Category Archives: Army Reserves

Ex DRAGON EAGLE 02-17 April 16

By Captain Gary Peacock


Ex DRAGON EAGLE 16 is a 14 day Skiing ExPed in the Austria Alps for 58 members of 6 Regt Army Air Corps and attached Arms Ski Instructors, broken down into two, one week periods. Beginners, novices and experienced individuals have the opportunity to develop their knowledge of Alpine Skiing and Ski Touring on the challenging and rewarding terrain on the Stubaital Glacier, a twenty minute drive south west of the town of Neustift.

On Saturday 02 April 16 members of 6 AAC gathered together at their Sqn Army Reserve Centres to begin what was to be a memorable drive to Neustift, Austria, some thirty miles South West of Innsbruck. On arrival at the Schone Aussicht Apartments high on the slopes of Neustift, we were greeted by our host Howie, his wife Franziska and Capt Colin Jurgens with support from Major Bryan Jones and Capt Martin Walkinshaw, the three ‘snowboard cool dudes’ made our arrival a welcome sight after a very long drive. The apartments with en suite washrooms, adjoining kitchens and individual dining rooms are located in a three story wooden building overlooking the town, and are best described as the ideal Alpine lodge which has seen many years of hard winter weather and hot summers, making it an ideal location to explore the stunning mountains of the Austrian Alps. Outside the front door is a pine tree which extends to the height of the roof, and is used by the locals to judge the weather on the Glacier. If is swaying only slightly, then it is blowing a gale on top.

Capt Colin Jurgens AAC, the ExPed Officer, was keen to see us settle into a routine as soon as we arrived, with the mandatory arrival safety briefs out of the way we proceeded to the local ski hire store to be fitted with our boots, ski’s and warm clothing for the first week. Once fitted and ski passes issued we then had time to settle into our new accommodation, this was to be a trip to remember. The last six months of planning that had gone into this trip had paid off, with a smooth administrative process in place; the pressure was off for now to enjoy this great skiing experience. Howie and Franziska laid on a truly amazing evening meal to get us all settled in for our first night, and the food continued to be delicious for the next two weeks, supported by our delivery of HP Sauce from the UK which was by now in short supply in Howie kitchen.

Week one would see thirty one members of the unit broken down into ability groups. Beginners, under the guidance of LCpl Stewart Bottom RE would work towards their first Award of Ski Foundation Level 1 (SF1), and those with more experience conducting Ski Touring with WO1 Sean Carty REME and Lt Sam Smith AAC work towards the SF2 qualification. The more professional ‘Snow Boarders’ kept a watchful eye on our progress over the first week, and showed us how the world of snowboarding could be our next alpine challenge once we had mastered the ski’s. With ‘cool’ looks they showed off some slick moves on the slopes, and gained the odd bruise along the way.

Our first day was to see us drive through the Alpine valley to the ski resort of Stubaital Glacier passing through the well managed farmer’s field, steep sided pine forest passes, with melting ice waterfalls in hanging valleys. We passed the remains of a landslide from November 2015, which had engulfed the main link road to the Glacier and surrounding meadows. It had only taken the local authority’s days to reopen due to a mammoth task of clearing boulders the size of a 4 x 4 Jeep and rerouting the stream from the mountain side. Once aboard the ski lifts we heading up to Gamsgarten station at 2630 ft where we gathered to start our first day on what was to be a fine sunny first day. Gamsgarten Station Restaurant, Ski Shop, and Bar Area are the ideal location for adults and children alike to rest during the day. Those who were attending the SF2 training proceeded to the more challenging red slopes on the Stubaital Glacier to start there Ski Touring lessons. Avalanche rescue with transceivers, probes and shovels on the higher slopes, with a long ski touring approaches, was to see more physically demanding days ahead for this team. After evening meal, laid on by our host Howie and Fran, the evenings were set aside for teams to attend presentations, on mountain weather, cold weather injuries, equipment care, and avalanche awareness in preparation for the next day’s activity.

