British troops and armoured vehicles have begun intensive training in Poland as part of NATO’s largest exercise in a generation, Exercise Steadfast Defender 2024.

A key focus of the exercise is the ability to perform under pressure and recover vital equipment in combat scenarios.

One of the initial scenarios tested by the 1 Mercian Battle Group involved the recovery of a Warrior infantry fighting vehicle under enemy fire.

An FV512 mechanised combat repair vehicle from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers advanced under the protection of the Company to attach tow bars and retrieve the vehicle.

“What we are doing here in Poland is one part of a broader exercise across Europe,” said Lieutenant Colonel Grant Brown, Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, The Mercian Regiment. “We need to be able to display that we are ready because this is a dangerous world and when things happen, they happen very quickly. What we are doing here will have a lasting and reverberating impact.”

Exercise Steadfast Defender 2024 involves 12th Armoured Brigade Combat Team, which has deployed approximately 2,500 troops and 800 vehicles. This deployment marks the largest such exercise in four decades and aims to strengthen NATO’s commitment to defending shared values.

Lieutenant Colonel Brown discussed the importance of interoperability with NATO allies: “One of the main objectives is interoperability with our NATO allies and we will be working closely with American and Polish troops as the exercise continues. We really don’t get much opportunity to exercise with other nations on this scale very often, so to do this delivers an awful lot of combat power. The benefits are learning how other nations operate, what their capabilities are.”

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_822514)
1 month ago

Surprising that a REME crew recovering a casualty vehicle is nowadays a focus of an exercise. This used to be ‘normal jogging’, only you didn’t get a whole rifle company to protect you! Things have changed since my day.

Dern
Dern (@guest_822529)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

One of the initial scenarios tested by the 1 Mercian Battle Group involved the recovery of a Warrior infantry fighting vehicle under enemy fire.”

I’m going to go with “Emphasis was placed on the recovery to give the Press something to write about other than the infantry going left flanking.”

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_822775)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Fair point. Just that recovery has never been ‘a key focus’ of a general exercise before. I overstated my point.

Dragonwight
Dragonwight (@guest_822519)
1 month ago

Lieutenant Colonel ‘Rupert’ Brown said “We need to be able to display that we are ready because this is a dangerous world and when things happen, they happen very quickly.” 🤣

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_822611)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dragonwight

14 years of Tory defense cuts mean we’re not even prepared for peacetime, let alone anything like warfighting.

John
John (@guest_822633)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dragonwight

Don’t take the pee, one day he will be General Rupert CDS, formerly of The Rainbow Regiment 🙄