Helmand-bound Cavalry test Jackals in the dunes

source: UK MOD

Soldiers from the Household Cavalry, who are normally based at Windsor, took to the spectacular Braunton Burrows 900-acre sand dune system near Barnstaple this week.

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They put their Jackal vehicles through their paces in tough and demanding sandy conditions which are similar in many ways to the conditions they will soon experience in Helmand province.

The Household Cavalry, who are deploying as part of 11 Light Brigade, are reconnaissance experts and will be the eyes and ears of the force, gathering information and battlefield intelligence on the insurgents 24-hours-a-day in all conditions.

Mounted primarily in the Scimitar combat vehicle some of the troopers from the regiment have now been trained in using the new, all-terrain, protected Jackal vehicles to give the unit extra flexibility.

Braunton Burrows has been used by the military to help train troops since the Second World War and its rugged sand dunes make it an ideal environment for many types of training.

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The Jackal is one of the most agile and versatile vehicles on operations and has received enormous acclaim from soldiers on the ground. It has high levels of off-road mobility enabling troops to avoid well-trodden routes, giving them a degree of unpredictability which is an essential tactical asset in itself.

The design of the vehicle hull incorporates advanced armour protection features. Powerful and highly manoeuvrable, the vehicles can also be fitted with a wide range of weaponry from grenade launchers to machine guns, making them a potent weapon.

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[Pictures: Cpl Ian Forsyth RLC, Crown Copyright/MOD 2009]



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