Athlone Army Reservists excel in platoon assessment exercise

Story by Tom Kelly

Friday, 5th December, 2008 1:00pm

The Reserve Defence Force Training Authority recently held a platoon assessment exercise in The Glen of Imal, Wicklow where over 300 troops from all around the country their high level of training over a three day period.

During the exercise, reservists were assessed in all aspects of field-craft including base camp discipline, patrolling, navigation and deployment of firearms in close combat situations.

The 56 Reserve Infantry Battalion known as The Midland Battalion were represented by soldiers from all over the midlands including Athlone, Roscommon, Tullamore, Ballinasloe and Cavan.

The platoon was led by Capt Pat Tobin and Sgt Mark McKeon. The platoon underwent extensive training prior to the exercise in Athlone and in the Glen of Imal.

During the exercise the platoon were assessed by members of the Army Reserve from the Southern Brigade.

The 56 Bn also had a team of assessors at the exercise representing the Western Brigade including Cmdt Tom Cunningham (OC HQ Company 56 Bn) and Sgt Cormac Nott both from Athlone whose job it was to assess the reservists from the Eastern Brigade.

On Sunday, November 9 members of the 56th Reserve Infantry Battalion and the 4th Western Brigade Training Centre attended the Remembrance Sunday Service in St John"s Church, Ballinasloe, Galway.

The celebrant was Rev George Flynn, in attendance was Lt Col Colm Harte, Executive Officer 4 Western Brigade and Cmdt Frank Sheerin OC 56 Res Bn.

During the service a Roll of Honour for those who gave their lives during both World Wars from St John"s Parish, Ballinasloe was read by Rev George Flynn, and a Roll of Honour the 4th Western Brigade Defence Forces personnel who died on peacekeeping missions at home and overseas was read by Lt Hugh Lynn, the Last Post was sounded members of the 56th Bn carried candles representing those who lost their lives.

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