Live Firing with the Royal Fusiliers

Four Fletchers were privileged to visit 1st Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers on Monday 20 May 2019.  John Power, Andrew McMillan, Robert Selwyn and Gordon Sharp were welcomed at Mooltan Barracks, Tidworth by the Adjutant, Captain Graham Sweetman.

We were then taken to one of the training facilities on Salisbury plain, where we met amongst others the CO, Lt. Colonel Chris Head MC.

After a bite of lunch with troops from X and Z Companies, we were shown around one of their Warrior vehicles (which was rather less comfortable than the minibus we were transported in!).


We then observed (from a safe distance) two training exercises, as the Fusiliers attacked and cleared some of the houses in the training area.  Training ammunition was being used, which was described to us as paintballs on steroids – i.e. you were liable to say “ouch” very loudly if hit!  The discipline shown by the troops was impressive to see.  This was part of their preparation in advance of going to Canada later in the year for a major training exercise there.

Finally we were given the opportunity to show our own marksmanship, liberally spraying some trees with (eco-friendly) paintball rounds.

We all came away much better informed as to the challenges currently facing the First Fusiliers, and their organisation and personnel.  As Robert said, “I often feel so detached from the forces that protect us and promote our interests abroad and take what they do for granted. Being able to meet and talk to some of them in their familiar surroundings drummed home how special these people are putting their safety and comfort on the line for the benefit of ours.”

Further opportunities will be sought for us to return their hospitality and to strengthen our links with them.


Gordon Sharp

Last modified on Wednesday, 22 May 2019 21:38