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How soldiers helped area through the coronavirus pandemic

PUBLISHED: 11:13 19 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:13 19 June 2020

The Welsh Cavalry has returned to its core business of soldiering after working to support the response to coronavirus in the region. Picture:  Cpl Danny Houghton, British Army

The Welsh Cavalry has returned to its core business of soldiering after working to support the response to coronavirus in the region. Picture: Cpl Danny Houghton, British Army

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The Welsh Cavalry has returned to its core business of soldiering after working to support the response to coronavirus in the region.

Cpl Rose at the GPMG Range. Picture: Cpl Danny Houghton, British ArmyCpl Rose at the GPMG Range. Picture: Cpl Danny Houghton, British Army

From April 1, The Queen’s Dragoons Guards (QDG), based at Swanton Morley, were mobilised as part of the military’s Covid Support Force.

The unit provided drivers to support East of England Ambulance Service, ran mobile testing units and delivered tests to care homes across the region.

The unit has now handed over its coronavirus commitments and soldiers are getting back into their core business of soldiering.

Troops were out the windswept STANTA ranges in Thetford training on their fire and movement skills using the General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG).

Corporal Jared Rose, 34, from Lowestoft, worked as both an ambulance driver and delivering test kits to care homes. “It was an interesting experience,” he said.

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“All the lads were really happy to be doing our bit for the country, just in a different way to what we do as soldiers.

“We were well trained and I was impressed with how everyone pulled together.”

“Working on Covid, we were alongside NHS and care home staff and got experience of breaking down barriers and communicating with different people, which we can take back into our military role.

“It’s good to be back to soldiering now and getting the rounds down range to make us ready for the next challenge.”

The QDG’s commanding officer, lieutenant colonel Hugo Lloyd, said: “Our soldiers have taken enormous pride in being part of the of the Covid Response Force.

“It has allowed them to serve their country, at home rather than abroad, and to do so in the communities in which they work and live.

“Whether working alongside paramedics or with the public at testing centres, our soldiers have confronted new challenges, overcome them as part of a multi-agency team and developed new skills to complement those already honed by military service.

“Our soldiers have grown from the experience, and I look forward to deriving benefits from their service as we re-focus on our core role as soldiers.”


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