Building FUSION well overcomes adverse weather
7 Nov 2014
(St. Mawgan, Cornwall) — Exercise ARRCADE FUSION is one of the largest military exercises in the United Kingdom. Making it run takes many hands.
Once personnel arrive to camp they see all of the necessary elements to survive as a deployed joint task force headquarters to St. Mawgan, Cornwall. But what they may not have seen is all the preparation and hard work that it took to set up.
Maj. Nicholas Stanford, officer commanding 14 squadron, Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) said the build began August 18, 2014. It took nearly 100 personnel about 40 days to complete the 40,000 square metre site and have it ready prior to the start of the exercise.
"Building a camp site as large as this could not have been managed without all of the troops in Support Battalion,” said Stanford.
There were 140 tents to include the massive staff working tents, sleeping tents and dining facility. Last year a company was contracted out to install the power to the camp, but this year it was set up by the Royal Engineers, Stanford said.
He said 14 Squadron is a unique squadron because they have the diversity to take on special jobs. HQ Squadron provided the chefs, and the Quartermaster Department provided real life support liaison between HQ ARRC and RAF St. Mawgan. Showers and toilets were set up separately.
Stanford said the soldiers conducted core unit common collective training in addition to time spent putting up the tents, rehearsing scenarios and practicing putting together the power cables. One tent could take as long as 4 hours to build.
"That is the reason we can do it so quickly, because we do comprehensive competency training throughout the year,” Stanford said. If building was the sole mission, like it would if deployed to a theatre of operation, the task could be done faster.
ARRCADE FUSION has been battered with high winds and rain this week.
"We have had some interesting areas to repair,” Stanford added. Tents and drainage ditches need monitoring and repair when needed.
"The guys are going around making sure any preventative measures we can take are taken,” he said. "They have been working really hard to ensure that whilst everyone is here we try to make it as suitable as possible to live.”