Reservists train with army rapid reaction force

50 paratroopers and medics from Army Reserve 1 units worked alongside their regular counterparts in 16 Air Assault Brigade, in the biggest military exercise in Europe. Earlier in the week we published a story about 16 Air Assault Brigade working with the Royal Navy and RAF 2 as part of Joint Warrior. Today we meet some of the reservists who were involved.

Private James Dytham, a mental health nurse from Bedlington in County Durham, has been in 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment (4 PARA) 3 for 2-and-a-half years. The 27-year-old said: Being a nurse and a paratrooper are poles apart, but I joined the Paras to challenge myself within one of the strongest infantry regiments in the world. Private James Dytham Picture: Corporal Andy Reddy, Crown copyright This is my first exercise with the regulars and it s been very different.

At 4 PARA we work at platoon level and cram a lot into a weekend training camp, whereas on a major exercise like this there s more time and resources to work on bigger and more complex tasks, he added. I really enjoyed and learnt a lot from the airfield assault. There s a massive adrenaline kick running into action off the back of a Hercules transport aircraft.

Time flies and before you know it you re 4 hours into an attack, but it only feels like 5 minutes! Reservist medics from 144 Parachute Medical Squadron have been working as combat medical technicians with the infantry and within treatment facilities set up by 16 Medical Regiment, their regular parent unit. Reservist medical officer Major Yuk Mo Kan Picture: Corporal Andy Reddy, Crown copyright Major Yuk Mo Kan, an anaesthetist at Southend University Hospital, is working as a medical officer.

The 39-year-old is in charge of triaging and treating casualties arriving at the military equivalent of a hospital s accident and emergency unit. Major Kan said: I joined up to challenge myself and use my clinical skills in a very different environment. This is the first brigade exercise I ve been on and I ve really appreciated the scale of the deployment.

As an individual, you are a cog within a cog, but everyone has to do their job for the whole machine to work. In the 4 years I ve been a reservist I ve seen a real change in culture and we are now fully integrated with regulars. This exercise has been a great opportunity to cement the working relationships we have already formed with 16 Medical Regiment.

Major Yuk Mo Kan assesses a casualty during Exercise Joint Warrior Picture: Corporal Andy Reddy, Crown copyright The 1,600-strong battle group deployed on Joint Warrior is built around the airborne infantry of 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment 4 bolstered by artillery, engineers, medics, signallers and logisticians from 16 Air Assault Brigade 5 . The training is designed to prepare them to serve as the Air Assault Task Force, which is ready to deploy anywhere in the world at short notice to conduct the full range of military operations Lieutenant Colonel Dave Macauley, who is in charge of the brigade s reservists, said: The reserves within 16 Air Assault Brigade are fully partnered with their regular counterparts. This integration has been powerfully demonstrated by the way regulars and reserves have worked together on Joint Warrior.

It has been a very demanding and complex exercise that has shown that reservists are capable and ready to deploy with the army s rapid reaction force. The UK reserve forces play a vital part in our nation s defence. Find out how you can get involved 6 and what is on offer for reserves.

References ^ Army Reserve ( ^ 16 Air Assault Brigade working with the Royal Navy and RAF ( ^ 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment (4 PARA) ( ^ 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment ( ^ 16 Air Assault Brigade ( ^ Find out how you can get involved (

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Reservists train with army rapid reaction force

Job Opportunity with Mercian Regiment

There is a job opportunity available as a communications officer with Mercian RHQ in Lichfield. Closing date for applications is 25th April at 1200. Applicants will be informed within 7 days of closing date if they have been unsuccessful or progressed to interview stage.

