The Royal Lancers Exchange, a Year of Multinational Engagement
By Captain Erik “Gino” Giajnorio
“There is only one thing worse than fighting with allies, and that is fighting without them" - Winston Churchill
A busy year has passed for A Sqn, The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeths’ Own) (RL), since my arrival. Upon arriving in the UK, the Regiment deployed to Sennelager, Germany, for Ex SOMME LANCER. The multinational exercise was shaped around the RL Divisional Reconnaissance Battle Group and saw the Regiment deploy in a large AO made up of predominantly civilian land. Upon its completion, A Sqn RL quickly re-deployed across the world to the jungles of Belize. Ex MAYAN STORM was a month-long jungle warfare exercise, built to test basic soldier skills in a physically demanding environment. Working with the Belizean Defence Force and local trackers, the Sqn learned the basics of not only operating in the jungle, but how to survive. The secondary objective was to provide a physical presence deep in the jungle to prevent pouching of flora and fauna, and to deter drug smuggling along a prominent route connecting producers in South America with consumers in North America.
As the calendar turned to 2022, the Russian invasion of Ukraine saw A Sqn RL rapidly shift priorities. Like Canada, the British Army’s Op ORBITAL was temporarily shut down and evacuated from Ukraine. In order to assist our Ukrainian partners and ensure peace in Europe, A Sqn deployed a team to Bovington, UK, to train a cadre of Ukrainian soldiers on the CVR(T) platform. Training focused on maintenance and servicing, and tactical employment to increase the manoeuvrability, lethality, and survivability of our partners. At the completion of the training package, A Sqn again shifted fires to assist with the defence of Ukraine. We deployed teams to various locations in Eastern Europe to assist the Ukrainian Armed Forces in moving military goods across into the country.
In July, the Regiment complete deployed to the Galloway Forest in south-west Scotland for Ex LUCKNOW LANCER. A Sqn was tasked with playing OPFOR and providing a realistic peer force to challenge Blue Forces. While the primary objective was to validate D Sqn for operations, the exercise provided the opportunity to overtly demonstrate capabilities and interoperability between NATO partners. Together, the British, Danish, American, and Canadian battlegroup demonstrated the ability to effectively fight as one team, and to ensure Europe’s Defence if needed.