This is the first time I’ve worked with the Army Reserve and it’s been good for all of us. You have to admire them; they all have civilian jobs and give up their own time to train.
Working together on exercises like this helps us to get to know one another, how we react to a situation, which is obviously a good thing when it comes to operations. We do need to do more of this type of training; it helps build a bond.
Croatia is fantastic, it provides very different challenges to the UK. In much of the area you are looking at a secondary jungle. I would say it’s even harder going than Brunei in many places.
Having completed this training I would say that the soldiers are in the best shape they have ever been. The Croatian Army could not have been more accommodating or friendly.
The training we have completed here has been superb, unlike any training the soldiers would have experienced before.
Even under our new Army 2020 structure, the battalion is in a good place at 87% manned, but we have a lot to do over the next few years.
We have 9 of our soldiers and an officer deploying to Afghanistan with the 2nd Battalion over the next few weeks, which demonstrates how well our reserve battalion is already working with its regular counterparts.
Joint exercises like this can only improve that capability and we can look forward to more of this pairing in the future.