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Fuel Training Site

It has taken several years and the combined efforts of two CO’s, QM’s and numerous Permanent Staff Instructors (PSI), plus support from both 104 Log Sp Bde and FTC, but the Fuel Training Site at Flying Station Aldergrove is finally open.

This was a much-needed project that began almost as soon as the announcement was made to re-role 152 (Ulster) Transport Regt to a Bulk Fuel Regt (having only just before converted from Ambulance Support!).

Very quickly it was identified that although the soldiers threw themselves into learning the new skills, all the infrastructure and training resources were located across the water. The School of Petroleum at West Moors was extremely supportive and close ties were quickly built but constantly ferrying soldiers and equipment back and forwards was becoming a nuisance, not to mention costly.

Space was identified at Aldergrove in a site previously used to train the Royal Signals during Op BANNER but getting the funding was a long process.

But once work began, the engineers of 591 Field Sqn threw themselves into cleaning the site out, constructing the bunds (using over 1200 Tonnes of aggregate) and improving the ground in the area to accommodate the extremes of weather NI enjoys!

The result is an exceptionally high-quality site with a Primary Bulk Fuel Installation (PBFI) Bund that can accommodate four of the new 75,000L tanks and an enhanced storage module (ESM) bund that can hold a further two 136,000L tanks, a potential total capacity of 361,000L of fuel (allowing for reserve empty tanks).

Additionally, there is plenty of clean, solid ground for the manifold and for vehicles to manoeuvre all contained in a fenced and gated area.

The Regt, and 400 Sqn in particular, have been quick to begin training on the facility with the full range of equipment in use for the opening ceremony, just a week after it was signed off by 516 STRE as fit for purpose.

Since then, the Regt has already conducted both wet and dry training on both training weekends and on training nights ‘ more hands on with the equipment than most Regular Pet Ops get in a year!

Training has already been carried out with the Station Fire Service and we are looking at combined training in the future with the Army Air Corps. Joint Operational Fuel System (JOFS) is agreed to be issued to 152 Regt on long term loans allowing constant access to the equipment.

Additionally, an aircraft hangar a short distance from the Fuel Training Site has been allocated to primarily store the equipment on site, but it also has the space to conduct indoor training when needed.

Looking to the future, 152 Regt is keen to invite other units over to make use of these facilities, especially if opportunities for collaborative training with Reserve soldiers is possible.

The Royal Logistic Corps

Over 4-5 March a team of 12 from 3 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps will pull a 4-tonne VW van as far as they can in 24 hours. The event will take place at Blenheim Palace and will raise money for ABF The Soldiers' Charity and Mind as well as supporting the #ArmyConfidence recruitment campaign.

Please visit their page and support these great causes. #WeAreTheRLC
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RLC Chefs, Cpl Grahame Wickam and LCpl Richie Godden, as part of the Combined Services Culinary Arts Team are going for Gold at the 2020 Culinary Olympics in Stuttgart. The event takes place 14-19 Feb and attracts 2000 civilian and military chefs from across the globe.

At a final practice held at Food Services Wing Worthy Down last week, the team prepared an amazing three course meal for 120 covers. Based on that they have a great chance of a medal. Good luck.
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On 5 Feb the Army’s Apprenticeship Launch took place in support of the National Apprenticeship Week.

The successful nominees for the upcoming Army Apprenticeships Awards were present. The Colonel RLC said how extremely proud he is of the work the soldiers have put into completing their awards and congratulated them on progressing to the Army Apprenticeship Finals on 11 Mar.

The Colonel RLC's aspiration to secure an apprenticeship for all direct entry RLC soldiers, was furthered during the week at a visit to 17 Port and Maritime Regiment RLC, Marchwood to confirm if Mr K Foster, CEO of the Workboat Association and Mr M Ince from the RLC's service provider Pearson would support the aspiration for RLC Mariners to be enrolled on the L2 Workboat Crew Member Apprenticeship. WO1 Styles on behalf the Regiment and staff from 73 Squadron were on hand to ask questions. #WeAreTheRLC Army Jobs
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