With the first few days under our belts, sore feet, bruised body’s and damaged egos we began to push ourselves on the more demanding slopes. The long gondola rides to the summit of “Jochdohle” at 3150m would see us start the long decent to Gamsgarten along wide blue routes with ample space to put long turns into practice, and see the occasional embarrassing fall to confirm we all were still learning our new skill. As teams stacked up after ten or so turns it would not be unusual to feel the crash of body’s as a member of our team would lose control and wipe us out, resulting in the falling domino effect on the slope. This was to be normal for our first few days as beginners, but this was to be short lived, as the confidence grew we pushed ourselves in all areas of skiing. It was with great delight to see the professional conduct of the local Austrian skiers, if someone fell over they would stop and ask if they were ok or needed help. This would be the same for our teams, but more often was accompanied by great outbursts of laughter and nomination for “Moose of the Mountain Award”.

As the first weeks skiing came to a close, the beginners group were tested on their new skills they had learnt that week, and with great pride they passed SF1, resulting in a light refreshment in the Umbrella Bar at the bottom station. The Intimidate and ski touring teams also expressed their jubilation at completing an exhilarating week of skiing, with outrageous stories of their time on the mountain slopes that final day. However, as with every evening briefing after dinner, the nomination for “Moose of the Mountain Award” would confirm the wild story’s to be true or not on a very open and non-biased voting means?


The start of week two saw twenty eager new faces ready to throw themselves into the “ski off” to see which group they will be in for the week. With five instructors now on the team, we were now able to achieve more with smaller classes. This was evident on day three when all the groups were able to attack red routes with confidence. Two intermediate groups join together to perform a human slalom on a blue route. The man over was to ski between each skier, who were in single file down the slopes, some ten meters apart. This gave skiers time to practice there long edging turns in a small space.

Intermediate groups continued to work hard on the red routes throughout the week. Teams were able to push their skills on black routes with small turns on the steep technical slopes to enabled skiers to build confidence, with longer gliding turns at speed. But, this did result in some spectacular falls. The slopes do not discriminate your skiing ability, with skiers and instructors alike falling in flamboyant style, resulting in a sympathetic assistance to gather the individual to their feet, and in good humour, fall around laughing at each other’s predicament.

As the final few days approached, team members encouraged each other to push themselves on the more technical slopes. Off piste skiing, alongside makes routes in newly formed deep powder snow was the order of the day, as beginners, intermediate and those who had completed their SF2 during the week, enjoyed this new experience in skiing. We drew powder snow skis from the hire shop, which are wider, to enable skiers to glide through the powder, but now a new style of skiing had to be taught. Leaning back in your boots enabled your forward edge of your skis a clear path through the powder snow. This was a new challenge that had gone against all we had been taught throughout the week of leaning forward on the clear open and well defined routes.



Ex Winter Challenge 2015

Southampton University Officer Training Corps

After a long coach journey from Southampton to St Johann, Austria, 40 Officer Cadets from SouthamptonUOTC and 4 instructors arrived at the resort of Alpendorf at midday on Sunday 5th April.

Upon arrival, we were each issued with the necessary kit including skis and boots and were allocated our dorms for the week.

After an early start on Monday morning, we boarded the coach to take to Alpendorf, excited to begin our week of skiing. We were split into 4 groups, and introduced to our instructors for the week. The first gondola journey to the top of the mountain seemed to take forever, with the anticipation of the first run growing.

In contrast to the bottom of the mountain, at the top it was snowing heavily, which although sounding very exciting, made the visibility on the first and second day poor, requiring extra vigilance from all on the mountain. As the weather improved throughout the week, the views became more and more spectacular, although photos couldn’t do them justice. We began the week tackling the nursery slopes, practicing our skiing technique and growing in confidence, before moving onto blue slopes to challenge ourselves further. On the nursery slopes, we were taught how to slow down using the snow plough method, how to turn whilst in snow plough and also how to get up and put our skis back on if we were to take a tumble.

Fun on the slopes

On Tuesday morning we continued practicing what we had learnt on Monday, and in the afternoon, instead of taking the T-bar lifts on the nursery slopes, we advanced and took the 6-man lift for the first time! Throughout the week, the chair lifts became quite a spectacle and somewhat entertaining to watch, as Officer Cadets somehow struggled to grasp the concept and simplicity of the lifts. Ski poles were dropped and bent, goggles were lost, the automatic safety bar was forced up and even the occasional seat was missed! Each evening we came together for a debrief after the days skiing, and on Tuesday and Thursday evening, the instructors delivered lessons on weather, avalanches, kit and equipment, and first aid, which were required in order for us all to gain Ski Foundation Level 1 qualification (SF1).

