Army Reservists swapped their day jobs to hone their skills on the battlefield this week as part of a 400-strong battlegroup exercise. Soldiers of the QueenÕs Own Yeomanry, light armoured reconnaissance regiment; the ArmyÕs eyes and ears on the ground, joined Exercise Wessex Storm for several days on a bitterly cold and waterlogged Salisbury Plain. The QOY Reservists, drawn from squadrons in Newcastle, York, Wigan and Chester, have been working with their paired Regular armoured reconnaissance regiment The Light Dragoons. On operations the QOY often deploy well in front of other friendly forces to gather intelligence on the enemy, and this exercise tested their ability to do just that. It saw them using the powerful and agile Landrover WMIK (Weapons Mounted Installation Kit) which is equipped with both the General Purpose Machine Gun, the Browning .50 Heavy Machine Gun and the latest BOWMAN digital battlefield communications system, along with surveillance optics, including night vision cameras. Wessex Storm, a two-week-long simulated mission against a fictional enemy, was staged over two exercise areas: Salisbury Plain and STANTA in Norfolk. It has created a dramatic and realistic test for the soldiers involved, complete with Apache attack helicopters, light artillery guns and mortar fire. The overall aim has been to test the ability of Regular and Reserve units to mesh together on the battlefield under the Army 2020 reforms. The Light Dragoons, known as ÔEnglandÕs Northern CavalryÕ, recruits from the North East of England and Yorkshire. Pic – WIMIK (Weapon Mounted Installation Kit). Notes to editors: The Light Dragoons (LD) are currently based at Swanton Morley, Norfolk but will move to Catterick, North Yorkshire in 2015. They are part of the Adaptable Force and support 4 Infantry Brigade. The LD traditionally recruit from Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Durham, Cleveland, East Riding and South Yorkshire and are known as ÒEnglandÕs Northern Cavalry

Reserve Forces