Swindon gets a lesson in the future of urban warfare
SWINDON became embroiled in a fictitious future war as the next generation of Army leaders carried out tactical training.
Officially known as a ‘tactical exercise without troops’, the soldiers were required to use brain rather than brawn and work out tactical plans of how to defend Swindon against a fictitious enemy in a war set 10 years in the future.
The Army Disivion of the Joint Services Command and Staff College, based at the academy, ran a similar exercise last year and was keen to again utilise Swindon’s assets as a training ground.
Major Alex Porter, an instructor on the command and staff course at the Defence Academy, said the exercise went according to plan.
He said: “We used Swindon as an urban site and looked at how we would secure and stabilise Swindon and it was a very tactical and conceptual exercise.
“We use brainpower rather than waste man hours unnecessarily and we find Swindon is a good example of an urban site.
“Old Town is a bit like Coronation Street with rows of houses, whereas the town centre is a bit different as it has lots of pedestrian areas and street furniture.
“We had 170 Army majors taking part as part of their mid-career development and it is key on a tactical level for them to understand modern war fighting. It is not modelled on Afghanistan or any war in particular and is purely fictitious.
“We also do a rural element to the course in Wantage, Oxfordshire, so they get both aspects.”
Major Porter said many people in the town were welcoming to the troops and their support was important to them.
“It was great to see the reception we got in Swindon and people looked pleased to see us,” he said.
“A lot of the guys on the course had come back recently from operations in Afghanistan and so that reception was a big part of the exercise.
“We are pleased to say there is a good relationship between the town and the Defence Academy and that is important to us.”