Wednesday flew past, and the sudden realisation that we were half way through our week of skiing was surprising! The hotel that we stayed at offered an ‘All you can eat BBQ ribs’ night on Wednesday, which went down an absolute treat.

Friday was our last day of instructed skiing, and so the instructors decided to take us all to the same restaurant for lunch, called Krapfenalm. It was notorious for their delicious donuts, filled with either sweet or savoury filling, such as bacon, egg and potato, or chocolate, ice cream and sauce! Having all achieved our SF1 qualification on Friday, we were able to go skiing with other Officer Cadets on Saturday without the instructors’ supervision. Once we handed our kit back in to the ski hire shop, tidied our dorms and boarded the coach, the long coach journey back to Southampton began. I’m sure many others agreed that this had been one of the best weeks of our time at OTC and I hope to progress to SF2 next year.

The End of my Tour

Rifleman Jones 7RIFLES

I left in the summer, two weeks before the end of Trinity term. Oxford is at its most beautiful then. Long evenings, village cricket, garden parties, balls; these were my last impressions of the University and the town. No doubt it would have been easier to leave in the grey drizzle of winter.

I joined Sydney University Regiment of the Australian Army Reserve in 2010, in the last year of my undergraduate studies. In 2011, when I was awarded a scholarship to study at Oxford, I decided to continue my service with the British Army in the 7th Battalion of the Rifles Regiment (7RIFLES). It may come as a surprise to some readers that there are still a large number of Commonwealth soldiers serving in the British Army. In 2010 one in ten soldiers serving in the British infantry was from the Republic of Ireland or the Commonwealth. I’m now in Afghanistan with Gurkhas, Fijians, Ghanians, South Africans, soldiers from the Caribbean, as well as two other Australians.

Rifleman Jones

Rifleman Jones

In the middle of last year I volunteered to suspend my studies at Oxford and deploy to Afghanistan. With twenty other reservists, I joined B Company, 2nd Battalion of the Rifles, to provide force protection to British forces in Kabul. We arrived in theatre in the first week of August.

Kabul is a city of sharp contrasts: the most polluted city in the world, set against a spectacular natural backdrop of mountains; million pound, of state-of-the-art military vehicles driving past overladen donkey carts; soldiers and police everywhere but ever deteriorating security. Through conversations with our interpreters, guards and other ‘Locally Employed Nationals’, I am constantly reminded what a shame it is that we are in Kabul at such a difficult time in its history; this city has a rich culture and history that its inhabitants are justly proud of. It also has a long history with the British army, something that is difficult to forget in Camp Souter – named for Captain Souter, one of the few survivors of the army’s disastrous, 1848 retreat from Kabul.


Our life as force protection troops in Kabul has been largely governed by a three-week rotation, between patrolling, standing guard and providing the ‘quick reaction force’ (QRF). Of these three, patrolling is the upheld as the Riflemen’s favourite. On patrols week our job is to protect British and NATO personnel as they move around the city. It is a chance to employ our training, escape the claustrophobia of camp, see the city and – not least of all – hopefully visit an American dining facility (‘DFAC’). Guard week is tiring, although you get an interesting perspective on the city by standing and observing over long periods from Camp Souter’s sangers (guard towers). Some truly strange things have been reported on guard, which has coloured our appreciation of Kabul. Although, I suspect if you stood and observed some point on the outskirts of Oxford (or London, or Sydney) for hours on end you might see some equally strange things. QRF week is a chance for us to administer our kit and conduct training…and watch movies, while waiting for a call-out should a NATO call-sign get into trouble.

Now, at the end of our tour, the prospect of returning to Oxford looms. I suspect that the University town holds a special place in every student’s heart, but for me it has become even more idyllic by contrast. All its idiosyncrasies, which I recall being occasionally frustrating, only make Oxford seem further gloriously removed from troubled Kabul. And, although I confess to pining badly for Sydney’s beaches – particularly during the Afghan winter – Oxford has never been far from my mind.

