Royal Air Force College Cranwell Commandant, Air Commodore Peter Squires, visited RAF Halton and Bramley Training Area to gain a deeper understanding of the Station’s mission.

Air Commodore Squires, who is Officer Commanding all Phase 1 Training in the Royal Air Force, was particularly interested in the Initial Force Protection Training (IFPT) phase of the 10-week Basic Recruit Training Course.

He also looked at how Phase 1 Instructors are selected, plus how they are inducted into their new roles. The Commandant witnessed the high calibre Instructors at work, finding out about their development and progression in the instructing environment.

Phase 1 Recruits deploy to Bramley Training Area in Hampshire after 3 weeks of Force Protection training at RAF Halton. RAF Regiment Instructors help the Recruits learn the new military skills, which include first aid, Chemical Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) training, weapon handling and live firing lessons.

In week 7 of the Phase 1’s 10-week course, the Recruits deploy to Bramley in order to conduct a Confirmation of Practical Training called Exercise BLUE WARRIOR. The Exercise enables the Recruits to practice the skills developed during Initial Force Protection Training using realistic and demanding scenarios.

After 2 days of Field Craft lessons (entailing caring for themselves in the field), Methods of Movement, Reaction to Effective Enemy Fire and Basic Patrolling Skills, Recruits are expected to be self-sufficient, operating from the contents of their Bergen whilst living under shelter sheets and cooking and eating Operational Ration Packs.

The Exercise lasts 36 hours and is focused around a fictional Main Operating Base. The Recruits have to deal with various realistic scenarios they may encounter at any base, home or abroad, demonstrating the Force Protection skills they have learnt.

Officer Commanding IFPT, Flight Lieutenant Tom Beddow, said: “Exercise BLUE WARRIOR is a great way for the Recruits to show the Instructors all of the many skills and drills which they have gained over their time with the IFPT staff. Considering almost all of the Recruits will never have experienced anything like this before, it is great to see them overcome the challenges they face, something which is testament to the excellent RAF Regiment Instructors.”