Norfolk-based Welsh Cavalry soldiers set for deployment to California
- Credit: Archant
A team of Norfolk-based soldiers is preparing for a six-week deployment to California.
Members of 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards (QDGs), based in Swanton Morley near Dereham, have been conducting a training exercise ahead of the trip.
More than 100 soldiers from 'C' Squadron will deploy to America on Exercise DIAMONDBACK in September.
The squadron deployed on the exercise for the first time last year.
They will be based at the National Training Centre (NTC) in the Mojave Desert.
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The squadron will integrate with 8/1 Cavalry part of 2/2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team.
The training exercise on Nesscliffe training area, in Shropshire, saw the soldiers practise vehicle mounted operations on Jackals, foot patrols and key leader engagement with the local community.
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The officer commanding 'C ' Squadron, major Ben Parkyn said: 'We will work with 8/1 Calvary, the US Brigade's reconnaissance regiment and our main role will be to find out about the human terrain we are working in.
'Part of that is engaging with key leaders to understand the area and to find out about their concerns and divisions in the community and it is that which we have been practising on this exercise.'
Around 40 military vehicles, including Jackals, Coyotes, Panthers and recovery assets, will be shipped out to the NTC ahead of the troops.
The agile Jackal is the squadron's primary vehicle, ideal for its reconnaissance role due to its mobility, endurance, speed and manoeuvrability.
Major Parkyn said: 'Exercise DIAMONDBACK will give us the opportunity to demonstrate the UK Light Cavalry capability.
'We will be tested on everything from tactics and communications to coordination and understanding of the environment.
'It is a great opportunity for all the young soldiers.'
The QDGs moved to the Robertson Barracks in Swanton Morley from Germany in 2015.
The regiment recruits from Wales and its borders and is known as the Welsh Cavalry.
It replaced the Light Dragoons who moved to Yorkshire after being based in Swanton Morley for 15 years and leaving Norfolk with a farewell ceremony in Dereham town centre.