Interviews with be held at RHQ Mercian in the week commencing 5th May 2014.Full jobs description and requirements can be found at Communications Officer Job Spec 1 References ^ Communications Officer Job Spec (

Job Opportunity with Mercian Regiment

Army music making in Ethiopia

Lance Corporal Kayleigh Compson, Corps of Army Music Lance Corporal Kayleigh Compson is currently assigned to the Band of the Scots Guards, part of the Corps of Army Music. She is normally seen in red tunic and bearskin on major ceremonial events around London but volunteered to go to Ethiopia with a Corps of Army Music Short Term Training Team. Week 1 What we did for music in Ethiopia On day one the Ethiopian National Defence Force Band (ENDFB) were on the parade square demonstrating their marching band and Corps of Drums.

This helped establish a starting point for training and areas that we could develop and expand upon. We were very impressed with their marching and how they played together as a band. The Corps of Drums was very polished and impressive.

This led us to break down into smaller groups for sectional rehearsals. Instrument maintenance is very basic within the band, so we also each gave a lesson on how to clean and look after instruments correctly, and to make best use of equipment they have within their stores. On the second day our Bandmaster Warrant Officer Class Justin Teggarty gave the ENDF Band a Power Point presentation on CAMUS, our role and the effect of Western military music.

They were all interested in learning about our bands and asked lots of questions afterwards about the different groups which the army has and were very pleased to see that the British army had pop groups. We then all came together and had our first full band rehearsal. We had brought along the hymn Abide With Me the band played this extremely well.

Their own conductor conducted this piece and the Bandmaster would give useful points how to rehearse a band to get the best out of the musicians. Next day arrived and we could hear all the sections practising the warm-ups we had gone through with them on the Tuesday. This was very pleasing to hear.

The morning was spent with the BM giving them an insight into Western music. They enjoyed learning out how our music had evolved and they liked listening to our music over the years. We then went out on the parade square and the Lance Sergeant took them through some drill.

This included slow marching and breaking into quick time, without any instruments. Week 2 Solos were outstanding On the following Monday morning we were introduced to their Big Band. The Ethiopian band has a great passion for jazz and big band music so we thought we would give them In The Mood (Glenn Miller) to learn and work on.

After lunch we briefed the band about the Flashmob idea (Something CAMUS has successfully delivered across the UK in 2013) and they were all really keen to do it. Their CO Colonel Kilbrom, had the perfect place for them to perform, and everyone including the staff were excited The big band were putting their final touches to In The Mood . They clearly had been practising as the piece sounded great and the solos were outstanding.

We then took the Big band outside and they performed it to the remainder of the band. This was the first time they had performed a new ensemble to their peers and it went down a storm. ENDFB Big Band rehearsing Glenn Miller s In The Mood.

During the trip the ENDF Band made history, and performed their flashmob at the Ethiopian National Defence Force Army Ground Force Headquarters. Once we arrived at the camp the band got into their positions and hid from the rest of the camp. I started off with a drummers call to sound that something was happening.

People came out of their offices, out of the coffee shop and surrounded the parade square. One off the Ethiopian Band drummers came to the centre of the parade square to play the solo at the start of Highland Cathedral . Section by section the band came out until eventually the whole band was there.

The flashmob was a great success and the band said they would do this again around the city. Three miles to get to school On one of our days off we travelled to the Menagesha Suba National Forest Park. This forest was the first National Park in Africa and dates back to the 15th century.

After almost three hours of travelling in our 4 4, we finally got to the forest. We then travelled a further 5kms through the forest by vehicle and then walked the rest of the way through the forest and up the mountains. The views were breathtaking from 3080m above sea level.

The air was very thin and we all admitted we found it harder to breath. Along the way we managed to get talking to some children who lived up in the mountains. They were more than happy showing us around, telling us about their lives in the mountains and how they have to walk three miles to get to school each day.

On the way back from the mountains we travelled through vast areas where transport was horse and cart, children were carrying wood for fires, women and children were walking for miles to get to the water pumps, carrying at least 3 water containers each. We all were extremely shocked, and the mood changed in the vehicle to be more subdued. We had only seen city life in Ethiopia so far, but today we saw what living in Africa is really like.

