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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland



25 March 2017

The start of the New Year has been a busy spell for the Army Training Unit (ATU) Northern Ireland with two demanding recruit courses followed by a conceptual battlefield study to London in preparation for OP PEGASUS REFLECTION which will follow on in May time.

Phase 1 Training
Phase 1 (A) training continues to be developed at pace within ATU (NI). In the period Jan – Mar 17, Initial Company has trained 41 new recruits and conducted two courses in both Modular and Consolidated formats.  This has resulted in 40 new recruits entering the Field Army - directly contributing to operational capability and evidencing NI’s ability to consistently recruit and train high calibre men and women for the Army Reserve.

A main thrust has been eroding already low wastage rates which has been successful due to the commitment and endeavours of a highly professional, effective and efficient training team at all levels. The unit currently has a significant 97% pass rate and remains a training establishment of first choice with recruits travelling from across the UK to be at Ballykinler.

In addition, the unit has conducted a weekend battlefield study in London as preparation for OP PEGASUS REFLECTION, a study of OP MARKET GARDEN which will be delivered in May 2017.  This is not only a continuous personal development opportunity but an excellent recruitment and retention tool for ATU (NI) Instructors.

London Battlefield Study
The St Patrick’s Day weekend saw ATU (NI) leave the Emerald Isle for London as part of their unit battlefield study of OPERATION MARKET GARDEN.  This was a great opportunity to learn first-hand of the actions of the Parachute Brigade and 1st Battalion Irish Guards (IG) in their armoured role during one of the most famous actions of the Second World War.

A visit to Regimental Headquarters IG provided an opportunity to study the Regimental archive, photographs, notes, orders and diaries collected from the operation. We also learned of individual acts of courage and actions carried out by IG as they made their way towards the bridges.  At the Imperial War Museum, members of the unit were able to set the IG role in the operation in context and to look further into the objectives and overall outcomes.

In addition, the visit allowed further study of the actions of the Parachute Regiment, the battle for the bridges, actions around Arnhem and the aftermath of the battle.  But all would not have been complete without a visit to the Royal Hospital Chelsea where the visitors were held captive by the recollections of several of the Pensioners, the highlight of the weekend’s activities.

The studies over the two days have now set the scene for what will be ATU (NI)’s main effort, OP PEGASUS REFLECTION in May when they hope to visit the Arnhem area and develop a full understanding of the actions of two famous regiments during one of the most recognisable battles of WW2.

Farewell To Major Adrian Patrick

The ATU would like to take this opportunity to say farewell to Major Adrian Patrick (pictured below, centre), after 41 years of loyal service in the Army Reserve. You will be greatly missed.