Home > Features > Jäger and Tiger ~ Interoperability Training Pt.2

Jäger and Tiger ~ Interoperability Training Pt.2

[© Carl Schulze]
[© Carl Schulze]

This autumn Britain’s 1st Battalion the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment and Germany’s Jäger Bataillon 1 conducted interoperability training at Schwarzenborn, continues Carl Schulze.


Run between 17th and 28th of September 2018, this Interoperability Training was aimed at preparing the participating German and British troops for next year’s US-led Exercise ALLIED SPIRIT 2019, which will take place at the Hohenfels Training Area of the Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC) of the 7th Army Training Command (7th ATC) of the US Army. In more detail, the aims for the British troops included: developing an understanding for German Army Battle Group tactics; gaining experience in the integration of British sub-unit procedures into those of a German-led Battle Group Headquarters; developing understanding of the practicality of commodity sharing; developing and training RSOI (Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration) procedures; investigating Fire Support coordination procedures; and developing, understanding and integrating a system of communications.


[© Carl Schulze]

Oberstleutnant Schröder, the CO of Jäger Bataillon 1, and Major Swales, OC of A Company 1 PWRR, discuss the outcome of the previous engagement between German and British troops [© Carl Schulze]

The training package was basically split in two parts, with the first week being dedicated to interoperability and cohesion training. During this week the troops of both nations were, for example, introduced to each other’s equipment, such as the Waffenträger 1 Wiesel TOW and Waffenträger 1 Wiesel MK armament carriers, the FV510 Warrior Infantry Section Vehicle, the Gepanzertes Transport-Kraftfahrzeug (GTK) Boxer multi-role armoured vehicle (MRAV), the 7.62 mm MG3 and L7A2 machine guns, the 5.56mm G36 and SA80A2 assault rifles and so on. The British troops were also given the chance to fire the German weapons and gain the Schützenschnur marksman insignia. This was issued in bronze, silver or gold, depending on the individual results. A football match and cultural visits to sites in the region were also conducted.


[© Carl Schulze]

The final objective for A Company 1 PWRR was the Warzenberg mountain, well defended by dug-in light infantry of 4. Kompanie Jäger Bataillon 1 [© Carl Schulze]

Parallel to this the company commanders were given their mission briefings for the force-on-force training in the second week and provided with opportunities to conduct their reconnaissance. The task given to the British was to serve as one of two companies of an attacking force led by a German battalion. They had to conduct an attack on a minor objective and take it, then recce the main objective Warzenberg before attacking and taking it. The German company was given the task of defending a given area for 72 hours and delaying the advance of the British company for as long as possible.


Week Two saw the troops conducting a three day force-on-force exercise that was mainly conducted on the local Schwarzenborn Training Area but also partly on public ground, something British troops had been used to back during the times of the Cold War but which nowadays is rare and so is an exciting bonus.


The British contingent taking part in the Interoperability Training was centred around A Company of the 1st Battalion, The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment. The Company Group numbered 105 soldiers and also included elements from the battalion’s Support Company and Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Light Aid Detachment (REME LAD). The troops fielded eight FV510 Warrior Infantry Section Vehicles, two FV511 Warrior Infantry Command Vehicles, three FV512 Mechanised Combat Repair Vehicles and FV513 Mechanised Recovery Vehicles (Repair) and two FV432 Mk3 Bulldog Armoured Personnel Carriers as well as wheeled support vehicles.


[© Carl Schulze]

A Transportpanzer 1 Fuchs wheeled armoured personnel carrier fitted with a MILAN anti-tank weapon system covers an approach road to the Warzenberg, the final objective of the British Company Group [© Carl Schulze]

The Tigers were hosted by 4. Kompanie of Jäger Bataillon 1 based at the Knüll Kaserne barracks. Jäger bataillon 1 is the light infantry battalion of Panzer brigade 21 armoured brigade of the German Army. For the force on force training the company, which is equipped with Transportpanzer 1 Fuchs wheeled armoured personnel carriers, was reinforced by elements of the 5. Kompanie, Jäger Bataillon 1 with Waffenträger 1 Wiesel TOW and Waffenträger 1 Wiesel MK armament carriers, and a reconnaissance platoon. In total some 150 German soldiers participated in the exercise, with another 50 conducting umpire and administrative duties.


When, after three days, the fighting ended Oberstleutnant Wolfgang Schröder, the Commanding Officer of Jäger Bataillon 1 stated: “Both sides fought very well and were highly motivated.” When asked about the winner he answered: “It is a draw, with the soldiers of both sides being the winners by gaining a lot of experience.”


[© Carl Schulze]

The German Waffenträger 1 Wiesel TOW  caused the British difficulties being extremely hard to spot and out-gunning the Warrior [© Carl Schulze]

This quote was mirrored by Major Matthew Swales, Officer Commanding A Company of the 1st Battalion, The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment who stated: “Working with the Jägers was extremely good training!” He also mentioned to JOINT-FORCES.com that, in particular, the Wiesel TOW anti-tank missile system armament carriers of the Jägers caused his troops difficulties as the small vehicles were extremely hard to spot and out-gunned his Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicles.

{ images © Carl Schulze }

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