South Yorkshire troops join Nato training exercise in Poland

Corporal Kurt Dawson of the First Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment is among the British forces taking part in Exercise Dragon 15 in Poland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
Corporal Kurt Dawson of the First Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment is among the British forces taking part in Exercise Dragon 15 in Poland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
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South Yorkshire soldiers have joined a training exercise involving more than 900 British forces and Nato allies in Poland.

The Army has moved its Lead Armoured Battle Group across Europe to join Exercise Dragon 15 on the plains of North East Poland, 60 miles from the border with the Russian state of Kaliningrad Oblast.

Members of the First Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment pose on their armoured vehicles during Exercise Dragon 15 in Poland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo

Members of the First Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment pose on their armoured vehicles during Exercise Dragon 15 in Poland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo

Troops have joined 6,000 Poles, Germans and Canadians on the seven week training exercise, which looked at improving the way the allies worked together.

It has involved a high degree of planning and logistics to allow the battle group to sustain itself with equipment, food and fuel over almost two months, often in sub-zero conditions. Many of the troops slept under makeshift cover next to their vehicles.

The first phase of the exercise took place on the other side of the country, before switching to North East Poland.

It involved 350 British Army vehicles, around 135 of which were armoured.

Corporal Kurt Dawson, from Sheffield, from The Yorkshire Regiment, said: “It has been good to get out here and work with them.

“It has been testing, and it has been a good challenge. It’s a lot colder than Sheffield.”

Lance Corporal Danny Rhodes, from Rotherham, felt certain the message was getting across to the UK’s friends in eastern Europe.

“This is more of a reassurance to our Nato allies that Britain is an ally that they can depend on,” he said, speaking in the back of his Warrior armoured vehicle.

Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Garner, Commanding Officer of the First Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, said Exercise Dragon 15 was designed to reassure Nato members.

Asked if he thought the Russians will have taken note of the exercise, he said: “I think our proximity to the Russian border will be noticed, but I think the exercise is really all about exercising closely with our Nato allies and the assurance that that brings, especially to our Polish allies - obviously for them, the threat is very real and credible.

“I think it shows the UK is committed to Nato.

“It shows with our high readiness forces, now, we can deploy readily around the world at short notice.”