For more information you can visit

On tour with Army Reservist Riflemen Ben Eden 7RIFLES

Rifleman Ben Eden  from A Company 7 RIFLES

Rifleman Ben Eden, 21, 7 Rifles attached to 2 Rifles for Op Herrick 20/ Toral 1

I live in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, and am part of 2 platoon A company 7 Rifles. My ARC (army reserve centre) is approximately 2 miles away from my house, in High Wycombe, with the company location being in Abingdon, Oxford.

On civvie street I work as an assistant manager at a nearby restaurant called ‘The Britannia’ owned by McMullen and Sons, who are based in Hartford. I have wanted to join the armed forces ever since I was a kid. This ambition never really left me, and would have led to gaining a sponsorship through university with the regular army, If I decided to go to university (which I decided was not for me as I didn’t think it was worth the £9000 a year in tuition fees). After making the decision not to go to university I still looked at joining the regular army after completing my A-levels, but without going for a commission.


When I turned 18 I started to work at my local pub and quickly realised that I really enjoyed working in pubs, and was quickly promoted. By the age of 19 I knew this would be my career after being left to run the pub for 2 weeks whilst my general managers went on holiday. Soon after that my current place announced that it was opening, and my boss told me to go and apply there if I was serious about one day running my own pub, as it was part of a chain and my local pub was not. I went, applied and got a job. Once again I was quickly put onto courses, gained qualifications and gained promotions.

As soon as I realised I wanted to work in this trade, I also realised that I could not join the regulars. I started to look for other options, and found that there was an ARC nearby! I went down on the Tuesday evening, spoke to the recruitment NCO, and before I knew it I was on selection and then being attested and starting phase one training. I have now been in the army reserves for a little over 3 years.

As soon as the option to volunteer for this tour came up I knew I wanted to go on it and applied, along with 2 others from my company. Within no time, I had the documents for mobilisation come through my door and immediately went to tell my bosses that I would be away for a year. They were really supportive about and wished me good luck with it.

At first we were all a bit anxious about how we would fit in with our regular counterparts but within no time we were quickly integrated into their ranks and were going through daily life in camp along side them. Whilst on our confirmation exercise we continued to prove ourselves and show that we were more than willing and that were more than capable of the job, with one of our guys surprising everyone by being able to bring his civilian job (refrigeration engineer) to the table and fixing the foxhounds air conditioning.

We are here in Kabul to provide a QRF (quick reaction force) to the Kabul area and to provide security for people who need to travel around the city.

For more information on the unit please visit

Exercise Himalyan Eagle

Captain Bill Holland 678 (RIfles) Sqn 6 AAC

Towards the end of October , I was fortunate enough to secure a place at very short notice, only 1 week before flying from Heathrow, on a Army Mountain Trekking Expedition to Solu Kumbu Region of Nepal to climb the MERA Peak an impressive 6476m mountain that dominates the Hinku Valley to the south of Mount Everest. I will be joining 9 other excited mountaineers next Tuesday at the home of 4 AAC, based in Wattersham, which happens to be our paired unit under FR2020′ the ten mountaineers I have been told have various degrees of experiences and ages, most of the members coming from from 4 AAC, to reward them after their busy recent Op Herrick tour. Captain Tom Stack an Apache Pilot with 4 AAC, is the leader and organiser who crafted this impressive trip over the past year.

no 1

Thursday I got to meet Tom, at Bicester loan pool stores and assisted him in the collection of ten, individual sets of high altitude walking and climbing equipment required for this EX Ped. As always this is an important event and can be a time consuming task, checking the cleanliness and serviceability of every piece of equipment for the whole team to use successfully whilst on the mountain. Many items got rejected by us and quickly changed by ‘Angie’ especially the walking and high altitude boots ? to ensure we had the best start in the Army loaned equipment category in Nepal. My High altitude mountain experience over 25 years has been, Alps, High Atlas, Canada Rockies, USA, Norway and more recently Kilimanjaro, with some great civilians and 3 x amputee soldiers on a charity mission, as well as last year reaching Point Lenana on Mount Kenya with a group of Scots Guards, happy to say the photo was very guardsman like on the top. I have gained over the years my MLT and JSML scheme award and have organised SMF Summer Mountain Foundation courses in Wales and Cyprus. Basically I do like the mountains of the world, and being with like minded persons.

