The Mortar Platoon, 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles (1 RGR) deployed on Exercise CYPHER STRIKE. The Exercise was a Regimental level training package run by 7 (Parachute) Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery (RHA), who were being tested on their readiness to deploy and sustain at short notice.
1 RGR Mortar Platoon deployed in order to fire mortars alongside the Artillery and test our interoperability.
The platoon got a really good opportunity to work with the Regiment at all levels throughout the Exercise on Salisbury Plain. Our training started with one week of dry training to refine our own skills and drills and later finished with two weeks of live firing with 7 RHA at Battery and Regimental level. The Platoon provided effective mortar fire support throughout the live exercises alongside the artillery, by finding and neutralising the enemy quickly and accurately from distance and without detection.
It was also great opportunity for us to sharpen our mortar skills, particularly for the new Rifleman in the Platoon who have recently finished their basic mortar cadre. We also got a good opportunity to practice more advanced mortar skills, with junior members of the Platoon acting as Command Post Operators and Assistant Command Post Operator; difficult but vital roles on the Mortar Line.
The Exercise helped the Mortar Platoon develop to be effective, capable and ready to deploy across the globe and was a great opportunity to learn alongside our colleagues in 7 RHA. Both Mortar Platoon and the Artillery learned a lot about each other’s capabilities from the exercise and we are now better able to deploy alongside them as part of the Air Manoeuvre Battlegroup.