A TERRITORIAL Army medic from Arbroath recently took part in Exercise Scottish Buzzard, a 600-troop, two-week exercise in Dumfries designed to prepare TA recruits for deployment on future operations in Afghanistan.
Private Jamie Irving (19), whose parents are both in the Army, spent two weeks at the Ministry of Defence range at Dundrennan, near Kircudbright, the Galloway Forest and Edingham Castle Works near Dalbeattie.
The exercise culminated in a ‘battle’ at West Freugh, with soldiers showcasing their skills in close combat, casualty evacuation and compound clearance. The battle was designed to give the TA soldiers the best idea of what an actual combat situation will be like, with pyrotechnics and blank ammunition used to simulate conflict conditions.
Private Irving passed on his first aid knowledge in simulated injury scenes during the exercise. With two years TA medical training, he was well placed to offer training and advice to non medic soldiers.
He commented: “Exercise Scottish Buzzard was 15 days of pure challenge. I was showing other soldiers how to apply field dressings, first aid skills, how to evacuate wounded soldiers and more.
“Then I learned skills about patrol, logistics and communications from other soldiers and units. It was a great chance for everyone from the different units to share what they know and pass it on.
“At the moment I am actually applying to join the Army Air Corps as a pilot. I joined the TA on my 17th birthday and have wanted to do more with the Army ever since. My parents are both in the Army and I’ve seen what the lifestyle is like and the career options you have with it.”
Lieutenant Colonel Guy Moncur, Commanding Officer for the Army recruitment group in Scotland, commented: “The Territorial Army plays a vital role in current operations. TA soldiers are a highly trained and highly motivated group and Jamie is a sterling example of that.
“TA soldiers combine work and family life with training in their spare time and are an essential part of the Army.”