Major G Ridgley OC 678 (RIfles) Sqn. LT Col R Olney CO 6 AAC. WO2 Neilings 678 (RIfles) Sqn. Sir Henry Aubrey Fletcher LL buckinghamshire. SSGT Hamill 678 (RIfles) Sqn. WO1 Walkinshaw RSM 6 AAC. Capt B Holland  PSAO 678 (RIfles) Sqn.

Major G Ridgley OC 678 (RIfles) Sqn. LT Col R Olney CO 6 AAC. WO2 Neilings 678 (RIfles) Sqn. Sir Henry Aubrey Fletcher LL buckinghamshire. SSGT Hamill 678 (RIfles) Sqn. WO1 Walkinshaw RSM 6 AAC. Capt B Holland PSAO 678 (RIfles) Sqn.

I have four days now to prepare my personal items and paperwork that I will take, to supplement the good quality loan pool stores equipment we now have.  A trip like this is quite costly and can be very daunting to anybody, it should cost around £3000, however being partly self sufficient with experienced military personnel in the group, the Army manages to reduce it considerably to £1000. So I have quickly being asking for small grants from my immediate local fund lines and have been able to reduce the amount considerably, being in the Army Mountaineering Association also helps reduce your personal contributions. In repayment for these kind gestures I will continue a blog where possible, also give a swift short 30 min presentation on our experiences when I return to the bold funders. So to close for now, from one Tuesday helping organise a Lord Lieutenants Awards in High Wycombe to the very next Tuesday getting on a plane and flying to Nepal it has to be Army be the Best.

Look out for the next edition next week!!!

For more information on 678 (RIfles) Sqn 6 AAC  please visit:

Exercise Inferno Tiger

Southampton University Officer Training Corps (UOTC)

Day 1

Having spent the best part of the day before travelling, the group woke up on the first ‘walking day’ eager to start, albeit fairly grouchy from their first night’s sleep in a tent. Having packed away the tent for the first time, a slightly more arduous task than expected, eaten our first camp breakfast and had our first kit check the 3 groups piled into the transport to be dropped off at the starting point in Meiringen.

Having been promised an easy start to the expedition to ease the group into mountaineering, some of us were not so pleasantly surprised by the speedy pace set by the first team navigators. However all misgivings were forgotten as we arrived at the Reichenbach Falls, famously known as the site whereby Sherlock Holmes confronted Professor Moriarty in Sir Arther Conan Doyle’s novel ‘The Final Problem’. The site also proved to be the first of many ‘selfie’ opportunities seen throughout the expedition.


It was also on this first day that the ‘Team Rock’ phenomena began, the rules are as follows:

  1. The Team Rock must be carried by a member of the group at all times
  2. It can only be transferred to another member if they hadn’t been caught in the act
  3. The Team Rock must be placed securely within their bags, or the transfer does not count and the Team Rock must be returned to the original owner

However, seeing as the rock itself weighed approximately 2kgs, it was fairly noticeable if you had been ‘rocked’.

Having arrived at the campsite in Grindelwald, the group was pleasantly surprised to find the tents already erected courtesy of the Drivers. The evening was very relaxed, including a couple a drinks and the application of temporary tattoos before being briefed on the next day’s climb up Männlichen, followed by bed.

Day 2

The second days walking began with a very steep incline out of the campsite, which some felt, including myself was a foreboding start to what was going to be a rather difficult day. I was not disappointed. The climb up to Männlichen solidified the fact that the previous day had only been a warm up for the days ahead. After was seemed like a lot of teeth gritting we reached the summit all with a strong sense of pride, unfortunately we could not enjoy the view for long as the cloud had crept up on us.

The way down the mountain proved to be just as difficult as the assent, and for some of the more height conscious members of the group, more so. The route down was a steep one, meandering across the slope on a narrow path, our view littered with avalanche barriers. Eventually the descent led us into a more forested area and it was here that brought a little humour back into the group after a strenuous day. Jake, our mountain leader and organiser of the expedition, a man with all the gear the rest of the group envied, found himself in possession of a boot without a permanent sole and had to resort to sniper tape to hold his boot together for the rest of the decent. Secondly, whilst taking a small break the CO was ‘rocked’, whilst he was sitting on his bag giving us all a pep talk about the day so far. Spirits a little higher we headed into Wengen and waited for what would be a slightly unusual train ride in comparison to British public transport. After the train journey with spectacular views, we were picked up by the transport and driven to what would be home for 2 nights.


