Cyprus no holiday for Sheffield Army reservists

Sapper Stephan Bowles from Heeley in Sheffield (left) with Sapper Dean Priestly and Sapper Owen Townsend work on  navigation skills with Sgt David Wardley during the  Military Annual Training section of Lions Star5 while at RAF Troodos Cyprus. 

June 16 2014
Copyright Paul David Drabble
www.pauldaviddrabble.co.uk

Sapper Stephan Bowles from Heeley in Sheffield (left) with Sapper Dean Priestly and Sapper Owen Townsend work on navigation skills with Sgt David Wardley during the Military Annual Training section of Lions Star5 while at RAF Troodos Cyprus. June 16 2014 Copyright Paul David Drabble www.pauldaviddrabble.co.uk

A two-week trip to Cyprus sounded like the perfect assignment for a group of Army reservists from Sheffield, writes Paul Drabble.

However, it proved to be no picnic for the 20 lads from the new 21 Engineer Regiment, based at Greenhill.

Captain Ian Bunting from Grenoside, Second in command of 21 engineers 106 Squadron with Operations Officer Captain Tamsin Jeffrey also with 106 Squadron,
Captain Ian Bunting from Grenoside, Second in command of 21 engineers 106 Squadron with Operations Officer Captain Tamsin Jeffrey also with 106 Squadron,

The part-timers were asked to work alongside their full time colleagues on Exercise Lion Star 5 – a mission to improve a variety of army facilities on the Mediterranean island.

In temperatures of up to 30C the soldiers took on all sorts of tasks, from building dog shelters to constructing roadways for fire engines.

The new shelters for dogs and their handlers were built for the 1st Military Working Dog Regiment, which deals with explosive devices and clears routes, buildings and vehicles in war zones.

Regulars and reserves worked as a team in the testing conditions, also taking part in a range of annual military tests.

Sapper Terrell Colphon who was born and raised in Sheffield clears the area around an ablution block under refurbishment by 21  engineers for the RAF Motor Transport Unit. 
In civilian life he is an IT student working towards becoming an IT Maintenance Technician

June 15 2014
Copyright Paul David Drabble
www.pauldaviddrabble.co.uk
Sapper Terrell Colphon who was born and raised in Sheffield clears the area around an ablution block under refurbishment by 21 engineers for the RAF Motor Transport Unit. In civilian life he is an IT student working towards becoming an IT Maintenance Technician June 15 2014 Copyright Paul David Drabble www.pauldaviddrabble.co.uk

There was fun too, with time set aside for hill walking, mountain biking and water-based adventure training.

Sapper Stephan Bowles, from Heeley, who works in a call centre in civvy street, has been with the engineers for 18 months.

He said: “With the reserves and the regulars merging it’s a whole new ball game.

“The camp has been just absolutely amazing.”

Sapper Terrell Colphon who was born and raised in Sheffield.
Sapper Terrell Colphon who was born and raised in Sheffield.

Lance Corporal Andrew De Kock, a regular with nine years of experience, said the benefits of the exercise were clear.

He said: “The reservists bring a wealth of knowledge.

“They do this type of work every day and have definitely taught us some professional tips and tricks of the trade.”

Reserves make up two-thirds of the new regiment, most of whom have civilian jobs.

Sapper Stephan Bowles, from Heeley, with Sapper Dean Priestly on a navigation task.
Sapper Stephan Bowles, from Heeley, with Sapper Dean Priestly on a navigation task.

It is one of a new breed of hybrid units seen as the future of the Army.

Lieutenant Colonel Paul Nicholson, commanding officer, said the exercise had been a success.

He said: “We’ve ach-ieved a truly integrated regular and reserve force working closely together to produce a quality military engineer output.”

 

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