IN PICTURES: Northampton Army reserves deployed to Poland for 10,000 troop exercise

103 REME will be deployed to Poland this month as part of NATO's 'enhanced Forward Prescence' in Eastern Europe.

Army Reserves from Northampton's 103 Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (103REME) will deploy to Poland later this month to keep the vehicles of the Royal Yeomanry on the move.

The soldiers will form part of a 15-strong team of vehicle and recovery mechanics as part the UK’s involvement in NATO’s 'enhanced Forward Presence' (eFP) in Eastern Europe.

The eFP sees four multi-national battle groups deploying to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

Working alongside US forces, the Royal Yeomanry consisting of reservists from across the Midlands and London.

A statement released by the British Army says the exercise is part of NATO’s 'deterrence posture' by "demonstrating its determination and ability to act as one in response to any aggression against its members".

The deployment, including Northampton's 103 REME Battalion - whose barracks are based in the Mounts - will be responsible for the maintenance, repair and recovery of the Jackal, Coyote and Panther vehicles being operated by the Royal Yeomanry.

They will primarily be looking to repair and maintain the vehicles on the ground, however there are also two heavy-lift vehicles managed by the recovery mechanics that will transport any vehicles that cannot be repaired back to camp.

Corporal Joe Whittaker, 33, is one of the Northampton based Recovery Mechanics. He said: “Our job is to operate the Support Vehicle Recovery (SVR), otherwise known as the wrecker, supporting both the Royal Yeomanry and our vehicle mechanics.

“Two recovery mechanics will go out on each job and will recover vehicles that are stuck, bogged in or have broken down and can't be fixed in the field and, if they have road moves, we will support the convoys.

“When we aren’t on a recovery tasking, we can use our lifting equipment to assist the vehicles mechanics. The SVR has a heavy lift crane that can lift engines and gearboxes and we can also use the recovery device on the back of the wrecker to lift the vehicle so that the mechanics can work underneath it. It also has a 25-ton winch, its good kit and a go anywhere piece of equipment.

“I’m looking forward to going. I just want to get these next few weeks out of the way and get on the flight at the end of the month.”

The Commanding Officer of 103 Battalion REME, Lieutenant Colonel Emil Tessem-Cotton, said: “After an intense 6 months of training, the whole team is ready to deploy in support of the Royal Yeomanry.

"Their knowledge of the Jackal vehicles has been developed and tested during their training and I have every confidence that they can adapt to the changing environment they may find themselves in over the next 6 months.

"This is a fabulous opportunity to experience working in support of light cavalry and highlights the agility, flexibility and professionalism of these volunteer soldiers and tradesmen. Furthermore, the pairing of 103 Battalion REME with the Royal Yeomanry illustrates the strength of the Army Reserves territorial footprint”.

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