Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

READY FOR BATTLE; Super-Fit Duo Prove They're Up to the Job

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

READY FOR BATTLE; Super-Fit Duo Prove They're Up to the Job

Article excerpt

TWO Middlesbrough soldiers have won a major military/sporting extravaganza for artillery units in Germany.

Gunners Daniel Milner, 19 and Matthew Donovan, 20, were part of a twelve man squad taking part in Exercise Sheldrake Gladiator, an event organised by Germany based 1 (UK) Armoured Division, which uniquely combined both military skills and regular sports.

Teams combined competing in a variety of tough core military disciplines such as shooting, navigation, command tasks and battle casualty treatment with more traditional sports such as six-a-side football, basketball, rugby sevens, hockey, golf and even a tug-of-war.

Daniel, from Grove Hill, and Matthew, from Grangetown, who both serve with Germany based 26th Regiment Royal Artillery 17 Battery, helped their team win the overall event and also come top of the battle casualty treatment and command task standings.

Daniel and Matthew are both currently standing by to possibly deploy to Afghanistan in the future and appreciated the value this exercise had in preparing them.

Former Kings Manor specialist sports college student Daniel, whose parents William and Michelle still live in Middlesbrough, enjoys playing football and played for his unit's football team in the sports event. He said: "The exercise has been tough, but a lot of fun, it''s great that we won. It's been a good mental and physical challenge.

"I also really like getting to know the lads and getting to know the people I will deploy with. It's all about team work - you have to get on well and bond with your colleagues - you need to be able to trust them on operations."

Daniel, who joined the Army in 2008, added: "The March and Shoot was really good but a lot of hard work. It gave us all a lot of confidence and a chance to improve our leadership skills.

"The medical treatment training was also a real eye opener - they used civilian amputees made up to look like they had been seriously injured. It really showed us some of the things we might have to deal with on ops."

Sheldrake Gladiator provided vital operational training - making the challenges as difficult as possible. …

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