Words & pictures by Lt Lue Wellman, S Coy Media Representative
The chance to spend the weekend in one the British Army’s top Urban Training Complexes conducting TIBUA/FIBUA (Training/Fighting In Built-Up Areas), often laughingly although not entirely inappropriately termed FISK (Fighting in Someone’s Kitchen), was a rare opportunity that few could afford to ignore. Thus cadets and staff deployed onto SPTA (Salisbury Plain Training Area) on Friday evening and became acquainted with the somewhat rudimentary accommodation.
Basics and 1 Star level cadets completed their weapons handling training and testing on the L98A2 Cadet GP Rifles 5.56mm, along with some fieldcraft training including the most essential element - cooking in the field - working on the sensible premise that a well fed cadet is a happy cadet! The Two and Three Star level cadets also undertook some fieldcraft training, allied to reinforcing their skills with leadership in the field before conducting TIBUA exercises including room clearances. Combining speed and aggression - something that does not come naturally to many cadets and adults - is an essential element in TIBUA operations and plenty of practice demonstrated that the more you do the better you get.
Luckily the weather stayed fair for the whole weekend and on Saturday there was a visit from the Honorary Colonel, Brigadier Richard Toomey, and Lt Col Chris Pearce, Dep Comdt G7, who spent some time watching each star level’s training as well as chatting with the cadets and CFAVs, getting throughly involved with the exercise.
On Sunday a large scale exercise was conducted where the Two and Three Stars were ambushed by Basic and One Star cadets, putting training into practice in various locations around the village. The exercise concluded with a large fire-fight between the Basics and One Stars versus the Two and Three Star level cadets, with everyone gaining a huge amount of experience and confidence throughout the course of the day.
Following the exercise the Three Star cadets put on some demonstrations that they had learned and polished over the weekend for the benefit of the Two Stars, including how to retreat down a narrow route when contacted from the front, and how to move forward down a restricted route whilst continuing to fight through.
The TIBUA environment is becoming an more common type of fieldcraft exercise, less affected by inclement weather than the more ‘traditional’ event in woodland, and proves to be a very popular event with generally, far more intensive activity over a smaller area, making for happy but exhausted cadets.