Worthing soldier takes on major military training exercise

Private Brett Edwards
Private Brett Edwards

A WORTHING soldier has swapped ceremonial guard duties to take part in a major military training exercise.

Private Brett Edwards, 21, who has served with The Second Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (2 PWRR) for just four months, had been conducting ceremonial duties outside the royal palaces with his battalion.

The soldier, together with 500 others, are currently having their military skills tested to the limit in realistic, challenging and demanding military training scenarios. The two-week exercise focuses on the importance of operating in complex terrains, including urban and wooded areas, the types of environment the soldiers could end up fighting in in the future.

Former pupil at Worthing High School, Private Edwards, said, “To have been involved with the ceremonial duties has been a fantastic experience, one which is in complete contrast to our normal role, but I am proud to have had the opportunity. It’s great to be back in our Combat 95s and training out in the field again having our infantry skills refreshed and tested in some unusual and new situations: it’s what’s being a ‘Tiger’ is all about.”

2 PWRR, also known as The Tigers, was previously based in Cyprus during 2008 and 2009 where it held the Theatre Reserve Battalion role, providing a rolling, three-month supply of over 100 soldiers to Afghanistan. The Battalion returned to the UK in August, 2010, and is currently based in Woolwich, where the soldiers conduct ceremonial duties at the royal palaces, including the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.

Commanding officer Lieutenant-Colonel Adam Crawley said: “Exercise Tiger Sword represents an excellent opportunity to train for contingent operations. It also allows us to have the best of both worlds with our recent ceremonial activities and our traditional war fighting role. I’ve been extremely impressed with the professionalism and enthusiasm of my soldiers who have adapted to operating into built-up areas and wooded areas which are the type of environments they might face in the future. It’s an excellent opportunity for us to train in our core business – being soldiers.”

He added: “Summer 2012, with the Olympics and Queen’s diamond jubilee coming up, will be a fantastic time to serve in London.”