That evening we headed up to Mürren via a cable car to meet Ann and David at their home. Having been suitably fed by all the food Ann had to offer, we ventured up to the local sports hall for a party which included beer, dancing, a band performance and more dancing. A good night was had by all.

Day 3

The third day saw a slight split in the group as Jake and the CO climbed the Schilthorn as the rest of the group travelled to the Trummelbach Falls, a series of glacial waterfalls contained within a mountain which had to be accessed via tunnel lift. The falls were astounding and beauty and the power of them was appreciated by the whole group, especially the geographers among us. The relaxed cultural day continued as we returned once more to Mürren that afternoon to witness the parade throughout the town, which was then followed up by a dinner of Fondue, which everyone thoroughly enjoyed, the fact that the cheese Fondue itself was strongly alcoholic may have helped. After saying goodbye to Ann and David for the last time after or course a commemorative photo outside the restaurant, we descended once more to the campsite for our final night.

Day 4

A day filled with a certain level of apprehension as it was the day of the most difficult climb so far as we were due to climb up to the Swiss Alpine Blüemlisalp hut at a height of 2840m. After leaving what had been our campsite for 2 nights we once again boarded our transport to the drop off point where our journey uphill began.

Although the majority of the day can only be described as ‘up’ some memorable portions of the day standout. When eating lunch at what was either a house that sells juice to passing strangers or a cafe that looked suspiciously like a house, Yellop was encouraged to eat some things not found in your average lunch diet. He rather bravely ate both a beetle and a cricket which was met with a mix of disgust and pride from the rest of the group. After lunch, whilst walking along a valley we obtained a temporary mascot, a goat we dubbed Darcy. Darcy followed our group for a good 500m and a good 20 goat selfies before we crossed a river that poor Darcy could not follow.


As throughout the rest of the expedition members of the group took it in turns to navigate, a task I had avoided until now. Alas my time had come, although the leg itself wasn’t particularly difficult as the only direction I had to consider was up. It did however include an obstacle not yet experienced on the trip so far, crossing a glacier, where the CO rather graciously suggested he go first to test the route. My leg of the journey over, the group then faced what seemed like the world’s longest and steepest set of stairs up to the mountain hut. On arrival of the mountain hut the group was a mixture of tired, relieved and proud of the day’s venture.

That evening within the mountain hut we held a ceremony to commemorate the passing of 100 years since Britain entered World War I in 1914. Responsibilties were shared throughout the group, reading passages and scripture to honour the war. The Team Rock even played a part in the ceremony as a centre piece holding the 3 candles used.

Day 5

After the previous day’s climb the whole group was looking forward to a day of downhill walking to rest their aching legs. The journey down was fairly chilled as we took in the views of the glaciers which obviously provided a number of selfie opportunities which no doubt slowed our descent. After lunch we decided to take full advantage of the nearby glacial lake, changed into swimming gear and hire some paddle boats. Everyone got stuck in and really enjoyed the time despite the freezing water, which everyone ‘accidently’ fell into. After begrudgingly leaving the lake, we continued our descent down to the campsite at Kandersteg.

Day 6

Our final walking day brought mixed emotions to the group, and although the ascent wasn’t as high as the one faced on Day 4 up to the mountain hut, it was still a fair climb to the summit of Bunderspitz. Either we were feeling particularly keen that day or we had finally got into the swing of walking because as a group we were making good time on the ascent, so much so that the CO suggested that we split into 2 groups, one keeping the steady state along the original route, the other took a slightly more challenging route across a scree slope. Eventually we met up just before the final ascent to the summit of the mountain, where there were many shameless photos taken and we left an note in the guest book situated at the top.

For some, including myself, the journey down the mountain was more difficult than the ascent, the steep downward spiral seemed never-ending. We did however reach the end of our final walking day and arrived at the barn in Adelboden where we would be spending the night. The hospitality of the owners was incredible, as was the accommodation, and food. After we were suitable stuffed silly after the best meal we had eaten in days the B Coy among the group provided a skit which had everyone in fits of laughter as the performed the most memorable parts of the trip so far with spot on accuracy in their impressions. The night was then rounded off with the classic ‘Paper Plate’ awards hosted by Toby which was a nice way to round off the expedition because although we had one day left, the walking days were behind us; the CO was due to leave the next day and everyone was in high spirits.

