News and Views

Tank columns and Apache helicopters among hundreds of vehicles taking part in three-week exercise to test Army’s ability to deploy at short notice

By  | 

Camouflaged soldiers duck for cover as Challenger tanks rumble by and Apache helicopters hover overhead.

While these pictures appear to have been taken in a war zone, they actually show a huge Army exercise which took place on Salisbury Plain today.

Hundreds of military vehicles, including tank columns and helicopters, were on the plain in Wiltshire as a rapid response brigade started a three-week operation to test its capability to deploy at short notice.

[justified_image_grid preset=11]

The drills include a 31-mile road test involving 1,650 troops, most of which come from the 12th Armoured Infantry Brigade.

Exercise Tractable will test the Lead Armoured Task Force’s ability to launch at short notice and is set to become an annual event as most of the armed forces’ fast response units are now based in the south west.

There are thought to be 570 military vehicles on the plain, including Challenger 2 battle tanks, which were seen speeding across the fields as soldiers ducked for cover.

Brigadier Roly Walker, who commands the brigade, told the BBC: ‘We are going to prove we can bring a fleet and a crew together to form a task force, so if the country needed us to intervene overseas, we’re ready.

‘Although it is a large exercise, this is relatively modest – what we will aspire to do is bring a whole brigade together and in the future you could see even larger formations coming together.’

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.