Week 37 : Exercise Templar’s Triumph

Exercise Templar’s Triumph, previously known as Broadsword, more commonly known as the exercise where you can get your head kicked in and conversely kick someone else in! But, on a serious note, the exercise looks at stabilisation operations with a thinking enemy and civilian population who could remain neutral, but with one wrong step, could turn hostile. Something as simple as wearing the wrong head-dress could set the local population off, and then an eleven man multiple is dealing with seventy rioting civilians, who unrealistically are all fighting age males, all fit and strong, and were all jumping at the opportunity to attack you.

The exercise works in a rotation of three cycles: rural operations, urban operations and then rioting civilians. It can’t be put into words how enjoyable this exercise is; it is very complex, trying to identify terrorist leaders is nearly impossible when they wear balaclavas and the local populations are trying to protect them. We have to draw on all of our lessons of counter-insurgency to win over the doubting local populous, we became the local law enforcement, the local hospital, the transitional government, all of the scenarios that the British forces have been faced with in the last thirty years all swept up into one exercise. If you are the quick reaction force, you should not expect any sleep! We dealt with rape incidents, IEDs, local elections, murders, food shortages and more. The complexities that are bought are truly mind-boggling.

At the end of the exercise all the riot kit comes out and the public order cycle begins. I have never been in a riot before, my student youth was not that exciting. But my gosh is it tiring! When missiles are being thrown at you, the ground is on fire due to the vast amount of Molotov cocktails that have been thrown, and your line of four blocks is battering a local population of 80 odd, not only is there a slight glint of fear, which is quickly overshadowed by adrenaline, but its just knackering!