Day 7

Waking up in the barn the following morning the group were in slightly hungover but excitable spirits, as the plan for the day was to visit a water park, a nice treat to spoil ourselves after the hard week of walking. But first we packed up all our gear, gave the transport a quick once over and then set off to what would be our final campsite in Berne. Having established out camp, we head off to the water park which could only be described as carnage as we took over the place.

Having exhausted the water park we returned to camp and that evening enjoyed the long awaited final night BBQ which got everyone involved and proved to be the most social evening of the entire expedition. The evening was filled of anecdotes of the trip, beer and most importantly, very good food. As good as the night was, it was also filled with sadness as it was the final night in Switzerland and the next day we would begin our travels back to Southampton where we would no doubt all face the ‘post AT blues’ and sicken our friends with tales of our times on Ex Inferno Tiger.

Set a new World Land Speed Record of 1000 mph

My Role as an Army Reservist


Inspire the next generation about science, technology, engineering and mathematics

Share an iconic research and development programme with a global audience

Set a new World Land Speed Record of 1000 mph

Mission Statement

Create a unique, high-technology project, focused around a 1000 mph World Land Speed Record attempt. Share this Engineering Adventure with a global audience and inspire the next generation by bringing science, technology, engineering and mathematics to life in the most exciting way possible.

In April I became a REME STEM Ambassador, an Engineering adventure that just entices the passionate Engineer to be drawn in and offered the chance to talk endlessly about the design challenges, make rocket cars, offered the challenge to inspire and ignite a similar passion in the next generation and not forgetting being part of a project that breaks the land speed record…who could say no!

Craftsman Sarah Dorey, 678 (Rifles) Sqn (REME)

Craftsman Sarah Dorey, 678 (Rifles) Sqn (REME)

Friday 13 June 2014 saw the reveal of Bloodhounds cockpit and what will be Andy Greens 1050 mph office. The project is supported by a stunning website and following the link you can take a 360 degree tour narrated by Andy Green The big press event linked live across the net around the world including South Africa where the car will be making its record breaking runs and the local community are supporting the project by every day collecting stones to ensure a smooth runway, to date 78 tonnes of stones have been collected. Ambassadors attending the event served many purposes; we experienced the event first hand – gaining first hand knowledge that we can pass on at other events (fuelling our own passions and interest helps transfer interest to others), met Andy Green and in speaking to the press promoted our project objectives and mission statement.

Goodwood Festival of Speed Schools day was my next big even on 25 June 2015. We had 300 school children visit during the day from primary and secondary schools, to listen to science demonstrations by build members, make Styrofoam rocket cars investigating how shape affects aerodynamics and the forces applied to an object travelling at high speed and then time trial them down a track, make K’nex cars powered by compressed air, show pupils round our 1:1 scale model of Bloodhound SSC and all of our interactive Bloodhound stand. The day was also open to the general public, many people are already following the project through the website (, Twitter (@Bloodhound_SSC, @spinningdorey), Flickr ( and Facebook ( but many visitors came to see our stand out of curiosity…bright orange and blue car, soldiers in uniform, crowds of excited children! Everyone that came in to had a positive enthusiasm once they listened what we had to say. Many were amazed that this group of people were going to attempt such a challenge, more amazed that British Army REME soldiers were hand making individual components and building the car. Generally people are shocked that soldiers have the skills to do this but very proud to say its British and handmade by British soldiers.

Bloodhound SSC has many events and tours and is continuously tweeting and keeping project updates in the public mind. Personally I am beginning to get bookings to attend schools and organise activities so I now go forward with planning with teachers over objectives they wish to achieve from my visit then looking at tailoring my content to their aims. Quoting Maj Morgan “if we can leave the memory of a soldier coming into their classroom and build cars and taught them rocket science when a child looks back at their school days then we have done our job”.

Please follow the project and see the effect it is having, see the quality of Engineering from the REME team and see if we reach our objective. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me on

To know more about 678 (Rifles) Squadron visit