The Port of Hartlepool, owned and operated by PD Ports, has recently played host to the British Army’s largest logistics exercise of the year, allowing soldiers to practice their readiness for deployment.
Exercise IRON PYTHON 18 ran across a 10-day period seeing scores of Army vehicles taking to the roads in the North of England and southern Scotland using existing civilian infrastructure for the first time for such an exercise.
Being run by 101 Logistic Brigade (The Iron Vipers), this exercise allowed them to test all the elements of Combat Service Support which includes logistics, equipment support, medical support and policing in support of the UK’s warfighting division.
At Hartlepool, the 4 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps (4 Regt RLC), who are tasked with sustaining up to 6,500 personnel during low, medium and high intensity warfighting activity, used 30 acres of land to set up a realist operation in which they had to take account of everyday issues such as traffic, breakdowns and dealing with the public. The operation saw up to 330 personnel taking part and 128 vehicles.
Major John Green, Regimental Second-in-Command of 4 Regt RLC, said: “The activities that have taken place are all designed to best train us for operating in urban infrastructures. We could not have done this without the support of the civilian companies involved such as PD Ports, Redcar Steelworks and Durham Tees Valley Airport. None of this would have been possible without their unbelievable support.”
Frans Calje, Chief Executive Officer at PD Ports commented: “As a logistics provider, we see the importance of these practice operations in ensuring that the British Army’s supply chain is robust and that they are able to deliver what’s needed to the front line in the most efficient way possible.
“We signed the Armed Forces Covenant earlier this year to show our continued support to the military and we’re pleased that we could assist the Army by providing one of many bases here at Hartlepool for this exercise.”