Cross-training weekends

Do they actually take place, and is there any benefit to be had?

Infantry training with Sigs/Engineers etc and exchanging basic skills training etc? Just something that came up in convo this weekend.
Not recently, I borrowed some mortars for an interest period from EWRR, it went down really well and that led to a inter unit games nights - possibly a positive retention idea.

We did a Ptarmigan presentation to our neighbouring Signal Sqn and that went down well, erm rather too well as our YofS jumped ships.
Our units had some sneaky men up giving us some SAA with the weapons they use and some lads went out with their drivers the other week for a play so it does work/happen
Should we be promoting more of it though , and could it become a retention tool?I do see value in learning to work with other formations closely , albeit at the basic level.
why not people might be thinking about leaving for various reasons such as work/family comitments interfering with a drill night or simply not happy with the unit they are with why see someone go out the door and all the training/money/time lost when by a simple trg ect might find that the other unit might be better suited for him although it shouldnt be used as a poaching tool ect.

Another way to look at it as well is that if you go on a joint FTX ect you have new enemy ect to play with assess your skills against other unit ect and it also helps rake away the us and them barrier
Do they ever hold SPSi and PSi 's conferences , where Spys in different units get together with their opposite numbers in other Regiments or Corps?
LOL, my unit is to scared to do anything like that for fear that everyone would transfere.

In principal I think this is an excellent idea though but have never seen it happen yet.
It is an excellent idea, anything which puts a fresh face in front of the blokes gets my vote!

I know some SPSI's and PSi's lurk here , what do you guys think?



Not an SPSI but as a TA officer with responsibility for training I think it is of value. I would be willing to support exchange visits within the London area - the question lies in the response of the blokes to the proposed interest visits.

If we arrange it, will they come???


The general feeling was the other arms were quite keen to try their hand at 'properly' run Defence , Patrols and OBUA exercises , I felt that we could benefit from learning more about what makes other branches tick , how we use their assets , and importantly, how we use and communicate with each other.

I'm sure the RMLY and other Tankies would like to try an exercise working with Infantry, a Medic unit would actually like to try working up RAP's and 3rd line facilities in a battle scenario. I'd like to think the Siggies would like the idea of actually providing comms to a mixed formation and working up their skills in the battlespace

There are other fringe benefit of course - Increased healthy competition , especially from our point of view, having another regiment play enemy and MORE bodies on the ground at weekends , as well as some economies of scale to be had. OC's and CO's could actually work with their oppos in the Brigade area and the boys and girls on the ground could see physically their part in the big picture.

I am not suggesting we get the brigade out , but in this area , we have at least 5 diverse formations , that may welcome the chance to cross-train. Using these opportunities will lead to closer co-operation. We already have tentative requests for WHT's and Weapons training from units outside our capbadge, suppose we could develop on this basic premise? How difficult could it be?

Personally, I think it starts with getting all the SPSI's from different units into a bar , and letting them hammer out how it works, after all they are the ones in control.

Any Spsi's care to comment?



We are currently in the position of having virtually no Officers or SNCOs (all deployed) and a small amount of junior ranks. Anything to raise the interest level would be worthwhile, but all of the training I am planning at the moment is based around small unit tactics (at most section/pl).

If other units are interested in joining in and doing some of this sort of training in exchange for some interest periods (NBC/MED/engs particularly welcome) than it can only be a good thing. At present, the options for larger unit stuff is very limited due to our deployment level.

PartTimePongo said:
I am not suggesting we get the brigade out
I think you have to Bde involvement, if you wanted Sigs you'd need more than one unit to support and a Bde HQ provides more jobs for Sigs.

I think your idea would work very well. Too many of us are doing our training in isolation, its creating problems. We have Sigs who've never worked with staff, medics not exercising (with casualties or) roles 1-3 together, Yeomanry not recce for formations, Arty FOO's never worked with Infantry.

How can you have a one army concept when part of it never acts together as a Team.
You could do an exercise at SQN/COY level................

Sig Sqn provides comms, Engers dig em in etc, Inft coy provide defence etc, Medics deal with 2nd line casevacs and provide RAP. Its simple really when you think about it, everyone does what they are paid to do but you all do it in the same place rather than each unit isolated on their own on different training areas.

I still stand by the fact that a lot of PSAO's will be reluctant to do it for the fear of people leaving to go to more exciting gucci units.


That key problem with that scenario is that everyone would do their own job, but with little option to cross train which is where the interest lies for the lads. If the Inf Coy just dug in to defend, would they then just do normal routine in defence? Or sack the defence in order to find out how the med unit works? You would run the risk of units working in the same time/space but with no crosstraining.

My theory would be more along the line of units hosting or providing training to add interest to other units. For instance, the Inf could set up and run an OBUA exercise and the signallers could take part as riflemen to get a more detailed understanding of the OBUA battle (and get a chance to do interesting stuff). Option is then for the sigs unit to set up training for the Inf to participate in, or better yet, give the Inf a chance to do real time OPFOR against the sigs on an FTX.

Point noted about PSAOs, but remember their job title is "admin officer" not OC, or trg officer!

The_Duke said:
For instance, the Inf could set up and run an OBUA exercise and the signallers could take part as riflemen to get a more detailed understanding of the OBUA battle (and get a chance to do interesting stuff).
Quite like that idea, but my corps has a problem spliting trade from infantry work. I'd be tempted to place a Bde HQ in a OBUA village (with working comms assets) and the Sigs help build and man the defence. I've done this at Coy/BG level (as part of Sigs Pln) and was bloomin hard but very enjoyable work.

I've concentrated on defence as we (Sigs) tend to ignore this side. Maybe add an ambulance unit with dressing station at another part of the exercise/OBUA area.

Yes people may transfer but if this sort of idea works then I'd hope it'd be two ways, so bored soldiers transfer instead of leaving
Your point Duke is the same as mine but more detailed.

Maybe you could do it like a round robin style of a training week/end with a Sigs stand, Infantry stand etc. with teams going round looking at the different aspects of mil training. But thinking about it wouldn't that just be like a Bde mil skills comp w/end ?

I Think this is an interesting thread with a lot of good potential.
I think the Round Robin dilutes what we're aiming at Stabtastico , and demotes it to "interest weekend" Not criticising you, but if we aim at that , I think inertia dictates that's all we would get.

Polar's comments are exactly what I'm aiming at , with the inclusion on another Infantry Regiment as defence. Engineers could construct Demo defence , Medics set up their RAP , Even the Arty could sim strikes on the Ville prepping it up for the Infantry assault , I'm sure the Engineers would love to show off their Demo Dems. Int Corps could do the PW stuff etc

We'd all be together on one area , instead of shotgunned all over the shop , so there may be economies to be enjoyed there - for all the bean counters stroking their chins right now.... :)

How much work could it be , once TLA (Timing, Location and Assets) were sorted out?

Hence my repeated statement to leave this in the hands of the SPSI's. Giving it to the ruling classes runs the danger of having it escalate into Lionheart and a once a year affair :(

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