An airborne reservist from Ellesmere Port has been honing his rapid reaction skills.
Warrant Officer 2 Tim Wiseman, who has been with the 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment (4 PARA) for 29 years, deployed to the Salisbury Plain training area with other paratroops to practise for their high readiness role. The 4th battalion is the Parachute Regiment’s reserve battalion.
Exercise Black Panther, a battalion exercise, tested reservists from all over the country, including soldiers from 4 PARA, equipping them with skills to operate in urban surroundings.
The UK’s Air Assault Task Force is prepared to go anywhere in the world at short notice to carry out the full range of operations.
The exercise is said to have tested troops to the full including tasks such as planning attacks on enemy positions, first aid and casualty extraction as well as exploiting enemy intelligence and information.
The two groups of 50 soldiers started the exercise by practising their method of entry skills followed by room clearance drills. During the day the troops also completed an urban assault course.
The reservists received orders to complete an attack on a mock village with troops moving to a safe base area to rehearse the attack planned for dawn the following day. Reconnaissance patrols were sent out.
Major Pat Kearse at 4 PARA said: “Exercise Black Panther was conducted as part of our annual training cycle to enable 4 PARA personnel to fight in an urban environment.
“For our personnel on the High Readiness Reserve commitment it is crucial that they are ready to integrate with the regular battalions at short notice.
“Exercise Black Panther, as one of five battalion annual training weekends, has enabled them to deploy anywhere in the world and conduct this kind of complex operation.”
Tim, an honours graduate in public administration, is married with one son aged eight. He enjoys sky diving, scuba diving and skiing, all of which he learned in the Army and has taken part in adventure training in Egypt, Cyprus, Gibraltar and France. His deployments have included Iraq, Afghanistan and the Falkland Islands.
He and a number of 4 PARA soldiers are to join others from 16 Air Assault Brigade to conduct parachuting trials on the Airbus A400 Atlas aircraft.
Tim said: “4 PARA and the Army Reserve have provided me with the skills to manage any situation not just in the Army but also in my civilian and family life.”
A number of the soldiers training on the exercise had recently returned from Jordan where they conducted joint operations with the Jordanian Army.
Additionally reserve paratroopers had also returned from working with regular soldiers in Wales and taking part in adventure training in Germany.