Troops have praised the enhancements to an urban warfare training facility on Salisbury Plain.
The £500,000 investment from the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) in the Copehill Down Fighting in built areas (FIBUA) village on Salisbury Plain has seen a number of improvements to help troops to prepare for overseas conflict. The work has been completed by Landmarc Support Services, who are contracted to manage the military training estate.
The FIBUA village, constructed in the late 1980s and covering 70 acres, is a purpose built facility that allows soldiers to practice fighting in an urban environment. It is managed by Landmarc, alongside the rest of the Ministry of Defence’s 190,000 hectare UK defence training estate.
Major Alistair Rule, Training Safety Officer (Dry), Salisbury Plain training area, added:
The latest changes at Copehill Down have been led by recent experience in conflict. A new ‘shoot house’ also enables teams to practice their low level urban skills using simulated ammunition such as paintballs. This allows for more realistic live training but without the need to provide large danger areas.
Mark Manning, Project Manager at Landmarc, said:
Landmarc has enhanced this close combat facility by providing alleyways, tunnels, compounds and high level walkways, all of which have added considerable complexity and flexibility to training in one of the country’s busiest individual training features.
These adjustments were made due to client needs, together we identified the requirements and brought them to fruition.
Major Mike Wade-Smith, Burma Company, 1st Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, whose soldiers were among the first to use the upgraded facility concluded:
The recent investment in Copehill Down and other urban training areas allows the army to prepare in a complex and challenging urban environment. Facilities such as this are critical to helping us deliver success in future operations.