Territorial Army Unit trains with high-tech Battle Tank on Salisbury Plain


A South West based Territorial Army (TA) unit is currently training with the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank – one of the most sophisticated vehicles used by the British Army.

More than one hundred TA personnel from The Royal Wessex Yeomanry (RWxY), who will soon become part of the Army Reserve, are on Salisbury Plain Training Area in Wiltshire, as they train to become crewmen on the iconic armoured vehicle. It is the first time in several years that the unit has had the opportunity to train with Challenger 2 on Salisbury Plain.

Damien Thursby Royal Wessex Yeomanry

Damien Thursby, Royal Wessex Yeomanry TA soldier, trains regularly with the Challenger 2 Battle Tank

The Reservists – who are based at Squadrons in Bovington in Dorset, Salisbury in Wiltshire, Cirencester in Gloucestershire and Barnstaple and Paignton in Devon, are spending a week on the Plain taking part in Exercise WESSEX DRAGON which is their annual training camp.

Damien Thursby, 31, was previously in the regular Army but left in 2010 only to decide 9 months later to join his local TA Unit – B Squadron in Salisbury.

He explained: “My decision to join the TA was partly because this is a Challenger 2 regiment and that’s what I did in the regular army.

“Since FR20 we’re actually getting to train with the tanks more and we’re getting more opportunities to go out on exercises with regular units, which is a great opportunity.”

Those outside the Ministry of Defence Computer Network can listen to more interviews and view a video about the training below.

Click here to hear more interviews with South West Resevists currently training with the Challenger 2 Battle Tank.

Click here to view ITV’s video coverage of the training exercises taking place on Salisbury Plain

Reserve Forces