The Yorkshire Regiment
By Lt Col Jim Kennedy
1 YORKS are currently part of the NATO, Vanguard Joint Task Force Land and on a notice period to be called into action for a NATO operation anywhere in the world. The Warsaw summit on 9 Jul 16, saw NATO Heads of State and Government agree to establish a forward presence in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland based on four battalion-sized battlegroups, present at all times. It was agreed that the UK would lead in Estonia, the US in Poland, Germany in Lithuania and Canada in Latvia. Op CABRIT will see the 1 YORKS Battlegroup deploy in early July to take our place as the UK lead in Estonia. Our mission is one of deterrence to the Russians and of reassurance to our Estonian NATO partners, that we are all in it together.
Meanwhile, Alma Coy are working alongside the KRH at BATUS for the summer, and the remainder of the battalion are focussed on preparing for our deployment to Estonia. The task we will face will be to maintain a razor-sharp edge in what might appear to be a relatively benign environment, many remember the challenges of ‘cold-war’ soldiering and we will encounter a similar environment. There is much to look forward to and the resources and harsh winter conditions will allow our young commanders and soldiers to spend time developing themselves and their teams, as well as learning some new skills such as operating in cold weather environments.
Sport continues to underpin regimental life and I am pleased to report our continued and varied successes in all areas across army and national sport, from Army Ice Hockey (Cpl Ashmore), to Women’s Army Rugby Union (Capt Ellie Robinson (OC LAD)), Men’s Army Rugby Union (Capt Stu Cross, Lt Chris Bailey, Lt Jared Bambridge and LCpl Rokodunguni), Army Football (Pte Dosa), Army Squash ( Cfn Smart), Army & GB Martial Arts (LCpl Hainsworth). We have also won the Army Football Cup and the ARU Premiership Cup in the same season – a first for any regiment. After Estonia, 1 YORKS will make a welcome return to Catterick Garrison after a 15-year absence from Yorkshire and will be re-equipped with the very latest Mechanized Infantry Vehicle.
Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle
1YORKS main Armoured Fighting Vehicle. Warrior has the speed and perfomance to keep up with Challenger 2 main battle tanks as part of an armoured battlegroup. Warrior can operate over difficult terrain and has the firepower and armour to support Infantry in an assault. Each Warrior has a crew of 3 and can carry a section of 7 fully armed, dismounting soldiers.
The Scimitar armoured fighting vehicle's exceptionally low ground pressure and small size make it useful where the terrain is hostile and movement is difficult.
Scimitar carries a 30mm Rarden cannon for self-defence. It is used by reconnaissance regiments of the Royal Armoured Corps and 'recce' elements of the armoured infantry.
FV 430 Bulldog (Armoured Fighting Vehicle)
he FV 430 family of armoured vehicles entered service with the British Army in the 1960s, but regular maintenance and improvements including a new power train have enabled this old workhorse to remain in service into the 21st Century.
The FV432 can be converted for use in water, when it has a speed of 6km/h. Properly maintained, it is a rugged and reliable vehicle with a good cross country performance.
FV 430 variants remain in service with the infantry, as command vehicles, 81mm mortar carriers, ambulances and recovery vehicles.
A recent upgrade programme has seen the delivery of over 100 uparmoured and upgraded FV430 troop carriers (Bulldog). Mechanised infantry use the Bulldog APC as a form of protected mobility to move around the battlefield. Bulldog offers protection against small arms and artillery fire and provides good strategic and cross-country mobility.
For counter-insurgency operations the up-armoured FV430 provides a similar level of protection to Warrior and the vehicle is able to carry out many of the same tasks as Warrior, thereby relieving the pressure on heavily committed Warrior vehicles in armoured infantry battlegroups.
Javelin Anti-Tank Weapon
Javelin, the medium range anti-tank guided weapon replacement for Milan, is an enhanced version of the American weapon proven on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan by US forces.
The UK version has two significant enhancements - a more effective sight system and a tripod, for firing and observation. Javelin delivers longer range, greater lethality, significantly more powerful optics and a lighter load for the infantryman.
Although designed primarily to destroy tanks and light armoured vehicles, Javelin will also provide a potent, all-weather, day or night capability against fixed defences, such as bunkers and buildings.
The integrated sight allows the operator to acquire the target, lock-on, fire and 'forget'. This means that as soon as the missile is launched, the firer can acquire another target or move position. Javelin has a maximum range of 2500m, and overfly and direct attack modes of operation.
Javelin's surveillance and target acquisition performance is better than all other passive, ground mounted, battlegroup surveillance systems.
Javelin is a crew-served weapon operated by a firer and a controller/observer. The controller/observer commands the weapon and assists with loading, identifying targets and battlefield damage assessment.
The L16A2 81mm mortar is a Battlegroup level indirect fire weapon which is capable of providing accurate high explosive, smoke and illuminating rounds out to a maximum range of 5650m.
The mortar platoon, in mechanised and armoured infantry battalions, are mounted in and fire from armoured personnel carriers, increasing mobility and enabling rapid disengagement and movement to new fire positions.