.

“If you are sat in an office during the week and then you can come out and get dirty like this during the weekend. This is stuff you can’t pay to do and it is something different.”

Rail control to Major Chris for train trooper

For most of the year, Chris Boutell, from Doncaster, is a network development officer for Network Rail. But when he gets together with his regiment in Balby or on manoeuvres, he is Major Chris Boutell, pictured, left, with Warrant Office Robert Pike, also from Doncaster.

Chris joined the reserve aged 18, when it was still called the Territorial Army. He is now in his 50s.

He said: “I was only 18 years old, I thought what am I doing with my weekends, I’m going out and watching football. I wanted to do something else.”

He said there were many places he has been where he thought “I wish my wife was here to share the experience.”

The army is trying to recruit into the reserves and says being a reservist teaches part time troops skills that would cost thousands to impart to employees privately, which employers can use to improve their business.