British and French gunners train together
The British Army’s 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery (7 Para RHA) has carried out a joint training exercise with France’s 35e Régiment d'Artillerie Parachutiste (35e RAP) at the Castlemartin ranges in Wales.
Exercise Gallic Marauder tested the British and French gunners’ ability to control and co-ordinate fire from each other's weapons. Fire Support Teams, who co-ordinate artillery and close air support for troops on the ground, called in fire missions from 7 Para RHA’s 105mm light guns and 35e RAP’s 120mm mortars, as well as airstrikes by French Navy Rafale fighters.
The training strengthened links between 7 Para RHA and 35e RAP as part of the Airborne Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (A-CJEF), a partnership between 16 Air Assault Brigade and 11e Brigade Parachutiste. The two brigades provide the airborne rapid reaction forces for their respective armies, and the A-CJEF has been trained and ready to deploy on operations ranging from combat missions to disaster relief since 2013.
7 Para RHA Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Justin Baker said: ‘Gallic Marauder is our critical training opportunity to develop the partnership with our French counterparts, 35e RAP, developing our understanding and confidence in each other’s kit and procedures.
‘We each bring similar capabilities and unique properties to the relationship, with our light guns and the French 120mm mortars combining to bring additional flexibility to what we can deliver together.’
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