Bradford reservists take their skills to Cyprus

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: ON EXERCISE: Sapper Kylie Boham.of Birstall ON EXERCISE: Sapper Kylie Boham.of Birstall

Army Reserve soldiers from Bradford have been using their engineering skills to improve facilities in Cyprus.

The 20 reservists spent two weeks repairing concrete sunshades, working on roadways for fire engines, producing finished buildings and improving shelters for dogs and their handlers, among many other tasks for Exercise Lion Star 5.

The exercise gave the reservists, of Bradford's 106 Squadron and 21 Engineer Regiment, a chance to practise their military skills and their engineering specialism.

Alongside counterparts from the regular Army, the part-time soldiers also did their annual military tests, alongside hill-walking, mountain-biking and water-based adventurous training - and all in the 30C heat of the Mediterranean island.

Sapper Gareth Ledgard, of Queensbury, who is a joiner by trade, owns his own business Creative Decking and often books his work around his commitments to the Army.

He said: “I worked all day on Friday before we left. Set off for Cyprus, work for two weeks here, get back on Sunday and straight to work Monday to meet a delivery. This is what I do but in the sun, it's all about transferable skills really."

Sapper Kylie Boham, of Birstall, has been with the engineers for nearly five years. For her day job she does Army preparation courses for a civilian company that helps people aged 16 years and upwards, who want to join the Armed forces, improve their fitness and confidence levels.

She said: "I originally joined the TA while I was studying criminology at university with the intention of becoming a regular.

"I was going to join 4 Yorkshire, which is an infantry battalion but a sergeant suggested the engineers because the girls get to do exactly the same jobs as the boys and I'm all for feminism."

Regular soldier Lance Corporal Andrew De Kock said: "The reservists bring a wealth of knowledge. They do this type of work every day and have definitely taught us some professional tips and tricks of the trade."

Lieutenant Colonel Paul Nicholson, the commanding officer of 21 Engineer Regiment, said: “The exercise has been an enormous success. We’ve achieved a truly integrated regular and reserve force working closely together, to produce a high quality military engineer output. It’s been hard work, and enormously enjoyable as well.”

For more details about joining the Army Reserve, ring 0845 6008080.

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