Week 18: A Series of Introductions

March 17, 2016 armyjobs

With week eighteen comes a series of introductions, such as introduction to company level operations, ambushes and operating in built up areas (OBUA).

Firstly, I shall say this, company level operations are something that blow my mind. Considering they are just platoon level ops but on a larger scale, the pressure seems to be so much more. For example, flank protection seems to be ludicrously more intense and the control measures too! Even though it will be nine years at the earliest when any of us shall command a company (usually around a hundred soldiers), Officer Cadets learn the tactics so when we command a platoon (about twenty to thirty soldiers) we understand where we fit in the bigger picture. Admittedly it does make platoon level operations seem a lot easier!

We also now draw from our lessons in the close quarter marksmanship to start building on what is known as OBUA. Most recently known as FIBUA, or fighting in built up areas, it is at its most basic concept house clearing. I have also heard that it has many other names.

As a simple introduction we covered entry into a building and room clearance, later on we will build more into this such as vehicle searches, riot control and stabilisation operations. But, at the moment we are placing L111 fragmentation grenades, counting and then jumping through windows; going “red-light” entry as it is called. It is most difficult as an officer as we must decide when to red-light clear or when to green-light clear a building. Red-light means we know that there are only hostiles, so we can use maximum aggression in clearing the building. Green-light however means that we suspect there could be friendly, neutral, civilian or casualties in the building, so a lot more care goes into the clearance; this is a nightmare as the process seems a lot more drawn out.

Week eighteen also has a three-day exercise where we are introduced to company tactics in practice. As any serving member of the forces would presume, seventy-seven officer cadets first attempt at a company attack is a tad hectic. We occupy a far larger area, and if you ever find yourself as a runner, as I did, you discover that you will end up running a marathon to get a message from platoon to platoon!

There are a lot of things that are taught during the commissioning course that some may be tempted to pay lip-service to, but it is during the heat of a company attack when one platoon has been pinned down, another platoon is currently evacuating two T1, a T2 and three T3 casualties and the third platoon is moving in to close and kill an enemy strong point that all the lessons in radio communications come into their element. Communication is what prevents catastrophe in this instance. With this, we have a lot to learn before we head on our next summative exercise, ALLENBY’s ADVANCE in Brecon, home of the infantry battle school.

Josh, our man on the inside at #RMAS, kick started week 18 comes a series of introductions; to company level operations, ambushes and operating in built up areas (OBUA). Company level operations blew Josh’s mind. But getting ready to command a company with about 100 Soldiers, makes it easier to learn the tactics to command a Platoon (about 20 to 30 Soldiers), understand where he fits in the bigger picture. Josh then joined 77 other Officer Cadets to put everything into practice with a three-day exercise.

As any serving member of the forces would presume, seventy-seven officer cadets first attempt at a company attack is a tad hectic. We occupy a far larger area, and if you ever find yourself as a runner, as I did, you discover that you will end up running a marathon to get a message from platoon to platoon!

There are a lot of things that are taught during the commissioning course that some may be tempted to pay lip-service to, but it is during the heat of a company attack when one platoon has been pinned down, another platoon is currently evacuating two T1, a T2 and three T3 casualties and the third platoon is moving in to close and kill an enemy strong point that all the lessons in radio communications come into their element. Communication is what prevents catastrophe in this instance. With this, we have a lot to learn before we head on our next summative exercise, ALLENBY’s ADVANCE in Brecon, home of the infantry battle school.


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