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TA soldier is put to the test

A QUANTITY surveyor from Solihull recently found himself treating casualties of a roadside bomb as part of his brave work in the Territorial Army.

A QUANTITY surveyor from Solihull recently found himself treating casualties of a roadside bomb as part of his brave work in the Territorial Army.

Corporal Craig Barker was taking part in Exercise Polar Patrol - a training event in Norfolk - when he found himself tasked with handling the tricky situation.

Over 100 soldiers from TA units across the East Midlands and East Anglia came together to battle it out in a competition which tested basic soldiering skills and combat situations.

The casualty extraction was one of 10 tests the 35-year-old and his team of engineers from 73 Engineer Regiment had to complete over a 36-hour period.

The competition also saw the team paddling across a lake to recover equipment before setting off to recover a broken down vehicle at the bottom of a slope. And if that wasn’t enough the group had to march between stands carrying 28lbs of kit on their back.

Corporal Barker, who is a member of 350 Field Squadron based in Nottingham said it was a tough but worthwhile session.

“The Battle Casualty Drill was very realistic. It’s all good training and it’s weekends like this that bring everyone together as a team,” he said.

Weekday life is much more laid back for Corporal Barker who works at RLF Construction in Edgbaston.

But there was no relaxing during the action-packed weekend, which also saw soldiers push a Land Rover through a winding forest path with a blindfolded driver at the wheel.

Commander of 49 East Brigade, James Richardson, has overall command of the TA in the East Midlands and East Anglia and he felt the weekend was a success.

“This was an exciting and demanding weekend which challenged the soldiers’ military skills. They all performed extremely well.”

 

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