Week 3 We were now on our final week of the three-week tour this week was all about putting the final touches on to the performance that will be shown on Friday morning. We started off with full band where we were working on the Mask of Zorro. The band was only used to marching so all their music is played at the same tempo and in a similar style.

For the parade on Friday we wanted to start the marching display off with a fanfare. The fanfare we chose was from the opening of Olympiada by Samuel Hazo. The afternoon was spent with some new recruits from the Somali region of Ethiopia.

These recruits are based at the camp for two years to learn how to play an instrument, read music and march. The Bandmaster gave them a presentation on Practice and Performance . All the information was completely new to them but it was a presentation that will be a great help to them in the future.

This morning started off with a session of full band where we worked on the fanfare from the day before. This will be played outside on marching band so the percussion were trying to learn it off by heart. ENDFB Marching band rehearsal We then went outside and Lance Sergeant Vertigan took us through his ideas for the marching display.

The band hadn t really done any complex moves before so this was exciting for them. The Drum Majorettes had a lot of pressure on them for this display as they were leading the band. We had a recommendation from the embassy to go to an Ethiopian restaurant.

We were not disappointed when we got there. The food was amazing and an Ethiopian band and dancers performed all night, even when the power went out. We were all shocked at how energetic their dancing is and even a couple of us got up to have a go.

Our dancing didn t last very long as we soon realised we weren t very good at it. We all went home feeling extremely full and had a great evening. On our final day we all had mixed emotions.

We were all looking forward to the final ceremony but also knew that this was the end of a fantastic three weeks. Emotional goodbyes We had grown close to the band and were sad to be leaving them. We got to the camp and did a rehearsal of the ensemble pieces and the marching band.

The band then put on their extremely bright green and red uniforms and started warming up before the guests arrived. Lots of guests were coming to the show, including the Defence Attach of the British Embassy, Colonel Mike Scott. The Commanding Officer of the camp Colonel Kilbrom, all the training instructors of the band and all of the Somali Police recruits were there to watch.

The ensembles were played perfectly, we all couldn t have been more proud of them. The guests then had some traditional coffee while the band got ready for marching band. The marching band was a great success they had remembered everything we had taught them.

Their marching and the music were faultless. As the parade came to a close the Defence Attach presented some of the seniors of the band with some certificates we had made for the band. We then all went up one by one and got presented a traditional Ethiopian shirt, and the women also got a scarf.

We all were extremely grateful and humbled to be receiving gifts. The guests left and we were told to put on our gifts as we presented the band with our presentation. We had got them a CAMUS plaque and we had made a picture collage of photos we had taken throughout the three weeks.

They like the photos and were all keen to find themselves on it. It was then time to leave; we packed up our office and said some very emotional goodbyes. The STTT have had an amazing three weeks here in Ethiopia and we have all said we could come back here in a heartbeat.

Not only have we given our knowledge and experience to the band, we have made some great friends here. We all are looking forward to returning to the UK but secretly wish we were staying for longer. The Corps of Army Music Short Term Training Team Ethiopia 2014 Find out more about the Corps of Army Music 1 Read other Corps of Army Music blogs 2 This entry was posted in Army 3 , Band of the Scots Guards 4 , CAMus 5 and tagged Army 6 , Band 7 , British Army 8 , camus 9 , camus blog 10 , Career in music 11 , Corps of Army Music 12 , military 13 , music 14 , musician 15 , operations 16 .

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References ^ Corps of Army Music ( ^ Corps of Army Music (CAMUS) ( ^ View all posts in Army ( ^ View all posts in Band of the Scots Guards ( ^ View all posts in CAMus ( ^ Army ( ^ Band ( ^ British Army ( ^ camus ( ^ camus blog ( ^ Career in music ( ^ Corps of Army Music ( ^ military ( ^ music ( ^ musician ( ^ operations ( ^ Permalink to Army music making in Ethiopia (

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Army music making in Ethiopia



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