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Armoured manoeuvres underway on Salisbury Plain

Salisbury Plain is hosting over 600 soldiers on Exercise Lion Strike, one of the largest exercises to take place on the Training Area.

The exercise, which takes place 3 times a year, is the final element of the combat and combat support arms sub-unit commanders’ course. It consists of a full armoured battle group and involves all the principal phases of war.

Manoeuvres include a squadron of 14 Challenger 2 tanks from A Squadron, 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, including close reconnaissance mounted in 8 combat vehicle reconnaissance tracked vehicles, and 2 Warrior companies in more than 30 vehicles provided by 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh.

Armoured manoeuvres on Salisbury Plain Training Area
Armoured manoeuvres on Salisbury Plain Training Area during Exercise Lion Strike [Picture: Crown copyright]

The 5-day exercise runs until 24 May and is an essential element of the tactical training of majors before they take over command of their companies and squadrons.

Salisbury Plain Training Area is maintained by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), which delivers the Training Service, enabling Defence training users to live, work and deploy at home and overseas.

Commenting on the exercise Lieutenant Colonel Mark Hiskett, Principal Training Safety Officer, DIO Ops Training South West, said:

DIO’s priority is to support our Armed Forces as they prepare for operations. Salisbury Plain is the only training area in the UK where such large scale armoured manoeuvres training can take place.

The DIO safety staff at Salisbury Plain have a key role to play this week. They are keeping a very close eye on training to ensure that it is safe and not detrimental to the environment.

Lieutenant Colonel Hiskett added that DIO staff are also ensuring that the exercise does not come into contact with the many other military units using the Plain at the same time.

At over 38,000 hectares (94,000 acres) Salisbury Plain is the UK’s largest training area and offers first-class and diverse training facilities to enable the British Army to meet its training requirements to prepare for operations worldwide.